Monday, April 14, 2014

Pico de Loro Beach and Its Underwhelming Dining Experience

Afternoons in Pico de Loro bristled. The heat percolated around the windless terrain that the short hike from the hotel going to the beach turned a bit uncomfortable. I should have brought my sunglasses or a cap because even the healthiest eyes have limits to the amount of sunlight they can take in. The hotel guard did suggest I wait for the free ride, but me being the "seasoned traveler", rebuffed the valid suggestion. If I could tackle simmering Bagan (Myanmar), why not tropical Nasugbu? Such arrogance indeed. :)

The 1.5 kilometers stretch of beach was interesting, with the cove languorously beckoning westward. There's a red-and-white lighthouse standing on a cliff, probably the one from Barangay Ilingan. There's a wooden pathway that stretches close to the water and goes eastward up a hill to where the chapel looms like a breakable glass. At the base of the northern hill, a restaurant could be seen. Few souls have ventured into the waters, but by late afternoon, people would gradually, expectedly show up to enjoy the ocean.
The sand isn't "white" by any measure, although from the elevated hills, it did have that illusion. It's more golden, to be dramatic about it.

While there's a very visible volume of lifeguards at the Club House, there's none to be seen here, although they're probably incognito. But the waves are mild and look safe most time of the day. Still, caution is a better option than regret, go ask the parent who lost a child from drowning? Am I being morbid? You see, caution is never bad.


In the evening, I decided to partake dinner at the buffet spread by the beach. I decided on buffet because a la carte dining felt limited for its price so why not up the ante for all that's available, right? I didn't realize this until then that dining by candlelight is actually "dark". I asked for those bite-sized candles but they hardly made any difference. It's probably one of the darkest, dimmest dining experiences I've had in my life. There goes the romantic notion, right?

Food was so-so at best, which was a huge let down, considering the price. The tastiest in the whole spread is the Batangas "atchara" (pickled green papaya relish), I had to come back for it thrice. And if that's the best to be mentioned in a buffet spread, isn't that pathetic? After all, atchara isn't main course. Post-mortem, I read up some "reviews" about Pico's beachside buffet just to find out if it was just a "bad culinary night" for me, but lo and behold, "Foursquare" had a consensus, i.e. that their buffet has "terrible food". One can probably overcome lousy food by compensating with quantity, but "more of bad food" only spells indigestion.

This is the Eye in the Sky!

There's a lighthouse up the hill.

From the chapel by the hill to the sea.

Beachside restaurant

My gastronomic haul from the buffet table. The only good thing about this is the atchara so I didn't come back for more. Well, I did return for the atchara. Does that count?

Dinner by the beach is a dim dining experience. I should have picked one of the restaurants of the hotel. 

Pico Sands Hotel front desk and lobby.
Pico de Loro Introduction -

Glass Chapel by the Hill in Pico de Loro -

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