When the beach beckons, the heart keeps yearning and the only way to temper it down is to just give in. Unlike our provincial counterparts who can hit the beach in less than an hour, Manila-based people are not that privileged. We can easily pack our bags but the road to relief will take us another 2 to 4 hours depending on your driver's skills.
Calatagan is one of the preferred beach spots because of its proximity to Manila and the selection of accommodations that it has to offer which ranges from the upscale to affordable camping sites. For those who are tight on the budget, the closure of Burot Beach for development was not the end of the camping stories of Calatagan. Another beach spot, Manuel Uy, quickly got attention because of the same offering that Burot once had. As a consequence, it draws the weekend crowd to the brim.
But there is a lesser known spot in Calatagan that offers the same and a foot better and without the crowd - Nano Beach Resort. The no-frills beach resort sits a few hundred meters below the Calatagan Lighthouse and stands between private lots owned by some of Manila's prominent personalities. The beach spot has “bahay-kubo” type of accommodation complete with beddings and electric fans and decent restroom and shower facilities.
Nano Beach Resort is a perfect beach spot in Calatagan without the crowd.
Nano is a perfect spot to beach bum!
If you are searching for a quick beach escape, Nano is a perfect spot. I guess chilling by the beach is best defined by this beach because there is nothing much to do except laze around its cream-colored sand and just bask in the sun. The place is simply laid back that with a couple of banana beds under the tree, some cool music playing in the background, and a round of drinks, our group was already enjoying the chill vibe of the beachfront resort.
Just like Burot Beach, the waters of Nano Beach is not a swim spot. The water level gets a little higher than your knee and that is just it, unless you walk further where the water level drops to the deep-blue kind. So do not expect to swim a lot although kids would definitely enjoy wading into its waters. Just make sure that you wear beach shoes or slippers as a precaution because its seafloor is covered with sea grass.
Nano and Its Amazing Sunset
By late afternoon, most of us already opted to take a stroll by the beach. Asher (IG: @payatnalaskwatero) was already enjoying the warm waters of Calatagan. We opted to head towards the part of the beach, opposite the direction of the lighthouse.
The shoreline of Calatagan is rugged and photogenic. There are a couple of trees that had taken its roots at the sea bed making the seascape more dramatic. In one spot, a hammock was installed between two trees by the waters and it is a favorite spot of most guests for their photos because of its creative atmosphere. Even our group spent a lot of time in the area.
Further down the beach are small privately owned coves that are still to be developed. There is a wharf that was constructed there but the sea already reclaimed the area where it once stood.
One thing that really stood out for me was the amazing sunset view of Nano Beach. The seascape and landscape, with the lighthouse on view, add drama to the fiery orange sun as it sets along the horizon of Calatagan. The view is just simply magical and allows you to play around with your creativity.
After giving myself a fill of sunset shots, I simply sat down to enjoy the breath-taking moment of watching one of nature’s amazing free shows.
Ang Nano at ang Parola
One can actually see the light beacon of the Cape Santiago or the Calatagan Lighthouse from Nano Beach. The century-old lighthouse is perched on an elevated parcel of land that overlooks the coastline of Calatagan. The lighthouse is just a 20-minute walk along the shoreline from Nano Beach Resort.
This is our second time to have come face-to-face with the Calatagan Lighthouse. The first was when we camped out at Burot Beach in 2016.
The Faro de Punta Santiago is a Spanish period lighthouse that started operations in 1890. The land on which the 51-feet round tower stands was donated by Don Santiago de Zobel hence the name of the lighthouse. The lighthouse, complete with its annexed building and fenced courtyard, is still operational to this day and guides sea vessels along the Verde Island Passage.
Apart from appreciating the historical structure, climbing up its old winding stairs to its light beacon is a thrilling and dizzying activity, especially for those who have fear of heights. You get to see the whole coastline of Calatagan from that vantage point. It gives you a bird’s eye view of Calatagan, the properties of prominent Filipinos, and its surrounding waters.
A visit to this historical landmark is a must when you find yourself in Calatagan. Just make sure that you coordinate with Kuya Junior, the lighthouse caretaker, on the best time to visit so you can maximize the Cape Santiago experience.
POST TRAVEL NOTES
When the beach beckons and you got to give in, Nano Beach is Calatagan is definitely a good option to camp out and experience that beach chill atmosphere. The place is laid back and a perfect weekend spot for that quick thrill of lounging around the sand, under the sun. And when boredom strikes, one can easily enjoy a stroll by the beach or a quick trek to Cape Santiago to enjoy history and scenery of Calatagan.
I guess the best part of the stay was that Nano Beach did not have the deluge of weekenders so we got to enjoy the place without the crowd and photo bombers. While everyone were trying to find their spot at the nearby beach, we were already settled and enjoying a crisp weekend in Nano.
O Nano pang hinihintay ninyo?
Getting There: The fastest and easiest way is to take a van to Calatagan. The terminal is at the back of Kabayan Hotel in Pasay City. Fare is at Php180. You can ask to be dropped off at the Calatagan Public Market. You can then take a tricycle from the public market to Nano Beach Resort.
Our tricycle and resort contact in Calatagan is Dominick Velilia who can arrange everything for you in Calatagan including a side trip to the Calatagan Lighthouse. You can reach him at (0926) 5457371.
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Marc del Rosario
I believe in education, entrepreneurship, and caring for the environment.