Anvaya Cove: Things to do with the Kids

Anvaya CoveAnvaya Cove is a well manicured village set in the forests and shores of Bataan.

A members-only development of Ayala Land Premiere,  it is a 2.5 hour drive from Manila thanks to the good roads of NLEX and SCTEX.

Residents have built sprawling beautiful resort inspired houses that are a haven by itself.  My friend who hosted us built her house's concept with an eclectic mix of Balinese and Morrocan inspiration.

I love her doors!  All are Balinese inspired and made by the crafty hands of Pampangenos.

different kinds of doors

I heard there was a hotel but due to lack of time,  I wasn't able to check out the place anymore.

The main pavilion, the focal point of Anvaya opens up to pockets of pools that are interconnected.  There are no deep parts, maybe 4.5 feet and has wide shallow banks where toddlers can play while an adult stands on the deeper part of the pool.  I brought my son to the 4.5 feet part of the pool and was asked to move to the shallow banks or kiddie area since he doesn't have floaters.

The beach, right below the pool, has a long shoreline.   The sand is a mix of light brown and black but powdery.   The beach waters is not that clear but it is calm with a little surf.

Kids would love the jungle gym play area built on sandy ground.

Anvaya has several nature camp activities for everyone.  My kids sweat it up at the Magma Field Obstacle Course.

Obstacle Course at Anvaya

And they were on a high at the 100-feet high, 260 meters long Adult Zipline.  Kids 12 years and above and weighing 100 pounds up are allowed.  This is for their safety since if they are too light,  they might not reach the end of the line and would still need a rescue team to push them down to the end.  A scary scene, I would think.

Anvaya Zipline

They have a Kiddie Zip line too but it was undergoing maintenance check when we were there.

Anvaya Kiddie Zipline

Don't forget to bring your rubber shoes when you go there.  All activities in the nature camp are better done with rubber shoes on.  We didn't bring our rubber shoes so I had to skip the fitness trail.  The trail is a 30 minute session where you trek around the forests and there are fitness stations along the way,  pump weights etc.

When the heat is getting to us already,  all 10 kids headed back to the beach club. Some played ping-pong, some were in the foosball, some were in the air hockey and the tweens were, well, in the game room catching up with Facebook.

What is nice with Anvaya is you are not charged at every turn.  All the activities I mentioned were all free! Just prepare a tip for your zip line attendants:-)   Tipping is not encourage in Anvaya according to one reader.

Apart from the activities mentioned,  they have the usual water sports activities like banana boat, kayak, pedal boat etc.  They also have wind surfing and wakeboarding lessons.  As for land activities,  they have the nature camp and bikes for rent.  I would like to bike and do the fitness trail on my next visit.

My general review of Anvaya is that it is a good place to relax over the weekend.  It is just 2.5 hours away and the drive is easy.  It doesn't have that "wow" factor that I expected from all the rave reviews I heard but it was nice.  Planning my next trip already!

Location Information:

Address:  Anvaya Beach and Nature Club, Morong, Bataan

Rate:  Members-only.  Find a member friend to endorse you:-)  Hotel rates range from P 5,000 - P10,000

Contact Numbers:  (02) 793-9000 or 9178-ANVAYA


Food:   Sorry will have to update this.  I stayed in my friend's house and we had our meals there.

Washroom: Wasn't able to check this out as well.

Density of People:  Tolerable.  We were there on a weekend and there were quite a number of people but not enough to crowd the place.

Date of Travel: May 2013


1. Take the North Luzon Expressway.

2. Then take SCTEX Exit (Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway)

3. Take Subic Exit

4. Enter Subic via Subic-Tipo Toll gate

5. Once inside Subic, follow the Anvaya road signs. If there aren't any, follow the signs to “Morong Gate”.

6. Keep driving until you reach Morong Gate.

7. Just stick to the road until you reach the entrance of Anvaya Cove.

Disclosure:  This is not a sponsored post.  My family and I went to Anvaya Cove upon invitation of a friend who has a house there.

Travel Happy!

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Bahay Tsinoy: Impressive Life-Sized Exhibits

Bahay Tsinoy - Galleon Trade

My daughter and I were pleasantly surprised with our visit to Bahay Tsinoy (House of the Filipino-Chinese) in Intramuros, Manila.  It is a museum documenting the rich history of Filipino-Chinese here in the Philippines.  As a Filipino married to a Chinese,  I developed a greater appreciation of my husbands' roots.  And my daughter beamed proudly as she saw one side of her great ancestry.

The museum, a good stop for history-lovers even without Chinese lineage, is filled with well crafted, life sized exhibits documenting the history of the Tsinoys.  The exhibits were so realistic and well presented, everyone in our group (it was the field trip of my daughter) were clearly impressed.  The museum is very organized taking you through the early contacts in pre-history, to the Spanish period and to the current-day involvement of the Filipino-Chinese in the country they now call home.

Here is a photo essay of our Bahay Tsinoy experience.

A huge Galleon ship welcomes you as you enter the museum proper.  The Galleon ship is the means of transportation used by the Early Chinese while conducting trade with the early Filipinos even prior to Spanish occupation.

Bahay Tsinoy - Galleon Trade1

Sangley, the term used by the Spaniards for the Chinese, comes from the word siong lai, meaning "frequent visitor" in Hokien.  They were separated by the Spaniards from the rest of the community and dwell in separate quarters called the Parian.  Shown below are the main occupations of the Early Chinese - merchants, laborers and artisans.

Bahay Tsinoy - Sangley

The exhibits come with descriptions that are easy to read and are very well written.  I enjoyed reading them.

Bahay Tsinoy Life Sized Exhibit of Early Chinese Occupations

Since time immemorial and up till now,  the Tsinoy's can be relied on for business.  Shown here with a sari-sari store.

Bahay Tsinoy life sized exhibit of a storeShown here is a typical mestizo house.

Bahay Tsinoy Life Sized Exhibit of Early Chinese in their Household

The early Chinese were also knows as artisans.  Some early Chinese helped in constructing parts of the San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila.  Shown here is the facade of the San Agustin Church.

Bahay Tsinoy - Facade San Agustin

Part of the museum includes the Ching Ban Lee Porcelain Gallery with artifacts dating 10 to 17 centuries ago.  Depicted on the upper right is a wealthy Chinese trader.  And on the lower right are Chinese peddlers selling their wares before the San Agustin Church.

Ching Ban Lee Porcelain Gallery and Life Size Exhibit of the Early Chinese at Bahay Tsinoy

Emerging from the rich Filipino-Chinese ancestry are well known figures from the past till present.  According to Wikipedia, Jose Rizal was a 5th-generation patrilineal descendant of Domingo Lam-co, a Chinese immigrant entrepreneur who sailed to the Philippines and married Inez de la Rosa, a Sangley of Luzon.  Lorenzo Ruiz,  the first Filipino saint is from Binondo Manila,  and born to a Chinese father and Filipina mother.

Bahay Tsinoy Life Sized Exhibit of Filipino Chinese Mestizo Hero Jose Rizal

Not pictured here,  but also featured in Bahay Tsinoy is a cool hologram of a Tsinoy telling the story of the transformation of the early Filipino-Chinese to modern day Tsinoys.

Today,  Tsinoys are very well integrated into the Filipino society serving as leaders and catalysts in their respective businesses and professions.  A hallway honoring Filipino-Chinese who defended Philippine freedom in the past to public service advocates of the present are also featured.

Bahay Tsinoy - Contemporary Filipino Chinese

To sum it up,  I would like to quote choice excerpts from one of the write-ups I read in the museum:

Throughout Philippine history, the destiny of the Chinese-Filipinos has been closely intertwined with Filipinos. In every significant event that shaped the Philippines as a nation, the Chinese-Filipinos have marked their presence... there emerges the Tsinoy, the Chinese who is Filipino or the Filipino who is Chinese, molded through the centuries by Philippine life, enriching this land with the legacies of his Chinese heritage.

Bahay Tsinoy Information:

Address:  Kaisa Heritage Center, Anda cor. Cabildo Street, Intramuros, Manila

Operating Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 1:00pm to 5:00pm

Rate:  P100 for adults  and P60 for students (bring ID)

Contact Numbers:  527-6083 / 526-6796

Directions:  3 minute walk from Manila Cathedral or San Agustin Church in Intramuros (Old Walled City), Manila


Washroom:  ascetic clean

Density of People:  Check first if there is a field trip and try not to go at that time,  unless you want a group of kids around:-)

Approximate Time to Spend Inside:  One hour if you just want to look and 2-3 hours if you want to read the descriptions.

Date of Travel: February 2013

Disclosure:  This is not a sponsored post.  My daughter and I went to Bahay Tsinoy on her field trip day and we paid for our entrance fees.

Travel Happy!

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