beach bumming, travel

041815: Nagsasa Cove

SPRINGTIME (4)

It’s always been on top of my wishlist to visit the trilogy of coves in San Antonio, Zambales. I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of Anawangin and Nagsasa, and even its lesser known sisters Talisayen and Silanguin. Pictures taken by bloggers who have been there long ago are enough to paint a general picture of the coves’ beauty: light gray sand that looks immaculately white under the bright sunlight, clear waters, the agoho trees, and the peaks of the Zambales range in the background.

Pundaquit Beach

Pundaquit Beach

One of the main reasons why these coves have remained quite pristine and preserved is because of its remote location. You either have to take a boat ride to one of the coves (rough waters are fairly common, but our boat ride was really smooth), or if you’re more adventurous and have an inkling to hiking, you can trek all the way from Pundaquit to either one of the coves. The thing about the latter, however, especially if you’re planning to do it in summer, is that it can be quite taxing. Mt. Balingkilat and the hills that surround it are bare, you’re completely exposed to the sun.

When we went there in the middle of April, our group was supposed to make the trek to Nagsasa while another group takes the boat ride to the cove. Given a review of the final cost of the trip for each participant, we decided it would be way more cost effective if all of us just took the goddamn boat. Okay okay. I still want to make the trek though, so maybe some other time!

One of San Antonio's coves on the way to Nagsasa.

One of San Antonio’s coves on the way to Nagsasa.

As I’ve mentioned, we went there in the height of April. You can only imagine how scorching it was, but the clear waters of Nagsasa were enough to keep you so refreshed. The agoho trees were also really pretty and provided enough protection for all the campers staying for the night. The site that we chose was quite crowded, since they offer cheap packages that include transportation from Manila, boat transfers, and the food. Nonetheless, it was a very enjoyable trip.

One of the highlights of our overnight stay was our attempt to hike in one of the hills near the cove late in the afternoon. The trail wasn’t well-defined and soon enough, we got lost. We had to make our own way back, and quite fortunately, we safely arrived within the grounds of another campsite (more remote, secluded, and chill. I want this campsite) managed by an Aeta family. After that hike, all of us went for another dip in the water. Ahhhh perfect way to finish the day, man.

The sweltering heat prevailed the whole night, however. Justin and I only had half of our bodies inside the tent, while others opted to sleep outside the tent. Some managed to get a good night’s sleep, but Justin and I were up at around 4 to stargaze and watch the sky transition from ink black to the colors of sunrise. (The sun rises in the east, so we didn’t get a view of the sun at all). Once the others woke up, we made a quick trek to the river and took some pictures. There, we had a little peek of the sunrise. After that, it was back to the campgrounds for breakfast. We left Nagsasa around 10 in the morning to check out Camara and Capones Island, and make our way back to Pundaquit Beach and eventually Manila.

I’m definitely looking forward to another trip to Nagsasa some time around February for cooler weather and less people.

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