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Batangas is known for its breathtaking beaches that have been attracting hundreds of tourists each month.

Some of the well-known wonders of Batangas are Anilao, the jump-off point for dive sites, and Fortune Island that’s prominent for its Greek-inspired architectures. However, most accommodations in these sites are costly, which not everyone can afford.

The good news is I recently visited  a place in Batangas where you can have as much fun and adventure without breaking the bank!

Let me introduce to you Layag-Layag Island …. 

Photo of Clive Cuaresma

A few hours away from Manila, Layag-Layag is part of Barangay Papaya in Nasugbu Batangas. 

Layag-Layag Island Activities

Boat Ride
Witness amazing rock formations and feel the sea breeze in a half-an-hour boat ride before reaching your camp site. Your guide will provide you with life jackets which you will also use for your next adventures which are snorkeling and cliff jumping.

Photo by Clive Cuaresma

Photo by Clive Cuaresma

The first thing you want to do when you reach the camp site is to rest. Choose a perfect spot to build your tent and start preparing the food you will need for the rest of the day. You can’t rent tents there so be sure to bring your own. But I prefer just lying blankets on the sand to sleep.

Photo by Clive Cuaresma
Photo of Renz Antioquia
Photo by Renz Antioquia

The sand in Layag-Layag is white, and the water so clear you can see colorful little fishes swimming just by the shore line. Best to wear aqua shoes as the bottom can be rocky.
Photo of Renz Antioquia

If you prefer swimming in a less rocky and clearer water, there is this part of the beach which is partly hidden but worth the hunt.
Photo of Clive Cuaresma

Both swimmers and non-swimmers will definitely enjoy snorkelling! It may seem scary at the first try, because it feels entering a world you’ve never been before. But the reefs, fish and the rest of the underwater view are fascinating.
Photo by Shaira Camino
Snorkeling buddies; Photo of Renz Antioquia

There are nearby mountains which you can climb– just be sure to have someone with you who knows the route well.
Photo of Clive Cuaresma

Cliff Jumping
If you want to satisfy your adventure-hungry soul, go and try jumping off the cliff. It looks pretty scary, but all you need is courage. Leave everything behind, including fear. Take a leap and allow yourself to be embraced by the water.
Photo by Mariane Domingo

Photo by Mariane Domingo
Photo by Dianne Calosing

Fish Feeding
After swimming, it’s time to feed the fish! We brought a loaf of bread, which the schools of fishes enjoyed.
Photo of Dianne Calosing

How To Get There
From Buendia, Makati ride a bus bound to Nasugbu (3-hour trip)
(I suggest DLTB Co. bus terminal located in Taft avenue)
Ride a tricycle to get to Brgy. Papaya (30-minute trip)
The people there know about the beach; just ask where Layag-Layag is and they’ll help you get there.
Touch down at Brgy. Papaya; Photo of Rosselle Manuel
From here, it will take about an hour to reach your camp site.

P160-bus fare from Buendia to Nasugbu
P100-tricycle fare from Nasugbu to Brgy. Papaya
P350-2days, 1night Island Tour
(If you’re a group of more than 10 you will spend less because the tour costs P3,500 per group)
P500 –  food budget
P20 – eco-fee

What to bring
Toiletries (There is no shower or toilet in the island so make sure to bring all the essential hygiene products.)
Sleeping Bag 
Food and Water
Cellphone (The place has good mobile signal, so you can still keep in touch with family and friends.)

By Panahon TV Intern- Rosselle Manuel

pet care

The Hot and Dry Season is the perfect time to spend sunny days outdoors with friends and family, which, sometimes, include a furry companion or two. With beloved pets in tow, swimming and playing under the sun becomes more enjoyable. Still, it’s important to remember that like humans, animals are also susceptible to heat-related illnesses.

The expected rise in temperature in the following days may pose challenges to your pet’s well-being. At this time, watch out for potential dangers due to hot weather.

Swimming with Pets
This season, what better way to cool down than swimming? Although it is no secret that our canine friends enjoy swimming, not all dogs have mastered the doggie paddle. Here are some tips to keep your canine friends safe and healthy when taking a dip.

• It is best not to leave pets unsupervised around a pool or on the beach. Small dog breeds may have trouble swimming, so for Lassie’s sake, buy a flotation device to keep your pet safe.

• Prevent your dog from drinking pool water as chlorine and other chemicals may cause him an upset stomach.

• After swimming, rinse your dog with fresh water to remove chlorine or salt to avoid skin irritation.

• Just like people, dogs can have sunburn too with thin-coated and light-colored canines at higher risk. To prevent this, waterproof sunscreen formulated for pets are also available.

Know the Warning Signs: Dehydration and Heat Stroke
Dogs enjoy sitting in the sun as much as cats enjoy lounging in its warmth. However, too much exposure to extreme heat may cause dehydration and heat stroke.

Your furry friend is at risk for heat stroke if he has any of the following characteristics:
• very young
• very old
• has a heart or respiratory disease
• overweight
• short-nosed
• dark-colored,
• thick-coated
• not conditioned to prolonged exercise

Leaving your pet in the car during hot weather is a big no-no, not even with the windows slightly rolled down. This instance results to a rising body temperature of your pet, in which case heat stroke may occur.

Signs include:
• Excessive panting
• Rapid heartbeat
• Difficulty breathing
• Decreased urination
• Drooling
• Mild weakness
• Dry gums
• Excess lethargy
• Lack of coordination
• Refusal to eat
• Glazed eyes
• Seizures
• Bloody diarrhea
• Vomiting
• Unconsciousness

If any of the last four incidents happen, bring your pet to the vet immediately.

To avoid any of the above from happening, be sure to keep plenty of water available for your cat and dog at all times, both indoors and outside. Position them in a shady spot. Help them cool down with a few ice cubes in their water bowl, or even freeze some treats they can enjoy.

It’s all about the timing and street smarts
When the temperature is very high, sidewalks can very hot, capable of harming your pets’ paws and footpads. If you don’t like walking on that pavement with bare feet, limit your dog’s time on it, too.

Stay away from asphalt or rough pavement and only walk your dog in the early morning or late evening when outdoor surfaces are cool. Adjust the exercise routine you have with your canine in accordance with the temperature.

Time to have a trim
Just like any season of the year, grooming is important during warm weather. Feel free to have pet’s mane trimmed but never shave it. The layers of their coats protect them from sunburn and overheating. Your dogs and cats will also thank you for brushing their fur to get rid of matted or excess fur, which can contribute to overheating.

Visit the vet
Having your pets regularly checked is a must especially when parasites such as ticks, fleas and other insects are at their peak during the hot months. Your veterinarian will be able to give recommendations for safe flea and tick solutions.

Just like anyone in your family, your cats and dogs are susceptible to the dangers of hot weather. Protect them from too much sun and heat and you can still continue to have fun in the sun—together.