Sunday, March 30, 2008

Travel Photography: Subic Sweet Water Beach Resort

I've previously shared with you several instances of my travels around the Philippines. This is the latest in the series, I guess. Hahaha.

It's summer time, and what better place to go than the beach? Because of insistent public demand (well, more like glowing reviews from beach goers from certain forums), we decided to go to Subic Sweet Water Beach Resort. And I gotta say, this particular place is probably one of the best beaches I've been to lately, if not one of the best beaches I've been to period.

Don't let the name fool you though. It might be called a resort, but it's really not (well, technically it really is but...). I'd say, it's more of a haven actually. I home away from home, away from all the hustle and bustle and stress that the over-commercialized Subic Bay freeport area represents. It's fine and nearly white sand, it's breath-taking vistas, cool and surprisingly not so salty water (my personal estimation compared to some beaches I've been to, probably where it got its name), and gracious staff make the trip out of town well worth it.

view from room sweet water beach saturated sweet water beach with boat

I'm told that the resort was and pretty much is a private rest-house. Due to it's under-utilization, the owners have decided to share their bounty with the world at large, and what bounty they have! The sand, the surf, and that sunset...

sweet water sunset1 sweet water sunset2 sweet water sunset3

If you're looking for a vacation somewhere quiet, and aim for the relaxation and lazy days that a cool breeze, fine sand and wonderful location could possibly afford, I'd say that Subic Sweet Water Beach Resort is the place for you.

Panoramic View of Sweet Water Beach
Panoramic view of Sweet Water Beach (click for bigger version)


No, they haven't got a website yet, but they do have a friendster account. For reservations, best to call 09178507292. When you get to the resort, do take the time to get to know the staff. :) They'll be your best friends from there.

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ETC...

Directions:
  1. Get your butts to Subic. Either you take the more scenic route, via San Fernando and along the National Highway (you'll pass through San Fernando, Bacolor, Guaga, Lubao and Dinalupihan), or via the SCTEX (which by the time of this writing, has yet to open) which pretty much gets you to Subic quicker.
  2. From Subic, follow the signs pointing to Ocean Adventure. This road will take you past the airport, FedEx, and lead you towards the Morong Gate. The drive towards the Morong Gate will see you passing a fire station to your right.
  3. Exit Morong gate and drive straight through, following signs for Anvaya Cove. You will encounter a fork in the road, with the main road going up the mountain, and the road to Subic Sweet Water (and other small resorts) will be going down to your right. The Tarp they have at this juncture is torn so keep your eyes peeled. You'll pass a small church to your right, and come upon a gate with the Subic Sweet Water resort tarp. Enter the gate, drive straight through. There you are! :)
Sidenotes and Factoids:
  • The cast and crew of Kamandag shot an episode at Subic Sweet Water.
  • Roxanne Guinoo's white-castle commercial was also shot here.
  • I heard that some Marimar episodes were also done at this beach. :P
  • At certain points in the year, Marine turtles come to lay their eggs on the beach. If you do find a nest, please leave it alone! :)
Don't:
  • Don't leave your trash on the beach. The cove's pretty clean and I'm sure the resort owners as well as other beach-goers would appreciate that it stays that way.
  • Don't park under a coconut tree heavily laden with fruits! :) Don't tempt fate. If you do, don't say I didn't warn you.
Do:
  • Book in advance. I heard the place was fully booked for the weekends of March, though I'm not quite sure what the April schedule is like.
  • Try to go during a weekday and not on a weekend. If isolation and relaxation's your aim, weekday overnights are preferable. Let them know when you'll be arriving though so they can prepare for you properly.
  • Take the SCTEX to Subic (we weren't able to). It's new, and faster than the usual route. It officially opens for business this April.
  • Enjoy! Relax! Have fun!

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

hi, how to get to Subic Sweet water via public transport? would you know? We'll be coming from Manila.Thanks.

Kathy

jace_bu said...

i'm not quite sure about public transpo from Manila, though I'm sure you'd be able to get a bus from the Cubao area (I think) to Olongapo, I just don't know which station or what bus line. and as far as commuting to the resort itself from subic...

well, i wouldn't say it's impossible, but it's very very very very very difficult. the only vehicles that really ply the route from subic to the area of the resort are private ones, or minibuses that locals use. and we didn't see many of those when we went. i only saw one even if we made the trip from the resort to subic and back several times. i think your best bet would be to rent a vehicle instead. :)

good luck!

Anonymous said...

thanks a lot for sharing this!
I'm in touch with Mr. Paolo now, and will convince our outing committee to have our outing here this May. Looks like it's a serene quiet place...thanks again!... amor

jace_bu said...

hi amor! you're very welcome! :)

i hope your committee is open to having your outing on weekdays as i'm told that weekends are fully booked! :) the good thing about that would be that you won't have much in the way of kaagaw at the resort or surrounding recreational areas! :)

enjoy!

cheryl said...

hi! how much is the entrance fee and the cottage or room for the month of november 1-2? and for jan 1-2?

jace_bu said...

hey cheryl,

i'm pretty sure they don't charge an entrance fee, nor can i give you a price list for cottages for those dates. :) best to coordinate with paolo. :) call or text him at 09178507292

since those are peak dates, i wish you luck! :D

jace

carlamaldita said...

very nice pictures!
looking for a beach getaway and this is perfect!

jace_bu said...

:) glad you liked them. :) recently revisited the place with photographer friends. i'll see if i can post some more pics. :)

thanks for the feedback!

zah said...

We went there last week. The place is great! Check out our pictures at my multiply account.

Anonymous said...

We just had our company outing there yesterday. Sad to say, it was an awful experience. The place was not clean, it was full of garbage left by the guests. Don't try using the public toilets if you have weak stomach. The showers had no water pressure, we had to use "tabo". The sand in the shore was almost black and the waves were really rough. The water was murky so I decided not to take a dip.

The road leading the resort is unpaved and muddy. Better not bring your kids there.

jace_bu said...

hi Anonymous 04.19.09 (i will call you such as you commented on this date)

thanks for your comment. i'm sad to hear that your experience at Subic Sweet Water was such a negative one. i hope you don't put the blame on the resort or its care takers, like you said, the mess was left by the guests. i would assume that the same guests used the restrooms as well.

as guests of any resort (home or any establishment for that matter), i believe we should all be responsible for how we behave where we travel (mess clean-up is a must as far as i'm concerned).

i hope they get to sort out the water issue soon. :) with regards to the muddy road and murky water... well, you can't really account for the weather or the tide. last time we were there (Sept. 1 - 2, 2008) the water was ok, not perfect and clear (only still waters will give you that) but not dirty. :) the farther you wade out from shore, the better. and the road was dusty dry.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mhickharl10 said...

hi how much will it cost po b if we're 15-20pax? we're planning to ho there on april30-may1... i will wait for your reply.. thank you in advance..

jace_bu said...

Hey mhickharl10,

Thanks for reading the blog entry. I may have blogged about it but I don't own the resort. :) try calling the owner. His number is in the blog entry. His name is Paolo.

Have fun!

Anonymous said...

With the contact number given to with this blog, it made our weekend DISASTER.

Mr. GIAN PAOLO DELA CONCEPCION owns the number. He accepted our reservation a week before our planned overnight, with 50% downpayment. As we reached the place on the reserved day, care takers said there was no reservation under my name. I tried to call Mr. Gian several times but he didnt answered. His care takers dont even give as any sign of accommodation, with the feeling of annoyance. We ended up going home with a 4hr travel, so hungry and wasted. He wasted our weekend which was suppose to be our time to relax and escape from stress. He even didnt care to call me to apologize for the incident.

Also, the other anonymous comment was correct, the facilities were so dirty and seem not to be maintained properly; We saw the foams (used as beddings) outside and used by cats and dogs. We asked for a wash room or comfort room, they cant point as to anywhere, then they lead us to a small messy cubicle where in you need to hold on the door so as not to open. The parking space was so dusty, the kids with us kept on sneezing and their eyes got irritated.

Bottomline, dont ever try to transact with this MR. GIAN PAOLO, he might repeat the incident with you and make your vacation a day of frustration.

He was just lucky to have the good beach infront of his disastrous place.

jace_bu said...

I'm so sorry to hear that you had such a bad experience at Subic Sweetwater resort. I've sent your comment to Paolo. Hopefully we can get a favorable resolution to this.

It would help if you could give me your name and contact details. You can reach me at jace.bulatao@gmail.com

I don't pretend to have any connection to the resort other than having enjoyed my stay there on the two occasions that I was able to go there. It's not a 5 star anything that's for sure, and I won't defend it as such, but that does need looking into.

I hope I can help you!

Thanks for your honesty in the matter though.

Chris said...

My friends and I took a 4 hour drive to subic last year. We were set for a nice vacation. We are not a very choosy bunch and we were'nt really looking for first-class accomodation but this place is below acceptable standards.

When we got there, it wasnt even close to any of the pictures we saw online. The cottage looked very creepy. The caretakers were all apathetic and the most disappointing thing was the sand, its very dirty and scattered all over the place are dogs and their poop.

We actually made arrangements before we went so we thought that the place would be ready when we get there. That wasnt the case. Out of dissatisfaction we left and looked for another resort.

Unless some major changes are made, all I can say is there would be other places in Subic you'd rather take your friends or family than this dump.

Anonymous said...

The place is really idyllic but the facilities are almost in total disrepair. I suggest that cleanliness, orderliness be maintained at all times especially the resthouses. The shoreline has to be cleaned too. Lot of work but that will bring in more guests and of course, more income...

chandra said...

The Panoramic view was excellent.. professional photography!


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Reggiemuffin said...

Thank you for the info. This was also suggested by my friend.

Unknown said...

I'm happy to say the owners seemed to have listened to the comments, as when we were there just last feb 28, place was relatively clean. The caretaker informed me all the villas were newly renovated and our accomodations were homey and comfortable. Our only gripe was my brother's car was lowered and part of the road was still gravel and not yet cemented. All in all though it is a really nice serene getaway, and we will be back! :)

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jcb said...

Hi Unknown. Thanks for dropping by with the update. The last time we were there, the place looked ok. :) Beach was clean. People helpful. We cooked our own food too. :)

Thanks for the positive comments!

Jan D said...

The facilities are really bad here. But the place, the beach, the sand, the trees are all perfect.

Everytime we go over (and we've been here 3 times already), we bring our own tent, our own mats and hammocks and setup somewhere FAR from the videoke machine.

They allow us to bring our golden retriever who loves to swim and she celebrated her 1st birthday there. See videos here:

https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=365333093495169

jason carlos bulatao said...

Hi Jan D. Just noticed your pending comment. But thanks for the input. The facilities are far from perfect. :) But again, it wasn't originally meant to be too publicly available.

Glad you guys had a great time. :)

Anonymous said...

We've been here over 7 times and we love the beach and the view! The facilities are adequate. They are rest houses, not hotel style resorts, keep that in mind and you'll be fine. We are looking forward to our return this April!

Jeshurun said...

Thanks man for this blog, its really informative. I am planning to go to Sweetwater this June with my family, despite all the comments. Our last beach experience was a disaster (see below), and I want to give it another try before the summer is totally over. In fact I'm already excited to see this Sweetwater, until I read the post mentioned about videoke, that they have to peg their tent far away from the videoke. I am dismayed.

I wish Sweetwater management will be more considerate to others who prefer a quiet surrounding, especially during times of vacation like this.

If I may have this pleasure of airing my side, speaking of Videoke in the beach: I'm too is exasperated with this unbridled and undisciplined videoke users. Maybe the beach owners can put the videoke machine in an isolated room so as to isolate those "wannabes", let them sing to their throat's contents without making the life of others miserable - those others who travel from far away to seek a moment of quietness and relaxation. I mean, guys, this is really serious. I've seen beautiful beaches ruined by some few irresponsible drunks who sing all day and all night who don't even give the slightest qualm what others would feel on their terrible noises. Our last expensive beach experience was a disaster because of this videoke! It was all noise! It ruined our precious time, money and family bonding opportunity. The moral is: be considerate with others.

Anonymous said...

Do they have phone signals there? An is the location or area safe? Thanks a lot!