Calatagan, Batangas – about 3.5 hours away from Manila sits one of my favorite places in Batangas! Beautiful sunset, gorgeous lighthouse, tree-lined highways, interesting snorkeling spots, and a SANDBAR. Yes, Calatagan has a lot of sandbars. But of course, them being sandbars, you need to know when is the right time to visit – because they disappear!

Last November, we visited Calatagan for the holidays. And we rented this floating house for a day.

Calatagan Floating House by Jessie Delos Reyes

Jessie is one of the volunteers we met during our trip to the Babuyan Islands, and he was the one who started these kinds of tours in his hometown, Calatagan.

The rent for a daytour is PHP 3000 for up to 12 persons. Then additional PHP 150/person if there are more than 12 (the boats can handle up to 35 persons).

Here are the inclusions:

-use of boat from 07:00AM – 04:00PM
-beds with uratexfoam, bedsheet, pillow & blanket
-comfort room with fresh water
-kitchen with 2 burner gas stove & kitchen utensils
-boatman and lifevest

We also rented his kayak for the day. It was less than PHP 1000, but I forgot the exact rate.

You can also rent this for the night, and the price difference isn’t that huge.

Because we went late, we were too late for the famous sandbar: White Sandbar, and another famous one called Starfish Island. We just waited for everyone to be ready before we left, and during that time, the tide was lowest in the morning, I think. So we missed it, but we were brought to other sandbars which we loved, too, because they’re more characteristic of Calatagan waters. The first one had lots of seagrass which our toddler absolutely loved. At first, he was hesitant, but I think he found it interesting that there’s grass under the water. Later on, we took a speedboat to another island where there were lots of soldier crabs! My toddler had so much fun watching them!

The island in the middle of this collage is the White Sandbar. We went there at another time. It’s worth checking out! Such a fun place for swimming.

My personal thoughts:
* I love the space this floating boat provides versus a regular boat. My toddler had fun going around. However, do watch out for protruding nails. I saw a few.
* It seems interesting to sleep here for the night. As a mom though, I would bring my own sheets, blankets, and pillow covers.
* There are plates and utensils provided, as well as some cooking tools. I would bring soap to wash them next time, though. They weren’t dirty but because I don’t think it was used for awhile, some of them were dusty.
* I love how the life jackets were complete, but just like many places in this country, there are no lifevests for toddlers. Just bring your own.
* I love how they have separate trash cans for biodegradable, and non-biodegradable. You can separate your trash from the onset, yey!
* We weren’t able to bring food (you can actually cook in the floating house, too!), but that would be a great addition next time.
* Don’t forget to bring reef-friendly sunblock and aqua shoes. Some areas have lots of sea urchins.
* When you book, make sure to find out when the low tide is, and express that you really want to see the white sandbar as well as Starfish Island. If you want to see the soldier crabs, tell them, too. It was Jessie’s brother who took us around. They don’t have names for the islands where they took us.
* The rate is actually very reasonsable. The boat can carry up to 35, but I wouldn’t stretch the number to that many. I suggest 20 persons maximum.

This is Starfish Island. We also visited this on another day, with another company (it’s a typical boat, not floating house). This is smaller than the White Sandbar, but hanging out is best done in this area – soft sand, clear water, lots of starfish (hence the name) — simply nice to take a dip and chill.

To book with Jessie, you may contact him directly here:

PS: He can also organize school trips for you!

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