A phone call awakened me one Thursday morning. The details are hazy now (as with all phone calls answered, text messages and e-mails read and replied to when I’m half-awake), but I recalled being asked if I was able to go to Hamilo Coast, SM Land’s exclusive enclave in Nasugbu, Batangas. I had to decline — I work Friday nights, just as people are starting to enjoy their weekend. He hung up and I went back to sleep.
When I woke up later that afternoon, I had to ask myself if I dreamt that conversation. A text message confirmed that I didn’t. It was Niel again, asking if I can still join them if they arrange a van to pick me up in Makati on Saturday morning. Why not, I asked myself. Might as well go since they were making all these effort for me.
I went straight to Makati after work on Saturday morning for the van going to Batangas. The drive was a little over 3 hours to Nasugbu, but if you’re to take the ferry from SM Mall of Asia, travel time from Manila drops down to just 90 minutes.
We were dropped off at the Pico Sands Hotel, part of the Pico de Loro community in Hamilo Coast. Aside from the hotel, there is also the Country Club and eight condominium buildings built around a man-made lagoon, bordered by a mountain range with a view of the sea. I can go on and wax poetic about the place, but the bottomline is, this place is very very pretty.
After putting our bags down in our room and freshening up, we hopped on a shuttle to the Pico de Loro Beach Club, where the Hamilo Regatta is taking place. About a dozen Hobie 16’s were bobbing in the waters, battling with the waves and the wind. Despite being in Boracay the weekend prior, I was elated to be back at the beach. Hazel and I picked a beach hut and sprawled in the lounge chair. There’s something about the beach and Hamilo Coast that compels you to relax and take it easy. It took a lot of willpower to peel ourselves from the lounge and join the others for a tour of the Country Club’s facilities, which includes a tennis court, indoor basketball, volleyball, badminton and racquetball courts, swimming pool, bowling lanes, billiard tables, game room, KTV booths, children’s activity area and a ballroom that can accommodate up to 500 guests.
We trooped back to the hotel to rest after the tour. Making the most of our stay in Pico Sands, we scheduled for a foot massage in the hotel’s Rain Spa. Refreshed and (sort-of) recharged, we headed back to the Beach Club for dinner. The Sun Coral Cafe serves a selection of local and international favorites, with indoor and outdoor dining facilities. The Pico de Loro Beach Club also features a Kultura Boutique, which came especially handy as our supposed day trip turned into an overnighter. Let this be a lesson to me: don’t answer phone calls while sleeping.
Our room at the Pico Sands Hotel has two queen-sized beds, LCD TV with cable, coffee and tea service, mini-bar and a balcony with a gorgeous view of the lagoon, the Jacana condominium and the mountains. The best thing about the trip was sitting out in the balcony, talking and sharing stories, taking in the view, enjoying the tranquility. Not a bad way to spend the weekend.