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Calatagan, Batangas is just almost a 2 hour drive from Manila. I was able to go to a nice sanctuary near this very busy city. This specific place is called Playa Calatagan, a beach residential resort. Me and some friends were fortunate enough to discover this place during the time it was just being developed.
Back then, there weren't a lot of people hanging around in the area... It felt as if you and your friends were the only people there... This was way back in 2007. I'm sure by now, they've added more features to the resort, attracting more beach goers. The only thing available during our visit before was the central pavillion (which had an amazing restaurant beside the pool) and a board walk that provided a full view of the calm sea.
I haven't been back there since then. I was told that they were planning to build fancy hotels and establishments there to create a "Boracay-like" getaway for us city slickers.