Thursday, December 1, 2011

BALAI ISABEL - A perfect hideaway

Less than two-hour drive from Manila, awaits the splendor of this beautiful hideaway which offers an upclose and personal view of the lake and the taal volcano. CLUB BALAI ISABEL is approximately an hour and a half away from Manila. Driving on the new addition of the South Luzon Expressway ( SLEX ) and just a few kilometers away from the first exit of star toll.. travel to the sleepy town of Talisay and you are there. 

CLUB BALAI ISABEL or BALAI ISABEL for short,  is located on the shores of the world-famous Taal Lake and across from its volcano. It is a place where you can relax, commune with nature. 

BALAI ISABEL'S amenities and facilities make it definitely an excellent choice for holidays, special occasions or  bonding time with your family..... Enjoy typical Batangas cuisine served at the TERRAZA CAFE. You can take a refreshing dip in their infinity pools ( there are 2 infinity pools )... hang out in the cabanas,  enjoy water sports such as kayaking and sailing, or take a boat ride and get a closer look at Taal Volcano’s crater on horseback. 

Unfortunately when I went there with the CINEMATICONCEPTS TEAM... we were doing a prenup photo shoot, I could not even try out my luck on the kayak nor could I go sailing to Taal Volcano. We arrived at BALAI ISABEL almost 2 o'clock in the afternoon we decided to have lunch at TERRAZA RESTAURANT. 

We wanted to try their Maliputo but they ran out of Maliputo by the time we got there... Do you know what is MALIPUTO?? Maliputo is a delectable fish with a firm flesh and a very rare delicacy in Batangas. The fish can be served as simple as charcoal broiled with a dash of kalamansi and bagoong balayan ( Batangas' answer to our filipino fish paste- Bagoong). Unfortunately the maliputo fish is in the merge of extinction, with the proliferation of tilapia fish cages. Maliputo is commonly cooked around the province as sinigang (cooked by slow boiling with unripe tamarind and assorted vegetables)... but i recommend that when ordering Maliputo it is at its best when it is cooked over charcoal. We ended ordering these dishes instead... which is also good!!

TAWILIS -  is a freshwater fish found only in Taal Lake.

The TAWILIS is one of the most sought after fish dish in most parts of Batangas because of its good taste. And the batangueƱos has different ways in cooking the endemic fish from Taal Lake.

The most common and very popular among restaurants around Batangas is the fried and crispy tawilis. Usually served with bagoong Balayan (anchovy) with unripe mangoes, tomatoes and onions. However some prefer to dip it with vinegar. And eaten from head to tail.

Another common recipe among the local folks in Batangas is the sinaing na pinais na tawilis ( boiled and wrapped in banana leaves tawilis fish). The fish is cook for a couple of hours in an earthen pot with low heat until the tawilis fish is soft and tender to eat. The fish can be eaten from head to tail, and usually eaten with a side dish of grilled eggplant with tomatoes, onions, vinegar, and bagoong balayan (anchovy). 

CHICKEN BINAKOL - is a delicious chicken soup dish. It is similar to Chicken Tinola, although the use of of coconut meat and coconut water makes this dish unique.

There are traditional methods of cooking Chicken Binakol. It requires using native chicken which is simmered for several hours. The meat of native chicken is tougher than regular dressed chicken, but it has more flavor. Simmering native chicken longer makes the meat tender and releases all the flavors.

Did you know that original chicken binakol is cooked in bamboo? It is said that cooking this dish in bamboo seals-in the flavor, but it is fine if you don’t have a bamboo to cook this with you can use your aluminum pots.



Bulanglang is typically composed of a variety of vegetable tops ( like camote tops, sili leaf), edible blossoms ( banana blossom, papaya blossom ), caturay, calabasa flower, etc., whichever is conveniently available at the time of cooking.  The vegetables may be purchased from the local wet market or harvested directly from backyard gardens. 

If you want a relaxing place to enjoy a vacation with family or friends away from the hustle and bustle of the city..... Where you can freely walk barefooted, inhale fresh air, be with nature and pray in a quiet church....this is the right place. Remember the name.... CLUB BALAI ISABEL.

* Ask for a map of the resort so you would know where to go because it's a big place.


1. On South Luzon Expressway ( SLEX ), simply go straight past the end of the highway and straight to the STAR Tollway.

2. Go up the ramp at the Tanauan City exit and turn right. You are now on the National Highway.

3. Follow the road going to Talisay.

4. When you reach the town proper of Talisay, go straight ahead.

5. Club Balai Isabel is 500 meters from the town proper on your left side. If you see the second bridge, then you have gone past the resort.


Address: Barangay Banga, Talisay, Batangas
Cellphone :   0917-504 4157 / 0917-872 1512

Makati Office -
Telephone :   897 0229 / 393 8337



  1. we've always wanted to visit the place but i've heard that the road going there via tagaytay is a bit steep that the brakes on my car can't handle nor can it climb back up... so what's your take on the steep road?

  2. Hi there,

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