Saturday, March 13, 2010

Nagsasa Cove, Zambales: Camping Newlyweds

Fresh (and frozen) from our Hong Kong-China honeymoon-slash-backpacking trip, we headed straight to Zambales. And when I say straight, I mean landing at NAIA Terminal 3 around 12:30 AM then go home to unload my backpack of winter clothes and replace them with skimpy beach attire then hop on an Olongapo-bound bus at 5:00 AM. Whew!


Let me slow down a bit and tell you the rest of the story. After going through immigration and fishing our bags from the luggage belt, we exited Terminal 3 at 1:00 AM. My hubby Shervin and I weren't willing to pay P500 for an airport taxi to Malate so we walked out of the airport grounds and hailed an ordinary one.

For the first time in almost two weeks, I started sweating again. When we left Guangzhou, the temperature was about 10-12°C. Manila's could be around 28-30°C that time. We enjoyed every second of being defrosted!


In just 20 minutes we were home sweet home. We plopped on our bed and took a nap for an hour. When we awoke, we hurriedly took out our dirty clothes from our backpacks and dumped in camping equipment and beach essentials. We were ready by 2:30 AM.

Hungry and craving for Filipino food, we bought a takeaway tocilog meal from 7-11 before riding a jeep to Pasay Rotonda. From there, we walked to the Victory Liner Terminal to meet the rest of the group (Warning: Don't do this when you're alone!).


No one was there yet - well actually Jules was already at the waiting area but was sleeping so we didn't notice her. The rest of my old college outdoor orgmates came one by one as we chowed our food. When asked about how China was, my answer was a resounding "It's so cold!".

Oliver arrived late as always. We left almost 5:00 AM already. An hour behind schedule. We missed the bus going to Iba, so we took the Olongapo-bound one (Victory Liner Caloocan has more frequent trips to Iba). If you're able to catch the Iba bus (P220-250), ask the conductor to drop you off San Antonio's public market. You may also just say you're going to Pundaquit. Travel time, 3-4 hours depending on traffic.


As for us, when we arrived at Victory Liner Olongapo, we needed to transfer to a bus bound for either Iba or Sta. Cruz. But before we did, we bought a few groceries and had breakfast at Andok's near the bus station.

Now from San Antonio, a trike takes you to Pundaquit. Should be P25-30 each person. We were charged the latter perhaps because my hubby's a foreign tourist, or it was just peak season.

It's best if you contact a boatman in advance, especially if you're going on a weekend. Though not a lot of people go to Nagsasa Cove yet, most of the boats are hired for Anawangin. My friend Chrissy reserved a boat with Kuya Florante (try to contact him at 0910-8053388). Only 6 of us shared a big outrigger boat, so we paid P400 each. Nagsasa is twice the distance of its BFF Anawangin, so expect the price to be double too.


We happily set foot on the cove after a 40-minute ride. The waves were choppy (waterproof your gadgets). No other group was around. We told our boatmen to pick us up at noon the next day. There's no signal in the area so you better make necessary arrangements.

Shervin and I were excited to pitch our new tent (we named it Hurley), and we did so as soon as the group settled. The others started pitching theirs too.


Most of the afternoon was spent on catching up, and eating - believe me, we ate almost the whole time! At night, dinner was canned goods (Oliver's pumpkin soup was the star) and rice cooked by Tristan. GranMa drinking session came after while star gazing. Shervin saw a shooting star for the first time ever! Ever!

Lights out was early, just after midnight. Oh yeah, we're getting old. Well, we've been doing this kind of thing for a decade now so there goes an excuse. The live-your-day-like-it's-your-last outlook we had about camping trips/backpacking when we were younger was replaced with a been-there-done-that-let's-chill attitude.

Everyone got up early in the morning. While Chrissy and Jules enjoyed their malunggay pandesal, the rest of us (oh, except hubby) devoured Tristan's bonfire-fried tuyo (we ran out of butane). After breakfast, we did a bit of swimming even though the water was cold. Some walked along the shore from end to end.


The roofless bathroom (with sliding nipa door!) was near our campsite and we had it to ourselves. So even if 6 of us took turns using it, we were all done with our baths in less than an hour. There's no poso (water pump) in the bathroom, just water fetched by the Aetas in big drums.

And speaking off Aetas, they're the caretakers of the cove. Campers are expected to pay them, P100 each. If you could, give a little extra pesos.


Our boatmen picked us up a little past the agreed schedule but we didn't mind. We were in no rush. As we drifted farther from the shore, I looked back at the cove and couldn't help but admire its welcoming remoteness. Such romantic place to end a honeymoon.


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ACgrrrl said...
April 17, 2010 at 7:14 PM

Ang saya! Can't wait for the next camping trip. FYI, I don't own a tent ha. :P

Tsk tsk sarap i-IR tong si Oliver! Laging late! :P

bertN said...
April 17, 2010 at 8:20 PM

Didn't you tell your camping buddies not to come knocking when they see your tent moving? Just kidding LOL. Btw, fried tuyo paired with eggs cooked any which way is a breakfast delight for me when I was out camping in Pinas.

The Nomadic Pinoy said...
April 17, 2010 at 9:06 PM

Talk about being thawed in the Philippines after coming from the big freezer in China. Hehehe!

lakwatsera de primera said...
April 18, 2010 at 7:22 AM

non-stop lakwatserang buntis ka talaga :-)

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
April 18, 2010 at 3:08 PM

Ish, Oliver never brought a tent! Haha. We can sleep under the stars, naks.

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
April 18, 2010 at 3:35 PM

BertN, they kinda gave us some time alone actually. Haha! And we spent it sleeping day in day out!

pinoy boy journals said...
April 18, 2010 at 6:13 PM

nagsasa is very picturesque.. from stories they said nagsasa has been attracting more and more visitors as of late... btw, do you know any affordable camping equipments; tents, etc.??? camping is still relatively unfamiliar to me. my first and only camping happened in nagsasa so i was thinking of doing more of camping i don't know where in the future. thanks for the help!

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
April 18, 2010 at 8:31 PM

Claire, lakwatsera indeed... like you! Mabuhay ang mga lakwatserang Pinay!

[C]hicken [G]od said...
April 18, 2010 at 11:25 PM

PTJ, regarding Pinoy Boy Journal's question we can plug the Jovial Adventurer's company and get them to sponsor! Ha ha

[C]hicken [G]od said...
April 18, 2010 at 11:27 PM

Pinoy Boy Journal, come join us on the trip and we can talk about how we can help pop your camping cherry! (I mean that in a good way, you pervs!) He he he

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
April 18, 2010 at 11:45 PM

Jerik, dunno if Ace Hardware still has tents for P1,500. Mind you, they are not durable and cannot withstand rain. So check the weather forecast first before heading out with your portable accommodation.

Sidney said...
April 19, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Wow...looks like a perfect spot for a honeymoon!

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
April 19, 2010 at 3:13 PM

I agree Oli. Chrissy should start giving us freebies! Naku, hindi natin masasama yang si Jerik. He's got so much adventures lined up this year.

pinoy boy journals said...
April 20, 2010 at 7:26 PM

kelan camping trip niyo and saan? why not? kung free ang schedule, game!!! hehe =)

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
April 20, 2010 at 8:50 PM

This Saturday! Super short notice? If it is, promise will inform you sooner next time.

dyosa said...
April 20, 2010 at 11:22 PM

The sandbar looks gorgeous!

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
April 21, 2010 at 1:04 AM

It sure is! Hope this formation would stick around for a while.

Chyng said...
May 12, 2010 at 12:54 AM

wala nakong macomment but ♥!
happiness for both of you. Ü

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
May 25, 2010 at 1:52 AM

Thanks Chyng! Super ♥ talaga! Hihi.

Anonymous said...
April 24, 2011 at 1:17 PM

Pundaquit to Silanguin Cove, Green Island, Talisayen Cove, Nagsasa Cove, Anawangin Cove, Camara, Capones and back to pundaquit all in for 2, 800.00 php inclusive of 5 meals
pls contact 09175079026

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