Return to Nagsasa, the not-so-hidden-gem-anymore of Zambales and reconnecting with old acquaintances. This is my 4th visit after two years.
We had good weather that weekend. We arrived just in time for the sunrise. A full moon was setting on the west and the tide was low.
I did a look around after setting camp (which was quick, I just brought a hammock). A lot has changed: new campsites on the southern end (first thing we suggested before was that they should have decent CRs and water). Several years before, it was just a sleepy settlement with just a couple of houses. It’s great to know that people are making a good living; even Mang Ador (caretaker of the first campsite) has a new boat now with "Mang Ador Campsite" brightly painted on its sides. He also had additional huts now and tables.
I wanted to see if I can take a shot from a vantage point overlooking the cove so I decided to climb one of the hills at the back of Mang Ador’s campsite. The view was great, but I had to settle taking the shot while the sun is high. During sunrise, the hills would be back lighted, and at late in the afternoon my foreground will be in deep shadows.
The “free time” between lunch and sunset was spent cooling off by the river that cuts through right in the middle of the cove. The shifting sand at the beach had partially covered the mouth of the river thus a small shallow lake formed inland. There was a time when some parts of the lake were more than 5 feet deep.
Sunset is my favorite time here; the cove has a good view of the west. It’s the time when the cove is at is most serene, with everything and everyone settling down. Even with several groups camping there, the place almost seemed deserted.
As I wait for the sun to come down, I pondered on what kept me coming back. I have no doubt that the place is becoming more popular as each summer passed by. It’s getting crowded too (it is already crowded by my standards). Even the landscape seemed to have "reconfigured" itself, but I cannot deny that its beauty has endured.
The place certainly did change. People came and went. I missed Mang Jun "Kidlat" and his family (my favorite subjects for portraits). Mang Ador's wife lost her fight with the big C just this January. I was not able to visit the place as often as I would like, but we kept in touch whenever we can (or whenever they are within cell phone coverage area).
I promised Mang Ador I’ll be back again with printed copies of photos I once took, to remember the smiles of those who are not there anymore. I intend to keep that promise.