Tuesday, February 17, 2015


IMG_0118Surreal is not even the word to describe my experience in Balesin Island. When I was first asked if I wanted to join the Balesin Island weekend getaway, I was like... Balesin? Come again? Is that in Indonesia? I was thinking it is a suburb of Bali or something. I actually didn't take it seriously because I thought nothing could top Boracay as far as being the country's ultimate island getaway (I haven't been to Boracay though). But I was wrong. Totally wrong. I know so little about travelling the Philippines to even think or say that.
This is my second time to fly and Balesin is kinda overwhelming a sight to see. What a way to start my travelling, food, and style blog. But I believe that every tourist spot in the Philippines is unique in itself. You can't really compare one from the other. Some could be bad, some could be good, and some could really take your breath away.
Balesin Island was owned by the Tordesillas family before Alphaland bought and developed this paradise into a membership only luxury island getaway. Let me do a verbatim of Balesin overview as per their website. www.balesin.com
"A destination of unmatched natural beauty located off the Eastern coast of Luzon in the Philippines, Balesin is a 500 hectare tropical island paradise with 7.3 kilometers of pristine white sand beaches. Located 21 kilometers southeast of Polillo, Quezon Province and just 60 nautical miles east of Manila, Balesin is a quick 25-minute plane ride from Manila, yet is a world completely unto itself. Alphaland Balesin Island Club is your unique, members-only, private leisure getaway-today and for generations to come.
Members will be given 14 free nights in any of our seven themed villages inspired by world-class beach destinations namely: Balesin, Bali, St. Tropez, Toscana, Mykonos, Costa Del Sol, and Phuket. Members can enjoy the landscaped pools and authentic restaurants while giving them an impressive view of the ocean.
Masterfully planned by EcoPlan of Miami, Florida, USA, Balesin Island Club was designed with the environment uppermost in mind and to be in perfect harmony with its natural surroundings. Water harvesting, 80% water recycling, a reverse osmosis plant, on-site eco friendly transportation, organic farming, and alternative sources of energy reduce the amount of waste and ensure sustainable development on this beauty of an island – without scrimping on luxurious, top-notch facilities."
This is how the journey started:
IMG_0075We were warmly greeted by the Alphaland staff as we enter their hangar waiting for our flight going to the island. Although the plane will still use NAIA's runway, you will not check-in at the regular airport for your flight.
IMG_0076You will be asked to fill-out a form. Fill in your details and sign a waiver.IMG_0083Free coffee and pastries at the hangar.
IMG_0088Our ride!
IMG_0093IMG_0094IMG_0098IMG_0106The beautiful flight attendant will tell you some tales on how to survive during emergencies...
IMG_0118After the attendant's safety reminders, you're already approaching Balesin before you even get comfortable on your plane ride. 20 minutes is over. This flight is actually shorter than your trip to a mall in Manila.
IMG_0122Say hello to the pilot.
SONY DSCThe plane is small and I'm so close I touched it.IMG_0124SONY DSCThe path at the airport leading to the waiting area.
IMG_0125IMG_0128When we arrived at the airport lounge, there's a guy who gave us a little orientation about the island in a very nice accent in fluent English (not sure if Cebuano or some other accent). So cool, I want to speak that way.
IMG_0131This will be your ride to your chosen village. We stayed in Balesin Village so this ride, called Milwaukee in Balesin Island, will take us to our villa.
IMG_0138IMG_0140IMG_0143Balesin Village Clubhouse
IMG_0146View from the clubhouse
Balesin Village is Filipino themed. Our suite is filled with crafts made by the Ifugao who are now staying in the Island. The Island's management made them stay to create exquisite creations native in the Philippines which you can buy. This becomes their livelihood which also makes the village and everything in it very authentic.
IMG_0155IMG_0156IMG_0157IMG_0162IMG_0166IMG_0167IMG_0168IMG_0170IMG_0171IMG_0164IMG_0165IMG_0176IMG_0175IMG_0174CBTL coffee supply which replenishes everyday.
IMG_0177This is the view from our villa's veranda.
Part 2 of my Balesin post will be our tour in all of the themed villages.

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