Capones Island, Zambales

Capones Island is another beach destination in San Antonio, Zambales. If you’re not too adventurous or you’re not the type of person who would want to go through the hassle of going to Anawangin Cove or Nagsasa Cove, then Capones Island might just be right for you. Capones Island is around 15 to 20 minutes boat ride from the shores of Pundaquit, San Antonio, Zambales. I’m not sure how much it will cost to go there since Capones was just part of the Nagsasa trip that we had weeks ago.

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How to get to Nagsasa Cove, Zambales

Nagsasa Cove

Getting to Nagsasa Cove may be difficult for first time goers. I was lucky that my friend Benj, the one who organized the weekend trip to Nagsasa, has been there once and has already learned things on how to survive a weekend in the remote paradise.

Nagsasa Cove is located in Zambales. If you’re taking public transport, it is advised that you take a bus from the Caloocan terminal of Victory Liner. They have a regular schedule for buses leaving for Iba, Zambales.  It is also advised that you take the first trip (at around 4 a.m) going to Iba. This will bring you to the small town of San Antonio. You can ask the driver to drop you in front of the town’s municipal hall which is not so far from the town’s public market.  Alternately, you can also take a bus going to Olongapo City. From Olongapo City, take any of the buses headed for Iba, Zambales.  The entire bus trip will cost you around P250.00.

Once you get off from the bus in San Antonio, go to the public market and buy your food and supplies. Don’t forget to buy coal, matches and booze.

The jump-off point to Nagsasa is in Pundaquit. From the San Antonio public market, ask a tricycle to take you to Pundaquit. Trike fare is around P25.00 per person.

Since Benj is already experienced in dealing with the necessities of a trip to Nagsasa Cove, he already arranged us a boat that will take us to the cove. He also asked the boatman to have our rice and water prepared for us. We were also able to borrow knife, grill and a cooler for our drinks and meat. There were seven of us and each paid P350.00 for the 1-hour boat ride. This covers the round trip boat ride to and from Nagsasa.

Once you arrived in Nagsasa, the caretaker, Kuya Ador, will ask P100.00 from each person for setting up camp on the island. You should also arrange with the boatman your pick-up schedule.

The entire two-day trip cost us P1500.00 / person. It already covered everything from food to transportation.

Here’s a copy of our itinerary (courtesy of Benj):

DAY 1

04:00 Leave Caloocan for Iba, Zambales
06:30 Arrive at San Antonio, Zambales
06:45 Breakfast/ Palengke (for our meals)
07:45 Take a tricycle to Brgy Pundaquit
08:10 Arrive at Pundaquit
08:30 Take a boat to Nagsasa Cove
09:30 Arrive at Nagsasa Cove

Day 2
10:00 Leave for Pundaquit
11:30 Tricyle to San Antonio
11:45 Bus to Olongapo
12:30 Lunch
14:00 Bus to Manila
18:00 Arrive at Manila

For arrangements with boat services, you may contact the boatman at 09108162974[1].

[1] No cellular reception from all networks in Nagsasa Cove.

A day in Nagsasa, San Antonio, Zambales

I must have spent most of my time with my camera during our stay at Nagsasa Cove last weekend. After we have set our camp and have eaten our lunch, I immediately grabbed my camera and tripod and started exploring the place. There were not much people that day except for a small group near our camp. In my opinion, one advantage of Nagsasa Cove over Anawangin Cove is the density of tourists that visit the place. If you’re into a serene and laid back type of vacation, then Nagsasa Cove is just right for you.

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Nagsasa Cove

If you were to be asked for a good place to go for weekend holidays in Luzon, you would likely give Batangas, Tagaytay or Baguio for an answer. But after experiencing one of the hidden jewels of Luzon last weekend, if I’m asked, I’d probably give a Nagsasa Cove for an answer.
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Quiapo Church, the Basilica of the Black Nazarene

The Basilica of the Black Nazarene, or the Quiapo Church as it is popularly known, houses the large black wooden statue of Christ bearing the cross. The Black Nazarene is believed to have miraculous powers. On Fridays (throughout the year), devotees of the Black Nazarene visit the Quiapo Church to celebrate the novena. Many believes that the Black Nazarene has attributes which can heal illnesses.

The Quiapo Church sits in front of Plaza Miranda, the heart of Quiapo, Manila.

The body of the Black Nazarene brought out of the Quiapo Church during the feast of the Most Holy Black Nazarene which is celebrated every 9th of January. The Black Nazarene is displayed in procession to the public in memory of Jesus Christ’s way to Mount Calvary. Devotees who walk with the procession usually walk barefoot.

The photo below shows the interior of the Quiapo Church. Devotees touch the figure of the Black Nazarene in hopes that they will be healed by the Black Nazarene’s miraculous healing powers.

Marcelo B. Fernan Bridge in Mactan, Cebu

When visiting Cebu via plane, the first attraction that will greet you perhaps is the Marcelo B. Fernan Bridge.  Built in 1999, the Marcelo B. Fernan bridge connects two of the province’s most important hubs, Mactan Island and the island of Cebu. Mactan houses the different hotel-resorts, which attracts millions of tourists every year; the different export processing plants; and Cebu’s gateway to the world, the Mactan International Airport.

This 1.2 km cable stayed bridge was constructed to alleviate traffic on the old Mactan-Mandaue bridge. The entire bridge system, which was constructed by the Japanese, spans across the Mactan Channel. The bridge was named after one of Cebu’s political figures, the late Senator Marcelo Fernan.

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Philippine Beaches: Samal, Davao City

Thanks to Byahilo’s DiscOVIry contest that forced me to explore the depths of my photo library for photos of Philippine Beaches. I’ll be posting in the coming days a few of the 7, 107 beach destinations in our country. I have always dreamed of visiting all of these but for now, let’s enjoy few of my lakwatsas (trips).

Angel Cove, Samal, Davao City

For the first photo, I present to you the Angel Cove in Samal, Davao City. This little paradise is among the hottest snorkeling and diving destinations in Samal Island. The last time I went there was during our December 2007 island hopping in Davao (Samal).  Whole day boat rental usually ranges from 5000 to 7000 pesos. It’s worth it especially if you share the expense with a group.

Samal Island, Davao City
One of the sceneries during our Island Hopping in Samal, Davao

Babu Santa, Samal, Davao City

The photo above is from Babu Santa in Samal, one of the drop-offs during our Island Hopping. I’ve only been here a couple of times and I fell in-love with this place. It’s an undeveloped white-sand beach resort. We have used this place before for our photo shoot. A few nipa cottages are available for rent for guests who wish to stay during the day.

Photoshoot at Babu Santa, Samal, Davao City
Fran during our photoshoot in Babu Santa

These are just a few of the beaches that can be seen in Samal, Davao City. Unlike in most places in the Philippines, the weather in Davao is typhoon-free with occasional  rain-showers at night. Thus, you can beach-hop all year round.

Visiting Baguio City

Session Road, Baguio City
Session Road, Baguio City - One of the most crowded places in downtown Baguio

One advantage of living in Manila is the accessibility of tourist places like Baguio City from the metro. Unlike when I was still living in Davao City or Cebu City, I only get to visit Baguio City whenever I have an important business or a scheduled vacation or trip. And not to mention the cost of traveling from the province to Manila and from Manila to Baguio.

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More Flights to Caticlan

My trip to Boracay in 2006 with college friends.
My trip to Boracay in 2006 with college friends.

The last time I visited Boracay was in 2006 with my some college friends. It was a fun experience. I wish I had my own camera at that time for taking pictures. Unfortunately, I was only sharing with the group’s cameras. Nice thing though that Seair is now offering more flights to Boracay (Caticlan). I can now easily schedule a weekend lakwatsa to Boracay in the comfort of my own computer.

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