To celebrate our son's third birthday, me and my husband decided to go out-of-town for a family vacation. Last year, we did the same thing and celebrated his birthday at The Manor in Camp John Hay in Baguio. For his third birthday, I suggested that we go to the beach. We considered flying out to Cebu or Bohol, but since I'm already 7 months pregnant, we chose a resort that is nearer to Manila.
We finally chose to book for a 2 nights stay in Pico De Loro in Nasugbu, Batangas. We have stayed in the resort before when Caleb was 9 months old and we did not mind coming back. In fact, we liked the place very much because it is exclusive (not too crowded), accessible to Manila (only a 2-hour drive via Ternate, Cavite) and most importantly family and kid-friendly.
Pico de Loro Beach and Country Club is exclusive to members and residential owners, while their hotel, Pico Sands is open to guests. We availed of their corporate rate through my husband's employer. A 2 nights stay at their Superior Lagoon View (with 1 queen-sized bed) costs P16,000 inclusive of buffet breakfast for 2 persons, F&B credit for P2,000, 10% discount on their spa and access to the country club and Pico Beach.
Because we booked weeks in advance and checked-in on a weekday, they gave us a corner room with 2 balconies. Their rooms are cozy, clean and simple, but quite spacious. It is equipped with a LCD TV with Cignal HD channels, a small fridge, the usual hotel amenities, 2 bath robes and safety deposit box.
On our first day at the resort, we took Caleb to Club Pico. For just a P100 fee (weekday rate for guests), kids can enjoy unlimited play time. Caleb pretended to be an American Ninja Warrior while he climbed up, hurdled the obstacles and sneaked out of the holes. It was a challenging course for a three year old, but he enjoyed every moment of it!
After his play time, we took a dip in the pool at the Pico Country Club. There were different pools to choose from, but we ended up in the pool with the fountains. While Randy was giving Caleb swimming lessons, I used the pool's fountain as hydrotherapy to massage my aching back. What a perfect way for a pregnant mommy to relax!
Our second day in Pico was Caleb's birthday. To make it special, we prepared three simple surprises for him. As soon as he got up from bed, we gave him his first surprise. Caleb opened his gift with much thrill and excitement! It may just be a simple gift, but the joy in his eyes was absolutely priceless! As it turned out, his gift - a big magnetic drawing board came in handy because it kept him busy while we were in the hotel room.
Prior to our stay, I requested for a small cake which the Pico De Loro staff gladly arranged to be delivered in our room. When I announced surprise #2 to him, Caleb was just ecstatic! We sang him a Happy Birthday and he blew the candle with so much joy and appreciation. Too bad, we were not able to take a picture of it, but my husband captured that sweet moment on video. After blowing the candle he embraced both of us and kept repeating I love you, I love you. We never expected how much that simple gesture meant to our little boy.
After breakfast, we went for a stroll around the lagoon to take pictures. Next, we headed to the beach for a day of frolic in the sun and sand! Much to our disappointment, it rained a lot while we were at the beach. But not even the rain can stop our celebrant from having fun. He was just content playing with his excavator, bulldozer and dump truck in the sand. The little rain left us enjoying the beach to ourselves. How sweet of God!
Still full from our buffet breakfast, we had a light lunch at The Reef Bar by the beach. After a quick rest in the afternoon, Caleb requested to play again in Club Pico.
We went to Pico Restaurant at the hotel for dinner. Randy ordered Spaghetti Carbonara and Spaghetti Amatriciana for me while Caleb chose Fried Chicken with fries. We were very much satisfied with the food and service at the hotel. Food was delicious and the waiting staff were friendly and courteous. For hotel food, I would say that their prices are also quite reasonable.
|Spaghetti Amatriciana, P375|
|Fried Chicken w/ Fries, P300|
The next day, we checked out after breakfast and headed back to Manila. Randy took the route via Ternate which saved us an hour of travel time, considering the heavy traffic in Tanza, Cavite. Just when Caleb thought his birthday was over, I announced that surprise #3 is waiting for him on his bed.
For his main birthday present, we got him an Emco construction block set. Our little engineer was over the moon as he and his daddy assembled the trucks and construction site.
Our son had the time of his life! I was also glad that we were able to take this much needed vacation before I give birth in a couple of months. Seeing our son so happy is a precious blessing. Truly, God is faithful! It was a simple celebration, but one that is memorable and special. And for a child, quality time spent with mommy and daddy is all that matters.