Sunnysideup: I Choose to be Happy!
(is now back in Manila!)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Thank you series: My 3-day Island Adventure at Nagsasa, Zambales

It's been a while since my last blog. It has been a challenge for me to maintain this blog as I only get to post entries when I'm in Manila or on trips that give me unblocked access to blogspot.

Anyway, before I digress any further I just want to share about my weekend trip to Nagsasa, Zambales. We spent 3 days and 2 nights in this place. We had a tour guide assist us since this is our first visit there. Our trip would have been better though if we had hired a better one but the place made us forget all the hassles we experienced with him. If you plan to take a guide choose someone who is highly recommended by your friends, you can even skip taking a guide and just hire the local aetas and town folks. Do a little research and make sure you have a rough idea of the costs so you will be fair in tips and payments.

As for the place, it was simply astounding and awesome. Only in Nagsasa will you find both sea water and fresh water. In one area, all you need is turn around to see both sea and river. Take a 20-30 minutes trek and you'll end up in an area with waterfalls.

How to get there:

1. Take a bus in Victory Liner in Caloocan with San Antonio as Destination P256 (more or less)
2. Take a tricycle ride in San Antonio to Pundaquit P20/head (more or less)
3. Take a 1 hour boat ride from Pundaquit to Nagsasa P2500/5 pax, P2000/3 pax (more or less)

**In going back to Manila, make sure to prebook or make arrangements with the boat and tricycle drvers. Inform them the day and time you wish to be picked up. It is necessary that you make the arrangements in advance since the island is secluded and boats are not readily available.

A few more tips and reminders:

1. Visit the local market in San Antonio for fresh fish, meat, fruits and vegetables. Buy all you plan to eat and cook for the duration of your stay.

2. Bring money to tip the locals. They are very nice and friendly. They will not charge you much but a tip of gratiuty will be most appreciated - it improves improves their source of income and will help them maintain their land.
3. Bring camping gears like a tent, sleeping bag, flashlight/portable light, drinking water, medicines/first aid and a portable cooking stove (that is if you dont plan to make fire or grill your food). If you have motion sickness, drink Bonamine or other remedies you take for dizziness. The boat ride is quite long so best that you come prepared.

4. Bring your camera. Once you are there you can't help but take photos of the place, the sunset, the stars etc.

5. Be prepared to be incommunicado. There is no electricity, cell sites/signal or internet access. (Yes, this is indeed a great place to disappear to :P but seriously this is the place to "get away from it all")

So if you are an adventure seeker a beach person or a fan of survivor this just may be the chance for you to live and feel your "survivor dream" :) So grab your back pack, your all terrain shoes (for land and water), your camera and your rugged and adventurous attitude. There is 1 toilet and 1 shower area so be prepared for moments when water supply is scarce. You might even need to skip that much needed bath or shower.

And finally, a message of concern. If you plan to take this trip anytime soon, please be eco-friendly and help maintain the beauty of this place. It's sad how man can visit and enjoy a place and yet destroy it simultaneously with no regard or respect. So as you visit please, please leave only your footprints and take only your memories. Respect the beauty of the land and the indigenious land owners of the place - our fellowmen the Aetas.

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