I live (and work) for weekends like this. As much as I love going out to party with friends; hanging out at a bookstore, a resto, or a cafe; or shopping, there is nothing like relaxing by the beach, as far as I’m concerned. I was never keen on beach camping until my previous trip to Anawangin, which I enjoyed so much.
Like most people, I do look for certain creature comforts before I can say that I enjoy any particular activity. However, due perhaps to the craziness that life has thrown my way in recent months, any travel outside Manila which allowed me the opportunity to unplug–from the web, from social media, from email or texting—has been more than welcome. And still more, doing so in some far-flung pocket of the country with just me and nature (okay, amongst friends and on good weather) is something I will always look forward to.
I joined a group of friends and colleagues over the weekend for an overnight camping trip at Nagsasa Cove in Zambales. Nagsasa is a massive cove some 1.5 hours away by boat from the nearest take-off point in Pundaquit Village in sleepy San Antonio town. However, despite the extra one-hour boat ride, I would always choose it over Anawangin, as it is about three times bigger and the water is definitely cleaner/clearer. You could also be some 50 meters out on the shore and the water would only still be chest-deep, or shallow, whichever you prefer. Ergo, if you are not the best swimmer in town, there is less danger of accidentally getting into sudden drop or getting oneself dragged by waves.
We reached Pundaquit a little before 8:00 AM and immediately prepared for camping. Mind, going to the cove is not really for the faint of heart, particularly because only small pump boats or bancas took campers to the site.
A small vessel could load up up to 10 people, plus camping gears, food chests, luggage, and whatnot. Because the cove is quite far, you may ask your camping guides to stop off at nearby coves for rest and picture-taking.
Island-hopping is also included in the camping package, which depending on the number of people in your group costs anywhere from P1,000 to P2,000, and it includes tent rental, boat ride, 3 to 4 camping guides/helpers, wood for bonfire, food, and a quick snorkeling stop.
|Our group was lucky enough to get an early start when the waters were still calm.|
|Me and my home girls|
Picnic huts are provided for campers for resting while the sun is at its merciless. The best time to hit the water is around 4 PM when one has finally rested or taken siesta.
|Because it faces the west, Nagsasa Cove showcases fantastic views of the sunset.|
|We were blessed with fantastic weather during the trip, and this picture does not even begin to give justice to just how beautiful the place is.|
|On the way back to Pundaquit, a short snorkeling stint near Anawangin proved to be a great treat.|