New! MANUEL UY BEACH RESORT, CALATAGAN: Travel Guide & Budget Itineraries

Here’s a budget travel guide blog to Manuel Uy Beach Resort, the newest camping destination in Calatagan. In this post, you’ll find sample itineraries, summary of expenses, and useful travel tips!

“Are we going to Horacio Cheng Beach?” my friend Glenn asked in a tone and with a face that clearly suggested he was not kidding. “Or is that Horacio Uy?”

Realizing he made a mistake, he flashed an embarrassed smile that cut across his now redder face. All he could remember, he explained, was that the resort has an old Spanish first name and a Chinese last name. My only question is, Horacio, really? Where did that come from?

Horacio aside, it is not surprising at all that people have trouble retaining the name of the resort. Glenn certainly wasn’t the first in my circle of friends. Outside Batangas, it is pretty much unheard of. And it’s not every day that we hear about a beach that bears a person’s full name. But you know what, some may remember it as Manuel Uy, Horacio Cheng or Teofilo Chua, but this little nook in Calatagan is the next big thing in Batangas tourism.

Understanding Manuel Uy Beach

According to the boatmen we talked to, the resort got its name from its owner, a Filipino who is currently based in the United States. It is located along the western coast of the Calatagan peninsula. It faces the Verde Island Passage, which is a busy channel so big ships are a common sight from here.

At first glance, it doesn’t look like a resort at all, more like a camp site. With the exception of the shower and toilet rooms and a staff stations, there are no permanent concrete structures along the beach. But the site blew us away in many ways.

Photo by Vins Carlos

First, the beach itself is remarkable. It is a long, wide strip of cream-colored sand lapped gently by Calatagan’s signature shallow waters. You can wade through the little waves for minutes and the water will barely reach your waist or chest. It’s also bookmarked by small rocks that jut out to the sea, adding some texture to the already picturesque cove. it is surrounded by sandbars and snorkeling sites that are easily accessible from the beach.

Second, on one end of the cove is an inlet that divides the place into two parts: Beach 1 and Beach 2. Occupying the southern half is Beach 1, the part immediately after the entrance on the other side of Aquaria Water Park. This is the quieter side. Beach 2 is the northern half, just next to Stilts Calatagan. This is where the restrooms stand and the island hopping boats are stationed.

Third, it is adequately staffed. A lifeguard is stationed at the beach. He also calls out anyone who might be doing something dangerous in the water. A maintenance crew is also assigned in many areas throughout the site. You can approach them if you need anything, like if you need to find a boat for island hopping. They remind day trippers when their time is up and what time the bus bound for Manila is leaving. They also keep the site clean and trash-free.


How to Get to Manuel Uy Beach Resort from Manila

Manuel Uy Beach Resort is only three to four hours away from Manila, depending on traffic conditions. Here’s how to reach it by public transportation.

  1. Travel to MRT Taft Station along EDSA, where you can catch buses bound for Calatagan (4am-4pm). You can also take a van at the basement parking of Metropoint Mall on the other side of EDSA. I haven’t really tried the bus, but I had taken the van to Calatagan a few times before. Travel time: 3 hours. Van fare is P180.
  2. Alight near Calatagan Public Market or anywhere in the town proper.
  3. Charter a tricycle to Manuel Uy Beach. Travel time: 20 minutes. Fare: P200 (good for up to 4 pax).

You might want to take the number of your tricycle driver or arrange to be picked up because in this area, it’s hard to find one to take you back to the town proper.



Day Tour vs Overnight Stay

It is possible to arrive in and leave Manuel Uy Beach on the same day and still have a great time, even if you’re coming from Manila. The place isn’t that big and the island hopping takes only a couple of hours. However, to maximize your stay, leave Manila as early as you can. If you leave at 6am, you’ll arrive at around 9am, go on a boat tour, have lunch, and leave at 3pm, just in time to catch the 4pm return bus.

If you want a more relaxed stay, you can camp out and spend the night here. It also gives you time to see the Punta de Santiago Lighthouse or do a day trip to Stilts Calatagan.

There is a time limit:

  • Day trip: 5am to 5pm only.
  • Overnight stay:5am to 12 noon the next day only.

Manuel Uy Beach Resort Rates

Entrance Fees

DAY TOUR

  • Adult: P100
  • Senior Citizen: P71
  • Children (6 years old and below): FREE

OVERNIGHT STAY

  • Adult: P200
  • Senior Citizen: P142
  • Children (6 years old and below): FREE

Rental Fees

  • Table and chairs: P250 for 1 table and 2 long benches
  • Tent Rental (up to 4pax): P500
  • Grill Station: FREE
  • Shower and Restroom: FREE
  • Power bank for rent: P50
  • Electric stove for rent: P50
  • Rice cooker for rent: P50

Parking Fees

  • Motorcycle: P20
  • Car: P100
  • Van: P100
  • Bus: P200


Where to Stay

Camping Fees

Camping is the name of the game at Manuel Uy Beach Resort. Just set up a tent and you’re good to go. There are no rooms that you can rent.

If you bring your own tent, you’ll need to pay the campsite fee. The rates vary according to the size of the tent (or the number of occupants).

  • 1-4 persons: P150
  • 5-10 persons: P250
  • 11-15 persons: P600
  • 16-20 persons: P800

If you don’t have a tent, you can rent one at the resort. It costs P500 per night (good for up to 4 pax).


Calatagan Beach Resorts

But if you really want to stay in an air-conditioned room, there are other better furnished resorts in Calatagan. Here are some of them.


Things to Do at Manuel Uy Beach

  • Island Hopping. From the resort, you can join a group tour. The rates are P200 per hour and P100 per additional island. There are usually 2 stops: Starfish Island and Sand Bar. Hence, the common cost of the tour is P300 per head. But if you’re alone or a party of two, you can charter a “special” boat tour for P850.
  • Go swimming or snorkeling. Calatagan’s shallow waters make it safe for kids (but please watch them still and don’t let them go too far from the shore). You can take dip or just have fun in the water. You can also rent a goggle for only P50.
  • Watch the sunset. The resort faces west so expect a spectacular sunset!
  • Stargazing. If you choose to spend the night here, download a stargazing app. The one I use is GoSkyWatch, which can identify the stars, planets and constellations.
  • Stilts Calatagan Day Tour. Just next to Manuel Uy Beach is Stilts Calatagan, a pricey resort with three beaches. But you can visit on a day tour for a much lower rate, at P385 per head. Doing so will allow you to enjoy not just their beach but also some of the resort’s amenities like the pool. However, the rooms on stilts are off limits to day trippers.
  • Calatagan Lighthouse. At the very end of the cape where Manuel Uy Beach is located stands Punta de Santiago Lighthouse (also known as Cape Santiago Lighthouse, Calatagan Lighthouse, or simply Parola). You can drop by on your way back to the town proper. Just add P50 to the fare.

Sample Manuel Uy Beach Itineraries

A closer look at Punta de Santiago Lighthouse

Below are two sample itineraries with breakdown of expenses. The first is for a day tour, and the other for an overnight stay. Please note that both itineraries assume you’re a group of 4 people, splitting the costs of some items and bringing your own food.

Day Tour Itinerary

The itinerary below is just a sample. Feel free to make the necessary adjustments if you have other needs and preferences.

06:00 am – Bus to Calatagan, P180
09:30 am – Buy food at Calatagan Public Market, P100
10:00 am – Tricycle to Manuel Uy Beach, P50 (P200/4pax)
10:30 am – Pay Calatagan Environmental Fee, P30
10:35 am – Arrival at Manuel Uy Beach, Entrance: P100
11:00 am – Island hopping: P300
12:30 nn – Lunch
01:30 pm – Swim
03:00 pm – Pack up, trike to town proper, P50 (P200/4pax)
04:00 pm – Travel back to Manila, P180

If you follow this itinerary, prepare to shell out at least P990 (USD20, EUR16, SGD26).

Overnight Itinerary

This itinerary will give you more time to enjoy the beach. Bring your own water and snacks.

DAY 1
06:00 am – Bus to Calatagan, P180
09:30 am – Buy food at Calatagan Public Market, P150
10:00 am – Tricycle to Manuel Uy Beach, P50 (P200/4pax)
10:30 am – Pay Calatagan Environmental Fee, P30
10:35 am – Arrival at Manuel Uy Beach, Entrance: P200
10:50 am – Pitch tent, Camp Fee: P37.5 (P150/4pax)
11:00 am – Lunch
01:30 pm – Island hopping: P300
03:30 pm – Rest
05:30 pm – Watch sunset
07:00 pm – Dinner
09:00 pm – Sleep

DAY 2
06:30 am – Morning swim
08:00 am – Freshen up, pack up
09:00 am – Tricycle to Lighthouse, P12.5 (P50/4pax)
09:30 am – Tricycle to town proper, P50 (P200/4pax)
10:00 am – Travel back to Manila, P180

This itinerary will set you back P1290 (USD25, EUR21, SGD33) excluding other possible miscellaneous expenses like snacks.

If you have your own ride and you have more time, considering trying one of the popular restaurants in Nasugbu like Kainan sa Dalampasigan or El Cocinero by Chef Arnaldo on your way back to Manila. You can also make a stop in Tagaytay.

You can further bring down the cost of either itinerary if you form a bigger group.


More Tips for the Poor Traveler

  • Bring aqua shoes. Or at least, bring sturdy flip-flops. Although the exposed part of the beach is sandy, the bed beneath the waves is a bit rocky! It can get difficult to walk barefoot.
  • Leave no trace. Don’t leave trash on the beach. Whatever you bring to the place, take them with you when you leave. Leave nothing but footprints!
  • Use coral-friendly sunscreen. A study conducted by Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology revealed that many sunblock products contain chemicals like oxybenzone, benzophenone, and parabens that are harmful to marine life. Choose brands that do not contain these chemicals.
  • Swimming is allowed only between 6:30am and 5:30pm. You can’t swim at night. If it’s high tide when you arrive, take advantage of it and swim. When the low tide kicks in, the water can get so shallow. At low tide, the water level is only knee-deep at the far end of the swimming area.
  • Drop by Calatagan Public Market to buy food and just prepare them on the beach. Use of the resort’s grilling station is free of charge.
  • Bring a hat, light scarf/wrap or anything that can protect you from the sun. Island hopping boats don’t have a tarp cover so you’re pretty exposed to the sun.
  • Pay the P30 tourism/environmental fee that is collected before entering the resort.


Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to visit Manuel Uy Beach?

November to March, if you want to avoid the crowd. It’s popular among local (Batangas) tourists too, so it can get crowded on weekends.

When it gets too crowded, the management stops accepting guests. If you want to avoid this, avoid the weekend and arrive early.

If you can’t help going on weekend, have a Plan B just in case you’re refused entry. You can try other coves in Calatagan, but unfortunately I haven’t tried anything else other than neighboring Stilts Resort (entrance fee: P350 for day tour + corkage fee).

Are there shower rooms and restrooms in Manuel Uy Beach Resort?

YES. They’re located on Beach 2 and another one is being constructed on Beach 1.

The Beach 2 restrooms have several cubicles inside a concrete building. There are also dozens of showers outside that you can use. In order to avoid long queues, you’re encouraged to use the showers outside and then change inside.

Are there places to eat nearby?

The best way is to bring your own food. U didn’t see any carinderia or eatery anywhere near the resort.

Can we bring in food from outside?

YES. You’re encouraged to do that because aside from a small sari-sari store, there is no other source of food on site.

Can we cook inside Manuel Uy Beach Resort?

YES. There is a designated grilling area with a dozen grill stations next to two lanes of sinks, where you can wash dishes or clean some of your ingredients.

You’re also allowed to bring in portable butane stove.

Are bonfires allowed at Manuel Uy Beach Resort?

NO, bonfires are prohibited. You cannot cook directly on the beach. Use the designated grill stations if you need to cook something or bring a portable butane stove.

Are drones allowed at Manuel Uy Beach?

NO, not anymore. When we first visited, it was still allowed. The staff were with us when we flew our drone. However, when we returned in September 2018, drones are no longer allowed. Not sure why, but it is prohibited. You’ll be given a slip with all the rules.

Anything else we should bring?

Sunscreen and insect repellant lotion. I have to say, the very first time I contracted Dengue fever was here in Calatagan. That was eons ago, but I still highly encourage you to protect yourself from mosquitoes.

Bring water shoes or sturdy slippers because some parts underwater are rocky.

What time is the last trip back to Manila?

Some say the last trip bound for Manila is at 4pm, others say it’s at 6pm. I’m not sure which one’s right. I forgot to confirm at the terminal. 😞

Photos by Vins Carlos


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Yoshke Dimen

Yoshke Dimen

Storyteller at Yoshke.com
Yoshke is a part-time digital marketing consultant, part-time travel blogger, and full-time dreamer. He has three passions in life: social media, travel, and --- wait for it --- world peace. Yoshke has won 3 PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS and received 9 nominations. Learn more about his personal journeys at Yoshke.com.
Yoshke Dimen

Comments

  1. Jessagem says:

    H, anong oras po first trip ng van going to Calatagan? Thanks!

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Anggie, I’m not sure, pero parang pwede kung maliit lang. May nakita akong may maliit na kalan pero di ko matandaan kung dito or sa Nasugbu yun, huhu.

  2. Rose says:

    HI! You’re sample itinerary for overnight states the entrance fee is 100. I thought the overnight rate is 200? Please clarify. Thanks.

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Rose! Yep, it should be P200. Will update this. Good catch!

  3. LOEY says:

    can i ask if theres a resort there that has no entrance fee but we will pay in rooms instead

  4. Yanyan says:

    Super thank you on your review! We’re planning our trip there this year and your post really help me a lot! More reviews to come! Cheers!

  5. Yanyan says:

    By the way, meron din ba dito mga Adventure katulad ng Sandbar and Mangrove tour or need pa namin mag-avail sa Stilts nung package nila?

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Merong island hopping din dito, magsa-stop sa Sandbar and Starfish Island. Yung mangrove tour, di ko alam, parang wala.

      • Yanyan says:

        May idea ka ba kung magkano yung package nila ng Island hopping? Saan kami pwede makapag inquire? Thanks.

        • Yoshke Dimen says:

          Not sure if may “packages” sila, but their island hopping rates are pretty straight forward, per person per stop. I mentioned the rates in the post.

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Not sure if it’s allowed, Beverly. But we saw a lot of dogs at the resort.

  6. Jerick Villapando says:

    Pano pag namiss namin yung bus going back to Manila, should we just wait sa bus nadadaan? I just want to know some options. Thank you!

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Go pa rin sa terminal and ask if meron pang bus. Or try nyo rin yung van.

  7. Ruth says:

    Hello dear, may byahe pa ba ng tricycle if ever umalis kame dito sa metro point ng 5PM? Malamang makarating kame don ng gabi na, may byahe paba pa manuel uy?

  8. phoebe kim says:

    nabasa ko po sa ibang vlog na yung Cr dw po walang harang na pader tela lng dw po harang totoo po ba?

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Sementado naman. Baka dati ganun, pero nung nagpunta kami, sementado naman ung CR.

  9. jessica candela says:

    Hello. ask ko lang po what time po ung first trip going back to manila please. thankyousomuch=) . were planning going to manuel uy this coming friday .

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Jessica, we recently dropped by the bus terminal and according to the staff, the first trip leaves Calatagan between 3:30am and 4am.

  10. D says:

    hi Yoshke – how is the water this Sept? Calm naman? Ma eenjoy naman? 🙂 Thank you for sharing the information, very helpful!

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Calm naman. And dahil pag low tide mababaw lang talaga yung water, may tendency na maging murky. Hindi naman sya madumi, wala namang basura kasi well-maintained naman. OA lang talaga sa babaw pag low tide.

  11. Yum says:

    Hello. Nabanggit po na if it is crowded we will be refused for entry? Can we have a reservation OR what is the earliest time na dapat kami makarating doon to avoid na marefused entry?

  12. Jepoy says:

    May contact po kayo na nakuha sa kahit sino katiwala sa manuel uy? Para kung sakali po eh matawagan or text namin before kami pumunta 🙂 salamat po

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