Hooray for long weekends! So, I invited my ‘brokenhearted’ and favorite cousin to travel to Manila and find her ‘lost’ self with me and my boyfriend. It so happened that it was also her birthday so the encouragement to spend, to take a leave and to travel wasn’t really that hard.
Since I wanted to go to the beach, I chose Zambales. What’s in Zambales? Thinking about Nagsasa Cove? Anawangin Cove?
I opted to go there instead of going to Baguio or somewhere in the south because traffic during the holidays (All Saint’s day) is very stressful. And we don’t want to be stranded for hours in traffic.
The day before we left for Zambales, we already bought bus tickets in EDSA-Pasay Victory Liner Terminal. Good thing we bought in advance because most people are going home to their provinces and we might run out of seats.
Tip 1: Buy your bus tickets in advance to avoid hassle (you can check other bus companies – Victory Liner is okay though. Student discounts are also available. You just need to present your IDs)
We also bought food for our breakfast, lunch, dinner for the first day (adobo and fried chicken because they don’t spoil fast), snacks and some drinks too, if you want to chill at night. There are available cooking services in the area but very limited and a bit pricey. So, if you are on budget, I suggest you bring your own food.
Day 1. We were all sleepless because we prepared all the things we need to bring. Our trip was scheduled around 4am. But there are other trips earlier than that. We arrived around 3am at the terminal. We just had light snacks while we wait for our bus.
Zambales is around 4 hours away from Manila. The trip to Zambales will pass along Olongapo City/Subic. Don’t worry for the long hours because there also stopovers along the way. We just slept all throughout the trip. Make sure that you wake up when it is already San Antonio because that is where you will drop off.
We were dropped in a waiting shed fronting the municipal hall. Tourism officers were waiting there. They will ask you where you will go, so just say Pundaquit. They will ask P20.00/person for the environmental fee. Keep the tickets with you in case somebody will look for it.
On your way to Pundaquit, there are motorcycle across queuing for their turn. Just tell them you’re going to Pundaquit for the boat ride to Nagsasa/Anawangin.
In case you don’t have the boat ride yet, ask the driver if he knows somebody just like what we did. I always wanted to hire local boat men than agencies who have their own. It’s one way to help them gain more income. We also told the driver to fetch us the next day around 2pm.
Upon our arrival, we talked to our boat man regarding the itinerary and some suggestions. We also haggled for the price of the whole trip.
We opted the itinerary A. We chose to stay at Nagsasa Cove because it is less crowded and the beach is better than in Anawangin. However, this also means that there are limited stores for you to buy food. Nagsasa Cove is the farthest place you will go in the itinerary. So we decided to finish the island hopping in the morning and enjoy the sunset and the night at Nagsasa and travel to Anawangin the next day because it is nearer to Pundaquit.
Our boat is small and good for 4 persons including the driver. Honestly, it is the smallest boat I rode in all of my island hopping adventures.
First stop is Camara Island. We just had our quick brunch there. We didn’t stay longer because there nothing much to do but take pictures of the beautiful scenery. The waves there were so strong and it’s taking our boat back in the water so we opted to transfer to a calmer area and swim.
Next stop is Capones Island. They said there was a light house. But we weren’t able to went up because we had fun swimming in the beach.
After which, we went to Nagsasa Cove. Approximately from Capones Island to Nagsasa Cove, the travel time is 45 minutes to 1 hour.
When we arrived, we went to the cottage and start assembling our tents and enjoyed the scenery. Aside from beach bumming, you can also climb at Mt. Nagsasa or enjoy Nagsasa Falls.
Sunsets in Nagsasa Cove are the prettiest. We also enjoyed having bonfire at night.
It is not only sunsets are beautiful, even sunrise too. Sunrise in Nagsasa is very refreshing in the eyes. You get to see how the light radiates in the mountains. The calm waters in the morning brings peaceful spirit.
For our food, we just bought cup noodles in one of the stores. Around 8:30am, our boatmen fetch us to take to Anawangin.
There are many people in Anawangin. It is not really that crowded but comparing to Nagsasa, it’s a bit commercialized already. We enjoyed the waves in Anawangin.
We availed the cooking services for our brunch. We left Anawangin around 1pm. The ride going back to Pundaquit was hilarious. The waves are so strong and our way is against its direction. It comes crashing to us, so we arrived in Pundaquit wet.
Our tricycle driver was there already waiting for us. He took us to a local restaurant to have our quick lunch while we wait for a bus bound to Olongapo. As advised, since it is holiday, we will hardly find buses to Manila. It will be easier if we ride a bus bound to Olongapo then from Olongapo will ride bus bound to Manila. We arrived in Ayala stop around 8:00pm.
So here are our expenses for the 2 days and 1 night trip to Zambales.
The price for the boat will be lowered if there’s more of you going because it will divided to more people. You can also do this trip for 1 day if you don’t have enough time. You can just finish the island hopping in one day and stay in Anawangin Cove for quick beach bumming.
So if you are looking for a near place to go from Manila for your next adventure, Zambales is a good option. For only 1,500 pesos, you can already have a quick weekend trip away from the hustle and bustle of the city and take home IG-worthy pictures you can share to your friends.
If you have questions, just send me a message or comment below.