New Year’s Eve at Pico de Loro Beach and Country Club

Monday, January 22, 2018

Day 2 (December 31)

It’s New Year’s Eve and the least thing you want to do is to wake up early in the morning. I know Pico de Loro has a reason for this, but it’s such a HASSLE for guests to come back to the country club – at 9:00 AM – just to switch the arm band for a different color. Without having breakfast yet, all 15 of us had to leave our units and drop by at the reception area of the country club. I had to force myself for an early morning bath and walk just to get the arm band changed.

night swimming, infinity pool, coconut trees

I find it annoying too, that even my grandmother (who’s on a wheelchair and suffering from Alzheimer’s disease), had to be brought in the clubhouse just so the staff can see the exact persons on the guest list. After paying that much, here’s another rule that brought us inconvenience. It wouldn’t hurt to bring in their staff, knock on each unit, bring a guest list and check our names and hand our arm bands. After all, each building had receptionists and staff who could take a peek at the unit and see if there’s any unlisted guest. This was very inconsiderate of them. Anyway, we just let it go instead of ruining our moods. We headed to the Jacana unit to have our late breakfast and to spend some time with the family.

adult men and women, christmas tree, wheelchair at reception lobby
9:00 AM at the Country Club Reception of Pico de Loro just to get our arm bands changed. We requested if we can just get the arm band for my grandmother who's on a wheelchair, but they insisted that EVERYONE must be present at the reception lobby. They wouldn't even allow us to come by at a later time.
While our senior citizen family members are not into swimming and other water activities, what I appreciate is that there are other things to do at Pico de Loro for guests of all ages. There’s a basketball court, badminton courts, tennis courts, squash courts, gym, billiards, karaoke room, children's play area and game center. At the basement of the country club is a bowling center, which has six lanes (two were under maintenance when we visited). Of course as I was grabbing two pairs of socks at our Miranda unit (for me and my mother), my mother and uncle couldn’t wait to play. So when we arrived at the bowling area, she was already in perfect form and she already had socks on. Apparently, Pico de Loro sells a pair of socks for Php 110. The bowling alley is on a first come, first serve basis and costs Php 190 per person, per game (non-member rates). Tip: Bring extra socks to save Php 110. And come in early with the entire gang as the bowling lanes are limited.

bowling lanes, man playing bowling
woman playing bowling

I don’t know how my mother and uncles did it, but they played three straight games, while the rest of us adults could only play two (lol!). We even challenged the seniors to compete against us, but thankfully that didn’t happen or else we’ll be too ashamed with the results! My husband, my sister and I left the bowling alley first, for we were assigned to prepare lunch on that day.

Back in our unit at Miranda, my husband helped prepare the shrimps and bacon. I cooked buttered shrimps and Filipino-style carbonara, and prepared lettuce and apple salad. My mother finally went back to the unit and she helped in slicing the mushrooms and chopping the garlic, while my sister sliced the baguette and prepared toasted garlic bread.

It took us two hours to prepare and cook our lunch and I’m not sure why the electric stoves weren’t heating fast. Was it something to do with the power supply? Was it because the stoves weren’t being used on a daily? I don’t know. I was just thankful we had two burners as compared to the one at Jacana which only had one. After cooking everything at our 4th floor unit, we carried the pots full of carbonara and buttered shrimp to Jacana (yes, we walked).

adults walking, pond, plants, trees, residential building
A good walk and exercise from Jacana building to the beach
The family was pretty much hungry by the time we arrived. We stayed for another two hours at the Jacana unit and bonded over food and stories. By 4:00 PM, we headed out to Pico de Loro Beach and Country Club, as some of the adults wanted to take a swim.

Walking from the residential buildings to the beach took about 15 minutes. It’s more convenient to take the free shuttle, but more people stay at the beach in the afternoon so naturally, the shuttle services were full. We didn’t mind walking towards the beach club, for the scenic and nature-clad cove was a sight to behold. The calm atmosphere and slight breeze made our walk relaxing.

infinity pool, coconut trees, beach, beach umbrellas
coconut trees, beach, beach umbrellas, adults playing beach volleyball, restaurant

As a guest, you don’t need to pay anything upon entering the beach club. However, you need to pay Php 50 per towel to be able to get inside the shower room. If I’m not mistaken, you’re not allowed to bring your own bath towel in the beach club. In addition, you’re required to take a shower before leaving the beach club (provided you swam in the pool or at the beach), so as not to scatter sand remnants, dripping water, or dirt going back to the residential units (too many rules, I know). 

Pico de Loro Beach Club offers the usual water activities such as banana boat ride, jet ski, island hopping and more. I couldn’t remember the exact rates, but they’re definitely higher than the rates found in Boracay.

beach, mountains, shoreline, people sitting at the sand, people swimming
little girl playing in the sand
sunset at beach, family bonding and kids at the shoreline, boat
beach, sand, bougainvillea, woman striking a pose for the camera, benches, adults chilling at the beach

My husband and I didn’t feel like swimming in the sea because of the temperature. Though the beach area itself was smaller than I expected (and the shore, short), I remember the sand being fine so you can comfortably walk barefoot along the shoreline. I also didn’t find the water to be as bright blue as in the resort photos on their website, maybe because of the month and time of day we were there.

There were lounge chairs and daybeds spread around Pico de Loro Beach Club, but not plenty, and all of which were occupied. There’s Sun Café and Arribada Lounge on the second floor where guests can eat, and Brisa Bar in alfresco style. On December 31st, the Beach Club prepared a New Year’s Eve party to usher in 2018, but guests need to buy a ticket in order to join the celebration.

coconut trees, man standing up
woman, beach, sunset, coconut trees
coconut trees, branches
coconut trees, beach umbrellas, people at the beach
Sun's about to set at Pico de Loro Beach. At the right end corner is the alfresco style Brisa Bar.
While my sister, cousins, and uncle enjoyed swimming at the beach, my husband and I relaxed at the shore and took some photos of Pico de Loro Beach Club. Again, the beach area isn’t as huge as I expected it to be, but it’s not too crowded and it still felt a bit “exclusive”.

boat, shoreline, sunset, beach
lighthouse, shoreline, sunset, beach

Because we decided to stay at the Beach Club for several hours, I asked my husband to get us some drinks at the alfresco bar. The price range for cocktails was pretty much the same as with other beach resorts (cocktails range from Php 150-220). We had the cocktails taken out in disposable plastic cups when the oldies wanted to retreat back to our rooms. The only thing we noticed when ordering for drinks was that you need to wait for at least 20 minutes to get the cocktails ready. What’s even worse, my cousin and his girlfriend had to wait more than that just to get a bottle of San Mig Light (not kidding) from the same alfresco bar. Their bartenders aren’t also flexible in terms of creating a mix of your own preference.

restaurant, coconut trees, people swimming at the infinity pool at night

By 7:00 PM, we all went back to our respective units to rest, shower, get changed, and prepare food for our dinner and Media Noche.

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