The beach calls to two-time FHM Sexiest Woman Sam Pinto not in the the way mythological sirens command the ocean to enchant unsuspecting sailors lost at sea. Where the latter scours Poseidon's domain to imperil the lives of voyagers clueless enough to fall for these hypnotic creatures' irresistible vocal calisthenics, Sam derives great pleasure from experiencing everything the vastness of the deep blue has to offer.
Sam and the beach, it's more obvious to us now, are two sides to the C'est La Vie dichotomy that will ceaselessly evoke pure bliss. As she herself has declared numerous times, the beach is where she feels most at home. "I'm super fine living on the beach, as in super chill lang," she told us last time we talked, before joking, "Bye Manila, alis na ako after this!"
By now, we all know how she has madly fallen in love with Baler and the surfing scene and unencumbered lifestyle that come with staying there. If you’re following her dutifully on Instagram, you probably have realized her frequent escapades to lovely Baler now also go beyond her insatiable desire to conquer big waves.
Three months ago, Sam finally packed her bags and went to Baler to live the so-called mermaid life. She means nothing dangerous by that, of course. Instead, Sam does her enchanting by way of her 3.5-hectare slice of haven, L'Sirene: A Boutique Resort, where she's more than eager to provide inveterate adventurers a taste of the disarming and serene.
The 27-year-old actress says she still goes to Manila to attend to her showbiz engagements, but her heart, no doubt, is deeply rooted in Baler at the moment. Sam gives us a glimpse of the stress-free life she now leads there. If you're a millennial who crave the quiet charmed life, let one of our favorite icons show you how to escape toxic urban living to find peace and your permanent place in the sun in Baler.
What motivated you to finally make the big move?
Well, I’ve been surfing for about eight years now. And I’m really a beach/water baby and I just feel peaceful and serene when I’m at the beach—my happy place. I was just supposed to just look for a small beachfront property for my little house there. Then that little property became 3.5 hectares. And I thought why not make money off this, something I love, and share this happy place of mine to everybody? Then L’Sirene was born.
What's the inspiration behind your boutique resort?
L’Sirene (Le Siren) means The Siren in Portuguese. Mermaid is my spirit animal. And I’ve always been called a mermaid. I also have my own bikini line, Sirena, so why not combine all things I love together. I just wanted a Mom-and-Pops resort, nothing too fancy so I made the first boutique resort in Baler that's classy and simple. I wanted to share the feeling of being “home” with everybody.
We only have 15 rooms. All rooms are good for four (super comfy beds, by the way!). We offer surf lessons, bonfire with hotdogs and marshmallows, lounge pool with hydrojets like a long jacuzzi, some chill areas like the beachfront gazebos, beach beds. Hanging swing beds with mermaid blankets of course! We have about 3,000 sq.m. of open space nature area where you can connect with yourself and nature because it’s all grass and coconut trees.
My first time in Baler was maybe five years ago. I just fell in love with how untouched it was. The locals were just so welcoming and nice. And the road trip to Baler is just so pretty! The greens, mountains, and you pass this reservoir, one side is a forest cliff and other side is water. So pretty! And also while surfing you’re surrounded by beautiful mountains and coconut trees. Plus, they have awesome waves!
Any Baler travel tips?
I always leave Manila at 5:30 a.m. so I get to Baler around lunch time which is just fine. At least, you still have half the day to enjoy the place. Also, take Pantabangan Road to see the beautiful scenic drive. There are also a lot of historical places to visit in Baler. And, yes, don’t forget to try surfing!
What best describes resort owner Sam?
Just very chill. Beach day, all day, every day, ha ha! Well, I’m in charge of all the designs of everything. I just see to it that everything looks perfect and Insta-worthy. I don't stop adding mermaid touches to the rooms and the beach area. My sister is the manager so all stress goes to her, ha ha!
What are some of the things that you've learned from managing L’Sirene?
I learned so many things! I was hands on from the very beginning—from construction to interior designing to purchasing all the room needs like shampoo, conditioner, towels, linen, changing the sheets of the room. Had to do the dirty work, too, so I know everything! And, yes, it’s fulfilling.
Describe the crowd at L’Sirene.
Surprisingly we have a lot families. And groups of friends. Those who want a comfortable resort that has all your needs, but doesn't rough it out too much, not so much gangsta, ha ha!
How’s the business so far?
Surprisingly good! So happy with everything going on now. My guests are happy so I’m happy. And we’ve only been open for two-and-a-half months!
Tell us something about your other business, the Sirena Swimwear.
Well, I took up Fashion Design in CSB. And I still got that fashion designing in me. I wanted to do something small and useful for me because I’m always at the beach, ha ha! Again, combining what I love and make money! We’re already preparing for our third collection so watch for that soon!
What would make you leave the city life for good and pursue only the mermaid life at L’Sirene?
Well, if that's what God wants, I’ll follow. But I don’t think He wants that for me yet, ha ha! I'm doing a movie now Ang Pambansang Third Wheel with Sam Milby and Yassi Pressman and also about to start the TV show La Luna Sangre.
Any future plans for L’Sirene?
Definitely! In the future, ha ha! No exact date yet. We’ll be adding more rooms, villas with pool, and/or Jacuzzi, some suites. Big, big exciting plans for this!
Do you have any advice for those who want to pursue their passion, but can’t seem to make the move?
First, find your happiness. If you think that your passion is already happening now, then the universe will give it to you. Don’t be scared, it will happen. Dare to dream, you have nothing to lose. That’s your happiness we're talking about here so don't hesitate to go for it. Yeah, there will be some struggles at first, but you will get there. And once you’re there, bliss.