I was back to Zambales for the weekend! I missed the place. It’s so easy to get there, and the beaches are so serene and relaxing. For a day or two, we get to experience a sense of tranquility, being close to nature, and setting ourselves free from the the usual life that we know, with all its rush and rumbles.
This time, my friends and I headed to Nagsasa Cove. Go camp! And beach bumming, of course. The following day, we went to Capones Island and other islets. We got back home all tanned and happy. 😊
It was summer. The sun was high in the sky and the temperature might drain you a bit. But for Nagsasa Cove, the gush of wind would cool down the place from time to time. There was a certain kind of wind that I only got to hear and feel in that place. I don’t even know what it’s called. Like it was catching strength and gradually releasing it. This got more pronounced as nighttime settled in.
I also experienced this whooshing gust of wind in Anawangin last year. I’m the type of person who doesn’t sleep much during trips. The one who’s awake while others are sound asleep. One, because I’m not familiar with the place. It takes a while for me to get to know the place haha. Or, like after we’d climbed Mt. Pinatubo late last year, exceptions happened when I was knocked out to even consider familiarizing myself with the place. And two, for Anawangin, it was really cold and the wind was biting. For Nagsasa, the sand was uneven. I woke up at 2am and my body was all sore. So I moved to the cottage. I was able to catch a light sleep, before we woke up at 5am. I should have used the cottage bamboo bench in the first place.
But before all that happened, here’s how we got to Nagsasa Cove.
Scenario 1: Long weekend and the elections coming up, there were a lot of passengers heading home that Friday night. We decided to leave early (12am), instead of catching the 3am trip to Olongapo as previously planned.
There are different ways to get to San Antonio, Zambales, where Pundaquit is just a tricycle away. One, from Cubao, ride a bus going to Iba, Zambales. You could get off at San Antonio, Zambales. This was the most direct trip you could get, but the trips weren’t that frequent.
Or two, you could go to Olongapo. Iba, Zambales buses are available there anytime.
Or three, like us–since we couldn’t find a bus that would leave right away to Olongapo–we went to Dau Terminal in Pampanga.
When we arrived at Victory Liner early Saturday morning, there were a lot of passengers waiting, and the next available trip going to Olongapo would leave at 4am. We expected to be caught in traffic, so we opted to look for another bus line.
Scenario 2: We walked a bit to Dagupan Bus terminal. Most of their ongoing trips were headed to Manaoag, Pangasinan. Good thing we’d asked the kundoktor if there was a trip to Dau Bus Terminal, Mabalacat, Pampanga. He said that there would be one later.
We waited for several minutes before one of the buses heading to Manaoag departed and it gave way to the bus heading to Dagupan. This one would have a stopover at Dau Terminal.
Scenario 3: So why Dau Terminal? Because there are buses that are going to Olongapo there. And here’s another good reason to consider Dau: there are UV Express vans going to Olongapo that leave at thirty intervals. So convenient. Another catch: they use SCTEX, which makes the trip so much faster.
Time: 5:00 am-ish-not-so-sure haha
Scenario 4: Early morning fresh air feeling. The bus heading to Iba, Zambales was right beside the van’s terminal. So we boarded. After several minutes, we were heading to San Antonio, where we would get off.
And this was where we tasted the most delicious puto and kutsinta. For only Php2, you would get to taste them from the manongs na naglalako/puto vendor. My advice: buy a lot. Being a puto and kutsinta lover, it’s just ❤. To the point where I consider going to Olongapo at the wee hours of the morning and hunt those vendors. I know, it’s a bit extreme, but they were really delicious.
So moving on before I make a separate blog about rice cakes. 😂
San Antonio, Zambales
Scenario 5: Off to the market to buy our camping foods and supplies. After that, we were picked up by a tricycle, arranged by Ms. Precy, our contact person. Here’s her number if you want: 0977-321-7899.
Pundaquit, San Antonio, Zambales
Scenario 5: Boat ride to Nagsasa Cove!!! 😁
Nagsasa Cove was roughly an hour away from Pundaquit’s shores. It was a long trip, but so worth it. I would recommend it over Anawangin. Don’t get me wrong, we did enjoy our trip to Anawangin last year. So much. But when I saw Nagsasa, I thought to myself, ‘How could it get so much better?’ I couldn’t imagine it myself.
Our boatman brought us to Pamimi Campsite. There were several campsites at Nagsasa Cove. I would recommend Pamimi Campsite because of its clean comfort rooms and very nice vibes. It was also less crowded there. Maybe it’s because it was located at the farthest side of the shoreline. But then again, the beach area was so good.
Cottage was only Php100. *throws confetti* Anyway, so we prepared our food. Or my best friend, Peny, did that. Cooking is not and I don’t think it will ever be for me. Joyie and I kept ourselves busy doing other things. I couldn’t remember what we did exactly. Whatever it was, it wasn’t as helpful as cooking our food. 😝
We three are actually elementary/high school friends. We’ve been friends for around twenty years now. Childhood friends. Sisters, mostly. F4 as they called us. One couldn’t make it, but hopefully all four of us would be able to go on a trip like this again someday.
At ten in the morning, we all ended up taking a nap. It was noontime and too hot to swim at the beach. Plus, we didn’t get much sleep if nothing at all. Thankfully, the wind was soothing at some point, despite the summer humidity and heat.
Funny thing was, we mostly spent extra cash on buying cold beverages all day. It was so hot and we didn’t bring an ice chest with us. Please do so if you’re planning to camp during summer. A cold bottle of Mountain Dew was Php25. An ice cream stick was also Php25. A 500mL of water was Php50. Life savers. Thirst quenchers.
A few minutes after two in the afternoon, we started walking around. There was a swamp at one side of the beach. And it turned out to be the perfect place to take pictures.
…and take jump shots.
We were back to the shore… heading for a short trek to get a good view of the cove.
The trek was easier compared to the one in Anawangin. You didn’t even need a guide, as the path was already set and all you had to do was climb up. Entrance fee was Php10/person.
The view from three-fourth of the trek. We didn’t get to climb up to the top because of certain circumstances revolving around fear of heights and slippers not working properly and not enough time. But from where we stood, it was enough to get a good view.
We went down just before sunset. There was a buko stand a little way from the start of the trekking point. While enjoy sipping buko juice, the sunset slowly unfolded in front of us.
Insert nighttime story here. When the sun had set down, we ate dinner and set up our tent. We should have done this earlier that day, but where was the fun in that?
We had brought so many hand-carry lights with us (three, to be exact) and those lit our cottage until the morning came. Oh, and we also went for a swim before washing up and calling it a day.
Sunday morning arrived and we prepared to leave Nagsasa Cove and head for Capones. We told our boatman that we would leave at 6am. At the said time, we’d just finished setting up our breakfast. We left at 8am hahaha.
Hi, Capones’ shore. You’re very rocky. Yeah, lot of rocks. Waves. We had to walk in the water to go to the shore because that was as far as the boat could take us. But lighthouse? We ain’t complaining. Or that was mostly me. I have a thing for lighthouse. The two wanted to swim. But the lighthouse was what the island was known for, so to the lighthouse we went. 😊
There were actually stairs. It was easy to get to the lighthouse from the rocky shore.
Oh, there’s the sun. It’s shining like that. You could imagine how hot it was that day.
But the view was priceless.
A little way from here, there was the lighthouse.
Did I say that it was abandoned? Yeah, pretty creepy. 😂
It was built during the 1890s. There were no tour guides. We were pretty much on our own, aside from the other tourists. This was the part where I would tell you that we forgot to take a picture of the entire lighthouse. I could cite certain reasons, but they were no excuse. My camera still weeps. The moment was there. How could I forget? *shakes head in disappointment*
But here’s what we got…
We climbed up the rusty staircase. It was a bit shaky… um, okay a lot shaky.
It was funny because this was when our fears became more distinct. Joyie was afraid, safety measures wise. She couldn’t make it to the top, utterly doubting the stability of the lighthouse. She had a point. Peny was afraid of heights. Simple as that. I, on the other hand, was a thrill seeker and there was no stopping me. But when I saw the secluded room that led to the top of the lighthouse, I freaked out. It was really creepy and eerie and I was afraid to go alone and probably see a ghost by myself. Yup, I was afraid of ghosts.
My best friend, being her kind self, she went with me to the top. I was really insistent because it was a dream come true to be here in this place. I have a thing for lighthouse like the way I have a thing for books. There’s no explaining it. And after much deliberation and convincing, here’s the view…
My lifesaver… 😘 Hihi I wouldn’t be able to make it to the top if not for her. See for yourself the stairs to get here…
They should maintain the majestic structure more. At least renovate the stairs. It was too beautiful to go to waste.
Island hopping for a bit. Or more like beach hopping. From one shore to another.
How’s the shore? Good, actually. I’m even holding on to the boat. Fully equipped w/ life jacket.
I would probably keep on coming back to this place. Truly enjoyable.
This is my summer story for 2016.
This is my travel diary.
Until next trip.