Zambales

Mt. Pinatubo Adventure

My colleagues and I purchased a voucher going to Mt. Pinatubo for Php2000. The package includes:

  • Round Trip Transportation from Manila/Pampanga/Manila
  • Packed Lunch
  • Facilitator and local guides
  • 4×4 vehicle
  • Certificate of Conquering Pinatubo and ID!

Sometimes it’s okay to purchase such package deals than do-it-yourself so I don’t have to worry about which bus to take, what things to bring, etc. So at 2am, without sleep, we were waiting for our pick up from McDo Ortigas. We left Ortigas at 3am and arrived at 7am where the 4×4’s are waiting. We rode the 4×4 for an hour then our trek started. Good thing the weather was perfect during that day we didn’t worry about getting a sunburn or sweating. The previous days were rainy we actually thought the trip might get cancelled. The trek was not tiresome as I expected. We didn’t even feel the need to drink water during the trek except when we were like 20 minutes away from the crater.

The scenery was just beautiful! The 2-hour trek was a bit tiring (not exhausting) but upon seeing the view, I felt I had a lot more energy. We ate our lunch there then tried to swim. The water was very cold! We just waded in the water while waiting for our turn in the boat we rented (for Php350) that will bring us to the hotspring. The water’s warmer there but it was also kind of hard to swim because the sand, i mean the lahar, was too hot when you soak your feet into it. We decided to stay at the shore and take some more pictures while waiting for the boat that will bring us back to the other side. Going back, we had to walk for 2 hours again but this time, I think it’s easier. But for some, it’s more difficult since they could already feel the pains of the trek earlier. The water current was stronger then because it was raining. They said it always rains there in the afternoons. The 4×4 ride was longer. I guess they took a different route. We took a shower at Mt. Pinatubo Spa (I think) for Php100. It includes the soap, towel, and locker. It was another great adventure. It’s like swimming and climbing combined. I think an overnight stay there would be a good idea next time. And I’ll try some of the Spa services. All in all, we spent Php 2450. Not bad for seeing something as great as the Pinatubo crater. ^_^

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Island Hopping in Zambales

Before my Subic Adventure, my colleagues and I, 12 of us, had our backpacking/camping trip to Nagsasa Cove last February 2011. It is one of the many islands in Zambales. There was much planning to this trip mostly because we were all so excited and also because of the conditions that we were going to face there: NO cellphone signal, NO modern-day comfort rooms, NO potable water, NO cooking utensils, NO electricity, and NO rooms or hotels to stay in there. So we really had to prepare for the stuff that we had to carry for ourselves and for the whole group. We also had an itinerary for the whole trip so we’d know what to expect and to make sure that we won’t waste time.

Going there as a group made the trip very cheap for us. We spent only around Php2000 for the whole trip (excluding your fares in Manila). We got way more than we paid for. Here’s a simple breakdown of our expenses:

EXPENSES:
(2) Pasay to San Antonio, Zambales: PHP 346
(2) Trike to San Miguel: PHP 20/head
BOAT Roundtrip PHP 500 (2,000 per boat, 3 boats, 12 people)
FOOD: PHP 500
NAGSASA Entrace: PHP 100
Anawangin Entrance: PHP 50
Extra money (in case of price adjustments): PHP 150 – tent included!

TOTAL: PHP 2,032

 

It was incredibly fun! Time went by so slow probably because any kind/form of modern-day technology isn’t present there. However, the restroom at Nagsasa was better than I expected. Running water (through a faucet) was abundant and clean and it was actually tiled.

Your trip to Nagsasa would greatly depend on the boatman that you contacted as he will be the one who’ll help you with almost everything from rice to charcoal to creating a bonfire! Good for us we got a very kind boatman, Kuya Johnny. You may contact him at 09093120345 (if that is still his number).

I’ll definitely go back there but I wanna go places where I haven’t been to yet. On second thought, if I’m really really stressed out and wanna unwind, I might actually go back there. Let’s see…

 

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Nagsasa Itinerary

Here’s our original itinerary our trip in Nagsasa Cove.

DAY 0 – DAY 1 (Feb. 18, 19, 2011)

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

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

This was our planned itinerary but we didn’t strictly follow this.

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Subic Adventure

My sisters and I purchased a voucher last April 2011 for an overnight stay at Subic International Hotel. The voucher included:

• 4 sets of Breakfast
• 4 sets of Dinner
• Welcome Drink upon arrival for 4
• Tree top adventure for 4 persons
• Ultimate adventure for 4 persons
• Canopy Walk for 4 persons
• Tree-drop adventure for 4 persons
• Free use of swimming pool and sauna
• Free use of gym

Not bad, right? Indeed! The hotel may not be as 4-star as they claim to be but they generally have good accommodations.

    

We rented a jeepney to take us around Subic. Since we were all itching to swim, we asked kuya driver where the best place to swim is and WhiteRock seems to be the popular choice. It was kind of pricey at White Rock for a day tour but I guess we had no more choice. Either we take White Rock or go around Subic looking for a more reasonable place. We didn’t want to waste time so we stayed at White Rock. To our dismay. A call center company was having their summer outing so we had limited access to the swimming area. But since White Rock is really a huge place, we were still able to enjoy our swim there.

    

The following day, before we went back to Manila, we availed our Treetop Adventure freebies. Needless to say, it was exciting! Let our pictures show you that.

      

Not for people with heart problems though. But they are really safe.  For more info about the Treetop Adventure, you may visit this page: http://tinyurl.com/treetopadventure

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