Soaked and Sunkissed in Scenic Zambales Pt. 1

May 21, 2011

D A Y  O N E

Six months or so of researching and reading through countless materials about the dynamics of getting to Zambales has finally paid off and proudly, I can now cross it out on the list of places to go to and re-write it under the list of places I undoubtedly would want to visit again. It seemed that Lady Fortune was smiling down at us and playing in our favor the day we embarked on the journey to breathtaking coves of this province. From start to finish, my journey together with the other 8 spirited “Good Vibes Crew” was seamless and stress-free.

How We Got There

From Makati at about 9:00 am, we took a cab to the Gil Puyat LRT station and from there, took the trip bound for Monumento in Caloocan City which is roughly about 15 stops from Gil Puyat Station. After getting off at Monumento, we walked a bit towards the Victory Liner Bus Station and went for the bus headed for Iba, Zambales (Php260.00). The bus was clean and had AC and a TV so we took the time to sneak some snoozes within the 4 hour trip.

On the LRT to Monumento

When we got to Iba at about 2:30 pm, we shopped for provisions (that would last us until the next day) at the market in Brgy Pundaquit close to where we got off the bus. We had to keep in mind that there will be no other places to buy water and provisions from and neither will there be cell phone signal and electricity. I had already gotten in touch with someone to take us across the islands from Pundaquit. So after the market run, we took a tricycle to Pundaquit Elementary School where we were greeted by Daisy, who was to be our overseer for the transfers and the Island hopping.

Walking to Pundaquit Port from the Elementary School

The boat ride to Nagsasa

From the Port in Pundaquit we decided to see Nagsasa Cove first, since it was the farthest one among the island stops we wanted to make (Anawangin, Capones Island and Camara Island). We went on a breathtaking 45-minute banca ride to Nagsasa Cove.

Nagsasa Cove

Zambales waters are a deep blue to an almost-black shade. The mountains and rock formations stand tall and imposingly like sentinels guarding the mainland from the South China Sea. Nagsasa is beautiful and strange all at the same time. Crystalline black and gray sands owing to the last eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, greeted us welcome together with the pine trees in the distance while the golden brown mountains softly echoed their salutations.

approaching Nagsasa Cove

Crystalline black/grey sands of the cove. This was an aftermath of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption.

The Good Vibes Crew!

Dusk at the Cove

The Cottages on the beach

Camp Headquarters

The Lake

We were told Nagsasa Cove wasn’t too crowded for the weekend unlike Anawangin at the time so we decided to spend the night in Nagsasa. Immediately we started to unpack and the friendly boatmen, together with the cottage owners Kuya Butch, and his wife Ate Laling who were all extremely warm and friendly assisted and accommodated us. I’m real happy to have gone on this trip with this bunch too: everybody knew their roles and proactively did their share in making the trip a success. Tents started getting pitched and we began going about the business of what we were having for dinner whilst we chilled through Sundown and talked to some of the friendly and interesting people from the Aeta community.

While the rest laid back, some of the crew took care of preparing dinner. Dinner was a menu of grilled pork, grilled tilapia and itlog maalat with tomatoes and shortly thereafter, we started to light the lampara and tied our cellphones with flashlights to the ceiling of our cottages for some dramatic lighting. After dinner we laid down on the beaches and stargazed our way through random conversations and drowsed off for a while.

Chastine: (with knife in hand) “Yes, I am your Coach. Is there a problem?” lol.

The bonfire was lit a couple of hours after and soon we started roasting cheese-filled hotdogs over the fire while guitar-playing and singing from the other campers on the island softly serenaded another round of campfire revelations.

..cont’d with next post


About The Chronic Vacacionista

don't just THINK out of the box. LIVE out of it. View all posts by The Chronic Vacacionista

9 responses to “Soaked and Sunkissed in Scenic Zambales Pt. 1

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