Thursday, March 17, 2011

Nagsasa Cove: Another Gem in Zambales

The week before the date going to Nagsasa Cove had been really stressful for me. Being in charge of almost everything, I started working on our expenses, collected funds, started doing the grocery, buying our food in the market, even accompanying friends hunting for affordable tents that will be used in our camping. I, together with Ynah also cooked our group's packed lunch prior to leaving for the bus station. The good thing is, Nikko was always there to assist me with almost everything.^_^

Those are the things you have to look into when planning to go to Nagsasa Cove. Like Anawangin, there are no facilities/amenities in the area except for a faucet and restrooms. You really need to bring every possible thing that you'd need specially drinking water and food. Regardless of that fact though, the place is still often flocked by people who learned of the place for it boasts of a very wide coastline, peace and relaxation.

Our plan was to leave Manila through Victory Liner located in Pasay. Last trip going to Iba is 11:30 PM so before that time, we all were already there. As I was buying the ticket for everyone of us, I overheard the girl behind me talking to her friends. They were also headed to San Antonio and they are a big group as well. I'm really thankful that I arrived earlier than her and was in line first, otherwise, we won't be able to leave that night. The last seats of the bus were sold to me. After the 11:30 trip, you'll have to wait for the 5AM trip the following day. Maybe, if you're planning on a trip like this, it will pay to buy the tickets in advance especially when you're with a big group. ^_^

We arrived in the town of San Antonio at around three in the morning. Mang Alfring (thesame boat service I used in Anawangin and Capones) sent me a message to drop by the Local police office first to register our names. That maybe, is a safety precaution if something happens. We we're then fetched by tricycles (which was arranged by Mang Romeo - Mang Alfring's son for us)to bring us to Brgy. Pundaquit, the jump off point to Nagsasa Cove. We waited for the break of dawn in the shores of the beach before riding the boat taking us to the cove. I made sure I texted my parents before I hopped into the boat because there's no cellphone signal in Nagsasa.

I was so sleepy since I didn't even had a nap the day and night before. The calmness of the water induced me to sleeping in the boat. I didn't know how I managed to sleep sitting but I really dozed off, for few minutes, waking up just before our boat docked the extensive shores of the cove.

We had breakfast ( champorado and cupcakes fom Gen) with our boatmen before setting up camp. Some hit the beach right away, while others were organizing our things. I, on the otherhand lay down on a bamboo table under the agoho trees to steal a nap. I wasn't successful though.

The day was spent cooking, swimming and just exploring the area. The boys also tried skimboarding and were mostly occupied playing Ultimate (frisbee). What occupied us girls was far more interesting,:D since we have to endure the dizzying effect of Gen's concoction. lol! Nobody got drunk though. The first day was a blast! When I looked into everyone's faces, I can tell they were all having fun.

When we woke up the next day, we waited for the fisherman that is said to sometimes drop by the area to offer their catch to campers. Truthfully enough, they arrived.

We hurriedly walked to the knee high waters since they can't dock closer to the shore. We were busy checking out their catch, with Eileen haggling the price of the fish very well. We're also able to get a freebie (2 pcs of fish) free. Being a restaurant manager, maybe that's her forte and we just couldn't thank enough that she's there, lol!

The guys cleaned what we bought and prepared the grill while us, girls, prepared the stir-fry vegetables. That's a very sumptuous combination for lunch that everybody got to enjoy. After resting, we settled to go and check out the said "mini waterfalls" at the mountains on the opposite end of the cove.

We walked further, noticing more of Nagsasa's charm. There was a part where the sea water flows into a basin where fresh and salt water meets. The beauty is almost enchanting. With the mountains on the background and agoho trees (pine like trees) everywhere, you'd really tell yourself that the Philippines is a very beautiful country.

We needed a guide to bring us to the "mini waterfalls". We met the locals (Aetas) on our way and had a bit of chat with them. They were drinking gin without chasers and some of the guys were invited to drink and I think it's Kuya Dave that obliged.

We were given a guide and was asked to pay minimum of Php50 but at the end, we decided to give him Php150 anyway. I have to tell you though, I'm not impressed with the mini waterfall at all, the catch basin is almost dry and there's almost no water flowing into it. I felt like it was a waste of time. What I got to enjoy though is the view from the higher grounds of the mountain. You get a nice view of the cove from there.

When the night time came, I had the worst migraine of my life. I took 2 pain relieving capsules yet it didn't work its purpose. As everybody's having fun eating marshmallows and drinking around a bonfire, I was confined inside my tent, trying to sleep and hoping resting would take the pain away. I could hear the loud laughters outside since they were playing charades and I so wish that I'd feel even a little better so I could join them. Unluckily for me, they already called the night a quits but my head was still pounding very hard. :(

I slept so late and woke up a little later than usual. Breakfast was already being served. :) After breakfast, I headed to the beach. I didn't know how to swim or just float when we went to Nagsasa so I told myself, I'll never go home unless I learn how to just even float. I don't know if it's Nikko's patience or my determination to learn that paid off, but I eventually learned how to float before we headed home. I just told myself while in the waters, I don't care if a lot of water goes into my ears (which happened to me when I was a kid), or if I swallow water or if I drown.. I just want to do it and be done with it. So that's one thing that I'll always remember about Nagsasa Cove besides its pristine waters and beauty, that's where I learned how to conquer my fear and learned ow to float.

Lunch time and our boats arrived to take us back to Pundaquit. There's this feel that almost everybody didn't want to leave yet, but since we have to, what can we do? haha! In the seas going back, the water was really rough! Boats are swaying wildly and I know our boats might be toppled anytime. The comfort came from knowing that our boatmen are skillful enough and we were all wearing life jackets. Thank God since we arrived in Pundaquit and in Manila all safe and sound - tired but happy for the time spent together in a place that's almost a paradise.

And oh, we only spent Php2000 for two nights and three days, another proof that cheap can be wonderful. ^_^


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