During the labor day weekend, some friends and I went to Portulano Dive Resort to get our diving certifications. Portulano is a small resort located in Anilao, Batangas. It is approximately 2 hours away from Manila. The drive is easy and you will not really encounter traffic unless there is a fiesta in one of the towns you pass through. Portulano itself is not accessible by car. What guests do is either get dropped off or park their cars at the Portulano enclosed parking area. From Portulano's parking, Portulano has a boat that ferries its guests to and from the resort.
The first thing I noticed and loved about the resort was that it did not stick out. The resort looks like it's part of the landscape. There aren't too many rooms, so it's best to reserve in advance (usually, this resort is fully booked). They have rooms with air conditioning and rooms without. I chose to reserve a room without air conditioning. At first I was worried because it might be hot, but surprisingly there was a great breeze. Also, since the resort is small and multi-level all the rooms have a great view!
Aside from the rooms, there is a dining area and a veranda area. You'll find this on the 2nd floor. It's nice to relax a the veranda and just chat with friends. Portulano also has a game room, which you can find on the 3rd floor. In the game room there is a ping pong table, a billiards table and a dart board. There are also board games. Also on the 3rd floor is an area with hammocks, perfect for afternoon naps. On the ground floor is a pool where you can hang out and where the dive masters conduct their contained water dives. Warning though, the pool is filled with salt water!
Aside from the amenities, the staff is friendly. They are all accommodating and always have smiles on their faces. Service is prompt, food is good. Portulano doesn't feel like a commercial establishment, it feels like home. You will see the owners Carmela and Arnel walking around, talking to friends, guests and getting ready to dive. You'll also see their son hanging around the resort.
As to the diving part, their dive masters are great! The equipment was well maintained and renting equipment from them was easy as pie. Dive sites were great, very mild currents and perfect for beginners.
Can't wait to go back!
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