A recipe for an awesome Nagsasa Cove camping trip

Where the sun shines brightly and the sea is blue
Where the sun shines brightly and the sea is blue

Ingredients:

  • 8 or more friends (old, new, or a mix of old and new)
  • pooled resources (money, stuff)
  • van (preferably with a cool driver like Kuya Piyok)
  • cameras (any kind)

Procedure:

  1. Organize a group with at least 8 members. You can have more as long as you and your things can fit in a UV Express. Originally, we were 11 in our group, but unfortunately, two could not make it. Don’t worry if you do not know well all the members of your group. There’s something about camping that brings people closer.
  2. Pool your resources. Assign someone to be the fund keeper. Because some members of the Tropang Gutom had been to Nagsasa Cove before, we had a pretty good idea how much we needed for transportation and food. Your monetary contribution to your group’s fund will vary depending on how many you are, where you are coming from, and what your activities are.
  3. Make to-bring, to-buy, and to-do lists. Make sure that everyone has an assignment. Our to-bring list includes the following: ice box, camping stove, butane, lighter, flashlight/rechargeable lamp, Swiss knife, bottle/can opener, scratch paper, fan, plastic utensils, styro and plastic cups, paper plates, frying pan, pot, dishwashing liquid, foil, and Marianne’s mom’s special bagoong.
  4. Set a meeting place and time for departure. Ours was at 5:00 am at Ministop Tabing-ilog, Marilao but we had some unforeseen circumstances (ahem, Rheena and Vhong, ahem haha). Though we left much later than intended, we still got to San Antonio, Zambales around 10 am. In case someone from your group is left behind, provide instructions on how to get to San Antonio Market.
  5. Buy food, water, and ice at San Antonio Market. We bought ingredients for chicken adobo, grilled pork chops, stuffed bangus, and scrambled eggs. We also bought rice, salted eggs, shrimps, hotdogs, mangoes (green, yellow, indian), bananas, eggplants, and okra.

    Buying stuff at San Antonio Market
    Buying stuff at San Antonio Market
  6. (Optional) Eat lunch at Pundakit. You can even ask the carinderia to cook the shrimps for a minimal fee 🙂

    Bought at San Antonio Market, cooked in Pundakit, eaten at Nagsasa Cove
    Bought at San Antonio Market, cooked in Pundakit, eaten at Nagsasa Cove
  7. Rent a boat from Pundakit to Nagsasa Cove and vice versa. Look for the best package, say, a big boat with free use of ice box and some flexibility when it comes to pick up time for the return trip for Php4,000.

    Boat ride from Pundakit to Nagsasa (Photo credit: Eleriza Soriano)
    Boat ride from Pundakit to Nagsasa (Photo credit: Eleriza Soriano)
  8. Enjoy the sights and sounds during the boat ride. Ask for the names of the other coves that you can camp on the next time you plan a camping trip to Zambales.
  9. Pay fees and set up camp. There is an entrance fee of Php100 per head and a fee of Php100 per cottage. Yes, there are water for washing and bathing and clean restrooms at Nagsasa Cove.
  10. Enjoy the sun, sea, and sand. Watch the sun set.
  11. Make a bonfire. Don’t forget the marshmallows on sticks! Sharing stories and chips: highly recommended. Alcoholic beverages: optional.20150427_195959

    mallows
    Marshmallows FTW! (Photo credit: Vhong Zapanta)
  12. Lie on the beach. Gaze at the stars. Share more stories.
  13. Walk to Camp Bira-Bira and climb a hill (mountain?) for Php20. If your group wish to climb all the way to the summit, get a guide for Php500. I was lucky we have Cris in our group. I have given him 1,000 pogi points for helping me climb.

    At Camp Bira-Bira
    At Camp Bira-Bira (Photo credit: Badong Salvador)
  14. (Optional) Trek to the falls if you don’t mind walking and climbing rocks/boulders for an hour and a half or two (or three, depending on your pace). There is a fee of Php100 per head.
    Taking a break from our trek to the falls
    Taking a break from our trek to the falls (Photo credit: Badong Salvador)

    Bato pa more! (Photo credit: Badong Salvador)
    Bato pa more! (Photo credit: Badong Salvador)
  15. Buy souvenirs from the locals. They have shirts, key chains, and ref magnets. They also have stuff made of bamboo such as rainmakers.

    Additions to my ref magnet collection
    Additions to my ref magnet collection
  16. Take pictures. As if you need me to list this step haha!
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