Life’s a Beach! – Weekend Getaway at Crystal Beach Resort

Saturday morning, I woke up early and packed my stuff for my weekend out-of-town trip.  Zambales, baby!

I had breakfast with my family.  Then, I left for Victory Liner in Cubao, where I was supposed to meet my friend, Angge, at 8:00 AM for the 9:00 AM bus to Iba, Zambales.  I got there at 8:30 AM.  Err..

As soon as I got to the bus station, I called Angge but didn’t get an answer.  Since she’s almost always on time and, if she isn’t, I was sure that she’d communicate it with me, I had a feeling that she missed her alarm.  So, I just waited, thought of alternatives should Angge suddenly decide not to push through with this trip (go to Zambales alone, go to Baguio instead, or go home and save the money for some future trip), and played Candy Crush.  Haha!  Man, that game is addicting!

Also while waiting for her, an adorable elderly spoke to me.  He said that his daughter was supposed to pick him up but he couldn’t confirm with her that he was already at the bus station because he ran out of load for texting.  So, he requested that I text her for him.  I offered to just give his daughter a call.  Then, we chatted for a while.

Lolo Loreto is a seventy-something retired naval worker.  He has seven children, a couple are public school teachers and one is a civil engineer now based in South Africa.  He said that he was supposed to go to the US but opted to stay here in the Philippines, where his entire family is.  I found that sweet and adorable.

One of the reasons why I don’t mind people being late on me is because I find it an opportunity to experience pleasant surprises.  I have a lot of times arrived at realizations, came up with projects, and have conversations with friends or new-found ones while waiting for some scheduled meet-up or activity.  There was even a time when, because of a supposed breakdown in scheduling, I got to chat with Archbishop Oscar Cruz about politics!  How cool is that?

I got a call at past 9:00 AM from Angge, saying “I’m so sorry… I just woke up.”  Haha!  So, I told her where things were standing:  we missed the last morning bus to Iba, Zambales, so we’d have to take the bus to Olongapo and just take another bus to San Narciso from there.  She promised to be at the bus station in an hour.  So, we agreed that I already buy the tickets for the 10:30 AM bus trip to Olongapo.

Angge arrived a few minutes before our bus left.  Then, the awesome trip began.  We chatted, watched the movie being played on the bus, and, when we were already on the bus to Iba, enjoyed the breeze, a reprieve from the scorching heat of the sun.  Yes, it’s officially summer!

We arrived at Crystal Beach Resort at around 2:30 PM.  We put our things inside the fan room we rented for Php 1,200.00.  Then, went to get something to eat.

Angge

Monica

After having our instant pancit canton, soda, and shake, we headed to the beach.  I stopped by somewhere first and when I arrived at one of the huts, I saw Angge lying on the sand.  Like a boss!

By the beach!

It was my second time to visit Crystal Beach Resort.  The first was in November 2011, when the four of us – Angge, Raisa, Tin, and me – first met together.  Angge and Raisa have been friends since college while I know Raisa from INCITEGov.  That time, the waves were fit for surfing so Angge and Raisa got to surf.  Tin and I were supposed to go to Baguio so what we had were sweaters and no swimming stuff.  Talk about not being ready for the beach!

Crystal Beach

This time, the water was calm and was fit for swimming.

Rays of the sun

While Angge was taking a dip, I enjoyed sitting on the sand and taking a few pictures.  It would have been sooo awesome to listen to some reggae music while doing this.  But, errr, my iPod died so I just opted to listen to the sound of the waves and the wind.  It was lovely.

Let's play!

Crystal Beach

Tambay

Crystal Beach

I didn’t want to jump into the water, at first, because I was lazy.  Haha!  But, when Angge said, “Life’s too short,” I put my camera down and went for a swim.  But, before that, Angge and I took these shots.

Jump!

Angge

Monica

Angge and Monica

I didn’t get to take a picture of the beautiful sunset, though, because, errr, I was taking a dip on their lovely beach.  So, I just enjoyed the water and the feel and sound of the waves while I was watching the sun set through the sky.  It was such a magnificent experience.

After taking a shower at their boho shower area, we had dinner and drank our beers.  Their viands are in big servings so if you’re not a heavy eater, you might want to consider sharing it with a friend.

Dinner, please

Beer!

Then, we headed to their Kampsite, where the Jamming Night would be held.

Bonfire

Monica and Angge

When we got to the resort, we asked them who were going to play that evening.  The lady in the front desk said, “mga pangkaraniwan lang (some common singers).”  Haha!  And, so, I didn’t set my expectations high.

In the evening though, there was nothing “pangkaraniwan” or common about those who played.  They were really awesome!  Angge was saying that she never appreciated one Filipino song until that evening, when one of the guys sang it.

The band

San Mig Light

Jamming Night

I also think I have found a new favorite female artist.  Angge and I were already preparing to sleep but when we heard Julianne Tarroja sing (that was the first time I got to listen to her), we just had to go out to sit and listen at their Kampsite.  Julianne, with her band, did a version of Gotye’s Somebody That I Used to Know, to which she said, “Drama!”  Haha!  And, performed a couple of originals, including Healing.  The chorus of which is:

You don’t know me
You don’t own me
Don’t even think you can control me
I don’t need this mortal feeling
Walk away as I am healing

I specially loved their final song, Grateful.

I’m stronger than before
Stronger than I’ll ever be
And I raise my eyes to the One
The One who made me see
All what I thought was lost
But now is found
And I’m grateful

Grateful for the day
You called my name
Ever since You walked into the door
It’s never been the same
Mornings are brighter now
I’m not afraid
And I wake up each day
With a smile on my face

Coz I’ve been in places
Where I couldn’t even see
The light of day
And then You came

[CHORUS]
I’m grateful
You showed me the way back to my beautiful

Everything seems different now
Things are turned inside out
With a new pair of senses to go with around
It doesn’t even matter
If I’m up or down

Blues are bluer
Smiles are brighter
It draws a tear whenever
I watch the sunsets paint the sky
I don’t even mind walking under the rain
I never laughed like this before
And I’m gonna say it once more

Then, we went back to our room and just listened to the other band play its final set while we were there.  They played a couple of my favorites, including Lintik by Brownman Revival.  So, yeah, that was an awesome night.

In the morning, we got up just in time for the last hour of our buffet breakfast.  Then, we again headed to the beach to experience the sand, the breeze, and the sound of the waves.

Crystal Beach Resort

On our way back to our room, we passed by their Pawikan Sanctuary and saw a couple of huge pawikans (sea turtle).  The caretaker said that, if we’d come back on the day that they release baby pawikans back to the sea, we could do it ourselves.  That’d be interesting. :)

Pawikan

Angge and the Mr (or Ms?) Pawikan

We then packed our bags, refreshed, returned the keys, and had mango shakes.  Then, we left for Manila.

Mango shake and pancit canton(Photo taken by the author, Crystal Beach Resort in Zambales, March 2013)
Mango shake and pancit canton
(Photo taken by the author, Crystal Beach Resort in Zambales, March 2013)

The trip was worth every penny I spent, all Php 2,000.00 of it.  The beach, the sand, the music, and the company.  Yep, I’ll be back.

We missed you, Perez...(Photo taken by Angge Tioseco, Victory Liner Bus to Olongapo, March 2013)
We missed you, Perez…
(Photo taken by Angge Tioseco, Victory Liner Bus to Olongapo, March 2013)

—–

Crystal Beach Resort
Address:  Barangay La Paz, San Narciso, Zambales, Philippines
Check-in time: 2:00 PM (If you arrive earlier, you can check-in if no one’s occupying the room that you’re renting OR you can hang out by the beach and enjoy the cool breeze and their fine sand)
Check-out time: 12:00 PM
Contact numbers:  +63.917.832.8050, +63.939.908.0373, +63.922.883.0006
How to get there: Take the bus from Victory Liner to Iba. Or, if you’re like us who missed the last morning trip to Iba, which was at 9:00 AM, you can take the bus to Olongapo (Php 240.00), which leaves every thirty minutes between 2:00 AM to 9:00 PM, and then, at the Olongapo terminal, take the bus to Iba (Php 53.00). Request the driver to drop you off San Narciso. Then, take the trike to Crystal Beach Resort (Php 30.00).



Liked what you read?  Share the love!  Follow See ya, Monica on social media to get updates on my recent travels, with tips and a lot of shares on what I got during my trips.  Plus, some barely edited photos to give you the most authentic feel of the place. (I do not know how to use Photoshop, and what I can only do are cropping, adjusting brightness and colors the way I remember it):

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Thank you! And, in whatever space you’re in now, I hope that you get something from reading my articles.

See ya,
Monica

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14 thoughts on “Life’s a Beach! – Weekend Getaway at Crystal Beach Resort

  1. Hi! I’d just like to ask if your budget of 2000php, includes food? My friends and I are planning to go here too, and we were wondering about the budget of going there. Also, can you bring food into the resort?

    1. Hi Rachel Ann!

      Yep, my Php 2,000 budget already included the food (my food options were priced from Php 150-200 and they’re for sharing because of the serving size) and a couple of bottles of beer (I don’t remember exactly how much a bottle of beer costs but it’s around Php 40-60), all bought from Crystal Beach. I think you can bring in food and liquor but you’ll have to pay a corkage fee for the latter. :-)

      We paid Php 600 each for the room. We chose that room even if it was just a fan room because it’s cheaper. It turned out to be quite a good thing, though, because we opted to stay more outside and experience the beach. But, we could’ve made our expenses even lower if we chose to camp instead.

      I hope this helps! :-) And, thank you for visiting my blog!

      Monica

    1. Hi Ralph!

      The Php 1,200 is for an overnight stay in our room at Crystal Beach. Swimming in the beach, as far as I know, is free, as long as you’re checked in. :)

      I hope that helps! And, enjoy your stay at Crystal Beach! :) Lemme know how it goes. ;)

      Cheers,
      Monica

  2. Hi Monica! am planning a short getaway for a friend’s family but they’re not fond of long distance travel, may i know how long is the travel time to crystal beach? we’ll probably have our own transport, by the way. thanks! :)

    1. Hi Tal! If memory serves, it took us about 3-4 hours to get there. But that’s because we commuted by bus all the way to Zambales. Since you have your own transport, I estimate that it’s going to be about 2-3 hours. :) I hope that helps!

  3. Hi. I love your post about crystal beach. We’re planning to go as well.. I would like to know if we need to have early reservations for the accomodations, or no need, we could just walk in?.. Thanks. and looking forward to enjoying the beach like you did. :)

    1. Hi Armie!

      Thank you for visiting my blog. :)

      I think they accept walk-ins but I suggest that you make early reservations just to be sure that they would be able to accommodate you, especially if you’re thinking of going on a weekend. It’s summer, after all. :)

      Enjoy your stay at the beach!!! :)

      Cheers,
      Monica

  4. Hi.. I really enjoy your blog it’s such a big help for us specially we really in need for information about the crystal beach resort… I just wanna ask if may malalapit bng cheap motels or inns near the resort ksi no vancy na sila accourdiNg to their website. We’re really into tight budget ng partner ko e.. Thankies

    1. Hi Regina,

      Sorry it took me time to reply to your question. I think they do but I haven’t really tried any of the other accommodations around Crystal Beach. From the internet, they’re near Sabina Beach Resort (http://www.sabinabeachresort.com/rooms.html). The rates of their rooms are around the same as Crystal Beach’s but I can’t speak about their facilities as I haven’t really had the chance to visit them. Johneva Beach Resort (http://www.johnevabeachresort.com/) is nearer, based on Google Maps, but their rates are much higher and again I can’t speak about their facilities. I suggest you call/text Crystal Beach Resort (+63.917.832.8050, +63.939.908.0373, +63.922.883.0006) to get a more reliable information about other accommodations near them.

      Enjoy your time at the beach!

      Cheers,
      Monica

  5. Hi Monica!

    Me and my friends are planning to have a weekend getaway in Zambales. And we can’t decide which place is better to visit- Nagsasa Cove or Crystal Beach Resort. Do you have any idea which place is nearer and more affordable?

    Thanks!

    -Li :)

    1. Hi Li,

      Thank you for visiting my blog and apologies for the delay in responding. :)

      It’s great that you’re planning a trip to Zambales. My friends and I also have it as one of our go-to places when we want to get out of Manila and chill somewhere near.

      If coming from Manila, I would say that Crystal Beach Resort is nearer in terms of number of hours that you’d have to spend travelling. It can be reached through land travel. If you’re going to Nagsasa Cove, you’d have to travel by land and then take a boat (which, if memory serves, takes about a couple more hours) to get to.

      In terms of affordability, it’s around the same. I remember that my budget for both trips were about Php 2,000 and I managed to enjoy both working with that amount of money. It, of course, depends on the activities that you plan to do in each.

      If you’re more after being one with nature, exploring an unspoiled beach, and experiencing camping, then Nagsasa may be a better choice. While to some extent you’ll also be able to experience all these in Crystal Beach Resort, Crystal Beach adds the possibility of surfing that is not available in Nagsasa Cove. :)

      I hope this helps! Happy and safe travels to you and your friends. :)

      Cheers,

      Monica

  6. This blogs push me to go for my planned Thanksgiving stay at this resort.. I didnt made a reservation though.Hope they have available rooms this Friday.Thanks Mon…Do you have a twitter account for me to follow you?Thank you girl..have a nice day

    1. Hi Jessie! That’s really great! From experience, theirs is really a nice and relaxing place. If you’re up for that, I’m sure you’ll enjoy your stay with them. :)

      I would also still suggest that you give them a call to reserve, just to be safe. From what I remember, they didn’t ask us to deposit money, if making the extra trip to the bank is a problem for you (it is for me, hehe). But, reserving or just sending them a text message that you’re visiting them this weekend would definitely let you skip the hassle of finding another beach resort right then and there, should they be fully booked. But, that’s just a suggestion. Of course, it’s all up to you. :)

      Thanks again for visiting my blog! And, I’m glad that what I have shared helped you decide. :) I do have a Twitter account (my handle is thebohotravels), but I’m not very active there (I should be! Haha). I update my Instagram (thebohotravels) account and Facebook page on a more regular basis, so please follow and like, if you can. :)

      Have a fun day at the beach! :)

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