Winchsurfing at Virgin Beach Resort (San Juan, Batangas)

Joey winchsurfing

Mr. Joey Cuerdo of Powerup Gym invited me and fellow travel writer Joselito”Lito” Cinco to join him and his kids (daughters Frankie and Kitkat and son Kobe) as guests of Mr. Butch Campos, owner of Virgin Beach Resort along Laiya Beach in San Juan, Batangas.  To record the moment, I brought along my daughter Cheska, a photography buff.   Laiya Beach is located along the coast of Sigayan Bay (one of the cleanest bays in the country) and Verde Island Passage.

The resort’s white sand beach

Normally, the trip, via South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and Star Tollway, even on a Saturday (the day we left) was just 2.5 to 3 hrs. but hey it was the eve of the May 10 elections and last-ditch efforts by candidates to woo voters, via rallies and miting de avance, was the rule and not the exception, causing long traffic waits.  We left early in the morning but only arrived at the resort just in time for lunch.  Still, we were lucky.  Other invited guests, skim boarders from Nasugbu who left after lunch, arrived at the resort at 7 PM.

The Balinese-style restaurant

It being noon, the more than 7 km,. long, slightly coarse sand beach at the resort was at its whitest and, as lunch was still being prepared, we took time to explore the place. Very noticeable was its high level of cleanliness which sets it apart from the others. Mr. Campos, our host, sees to it that it remains such, personally picking up trash and cigarette butts and depositing them at ashtrays and trash receptacles provided specifically for food, and non-food items.  This 40-hectare (6 hectares developed) Class “A” resort, opened in 2005, is also noted for the oversized proportions and sprawled layout of its facilities.  The majestic Mt. Lobo serves as a tranquil backdrop to its beautiful beachfront area, truly a combination of land, sea and sky.

The Parasols

After this guided tour by Mr. Campos, we all walked back to the huge Balinese-style restaurant/pavilion were a scrumptious set lunch of salad, soup, main course (with a choice of chicken, beef or pork and seafood) and dessert awaited us.

After lunch, Joey then proceeded to set up the resort’s newest attraction: winchskating.  This is not new to the country as Camarines Watersports (Naga City, Camarines Sur) and Lago de Oro (Calatagan, Batangas)  offer cable wakeboarding, wake skating and water skiing in manmade, freshwater lakes.  However, this will the first time that that cable wakeboarding and wake skating is being done along a seashore and this resort will be the first to offer such.
Joey instructing Cheska

This recent concept is simpler but safer and more affordable, using a U.S. made, 9 HP, 4-stroke portable, lightweight wakeboard winch (manufactured by Ridiculous Winches and distributed here in the country by Outward Bound Gear), anchored and held stationary by stakes on a sand spit, to pull, using variable speeds, a wakeboarder via a sturdy, 200-ft. long rope along the shallow seashore.  Joey, a professional surfer, took first crack at it initially using his own surf board and, finally, a wakeboard (more suitable because of its shorter fins).  Soon, he riding the waves of the shore like the professional that he is.  Mr. Campos, Frankie and Cheska took unsuccessful cracks at it.  Joey hopes, that with the introduction of this winch, the wakeboarding domain will be revolutionized to some extent and more venues will be opened as wakeboard winches have made wake skating accessible to a large number of spectators as one can fix them anywhere.

Virgin Beach Resort: Brgy. Hugom, San Juan, Batangas.  Tel: (632) 815-2584, 815-2587, 759-2020 and 759-2828. Fax: (632)817-6334 Mobile number: (0917) 813-1301. Email:  Website:

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