nagsasa zambales

Island Hopping in Zambales

Covering four islands on a two days, one night out of town trip, I’ve decided to relive my Nagsasa experience with colleagues in February 2011 because it is our most innocent trip ever. (And by innocent I mean: it’s our getting-to-know-you stage since we’ve all just known each other for roughly five months.)

It was my first attempt of going out and about without my family right after College so everything was scary and exciting at the same time. Looking back at the experience two years later, I’m very happy I joined this trip and I am more than willing to relive that moment, given the opportunity, with the same set of friends or even more!

nagsasa, zambales

Call of nature, lol!

How to get to Zambales

A two to three hours travel from Manila to Brgy. San Antonio, Zambales is available in Victory Liner stations. Jump-off point would be the San Antonio Municipal Hall. From there we rode a tricycle that took us to the home of our contact boatman, Mang Johnny, located at San Miguel, and waited for sunrise before we set off to Anawangin and then to Nagsasa Cove.

What to do in Zambales

  • Island Hopping (Anawangin Cove, Nagsasa Cove, Capones Island, Camara Island, etc.)
  • Trekking
  • Bonfire
  • Camping


Php 2,100 /head for a group of 12

What to bring:

  • Personal care (soap, shampoo etc, snacks, mosquito repellant, sunscreen, sanitizer, alcohol, hat)
  • Mess kit (spoon, fork, mini tupperware)
  • First aid kit
  • Barbecue sticks
  • 1L of mineral water each
  • 2-3 cups of rice each
  • Sleeping bag
  • Flashlight
  • Match / Lighter
  • Can openers / knives
  • Tent
  • Garbage bags
  • 2 canned goods / head
  • 4kl of marinated liempo (good for the whole group)
  • 4kl of hotdogs (good for the whole group)
  • Swimming attire
  • Extra clothes

Suggested itinerary for Zambales

Day 0 – Day 1 (Feb. 18, 19, 2011)
10pm – Ayala to Victory liner Pasay
11pm – buy tickets for bus ride
11:30pm – ETD Pasay to San Antonio, Zambales
3:30am – ETA San Antonio / Regroup / Change clothing
4:15am – Ride a TRICYCLE to San Miguel / Meet Boatman
4:30am – San Miguel to Anawangin (sidetrip) BOAT
5:30am – Anawangin to Nagsasa (BOAT)
7:30am – Build camp/Prepare breakfast
8:30am – Breakfast
9:30am – Free time (sleeping time, games, swimming)
11am – Prepare lunch
12nn – Lunch
1pm – Free time (waterfalls trekking)
6pm – Prepare dinner
7pm – Dinner
8pm onwards – Bonfire

Day 2 (Feb. 20, 2011)
6am – Prepare Breakfast
7am – Heavy Breakfast
8am – Free time
8:45am – Nagsasa to Capones Island (BOAT)
10:30am – Trek to Capones Lighthouse
11:30am – Explore lighthouse/Island
12:30nn – Trek back to boat
1:15pm – Capones to Camara Island (BOAT)
1:30pm – Explore Camara Island
2:30pm – Camara to San Miguel
2:40pm – San Miguel to San Antonio trike
3pm – Wash up/Fix up/Snacks
4pm – San Antonio to Olongapo
5pm – Early Dinner at Big Foot Restaurant /Rest
7pm – ETD Olongapo to Manila
10pm – ETA Manila

Where to Stay

There were NO hotels, NO electricity, NO modern comfort rooms, NO cellphone signal, NO cooking utensils, and NO portable water in the area so brace yourselves for a two days worth of episode of living ala Survivor.

What to Eat

Before heading to the bus station, we already have our hotdogs and marinated liempos with us, ready for old-style cooking in the island. We also brought some canned goods with us, which served as tummy savers right after we went island hopping. We forgot to bring can openers that time but since we’re all hungry mammals waiting to devour on just about anything, we used our resources, like knives, in opening our packed canned goods. And we ate it as if we haven’t tasted food for days. It was heavenly.

Personal Experiences

First stop: Anawangin Cove, where some of the scenes from the movie And I Love You So starring Bea Alonzo and Sam Milby where shot.

nagsasa, zambales

Jay, me, and Meinard

Then, off to our main destination: Nagsasa Cove!

nagsasa, zambales

Nagsasa at noon time

When you want other adventure aside from swimming and island hopping, you can opt for a one hour trek to the waterfalls.

nagsasa, zambales

That is Nickie and me, on our way to the falls in Nagsasa Cove.

After trekking, worry not for there is a restroom with clean running water, so you can take a refreshing bath.

Time passes by so slowly in this island maybe because of the lack of technology. So, we had more time exchanging questions and sharing bits of information about each other.

nagsasa, zambalesIf you can’t bring your own tent, coordinate with the boatman as they have tents for rent.

nagsasa, zambales

Tents for rent at Php 100/head

And of course, to make the camping life more fun: bonfire!

nagsasa, zambales

We sighted some fireflies in the island…

nagsasa, zambales

Nagsasa at dawn

The next morning, we woke up early and headed to two more islands: Capones and Camara.


Capones island where the lighthouse resides


Other info about Zambales

You may contact the boatman, Mang Johnny here: 09202224687. He served as our hero for this trip. Aside from letting us stay in his house a few minutes before sunrise, he also helped us out on cooking our rice. Then after island hopping, we were worrying about where to change clothes as we got wet during the boat ride because some swam while others, despite choosing not to, are just too clumsy to trip while going down the boat (ehem, yes that’s me, ehem). Mang Johnny was kind enough to let us use their home’s comfort rooms so we could take a bath before going home. We’re lucky to have him as our guide.

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