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.
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!
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!
This time, the water was calm and was fit for swimming.
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.
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.
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.
Then, we headed to their Kampsite, where the Jamming Night would be held.
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.
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
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.
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. :)
We then packed our bags, refreshed, returned the keys, and had mango shakes. Then, we left for Manila.
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.
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).
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