Got the change to revisit one of my favorite camping ground in Zambales a couple of weeks ago. This has become sort of a yearly pilgrimage, but I missed a year or two. This trip jump starts my summer for 2013.
The cove can get crowded, especially on weekends, so sometimes timing is essential. This year I beat the summer crowds by a few weeks. It also helped that there were major festivals in nearby provinces that weekend, lesser number of folks in the cove.
Weather was good. It was the smoothest boat ride I can remember in all the years I have been visiting the cove. Usually its a bumpy ride once you enter the mouth of the cove (which is still a few kilometers from the shore).
alien glow at dawn
If weather was good, the light was perfect! Right after we reached the shore of Nagsasa minutes before sunrise, the sky put up a great show. We had great light during sunset and the sunrise the next day.
Mang Ador's campsite in the northern end of the cove is where my group always camp. This is the first "official" campsite in Nagsasa, it has not changed much and has kept its rustic beauty while the sleepy south side exploded into a tent city.
Nowadays boatmen not will bring you here unless you insist. They would even say the site is in disarray and not maintained anymore. Thats probably because if they bring you here, they don't get their cut and their one sack of charcoal.
I asked Mang Ador about this "cut" and he said "they are already paid, so why do I have to give them more?" (Fair enough I think). "Besides," he added, "I'd rather give it to some tourism body that will help protect the cove."
People come to the coves for different reasons: some to get drunk like crazy and scare the spirits of the pine trees with their loud out of tune singing, some to spend some quiet weekend in a hammock under the shade of the pine trees. You can probably lump me with the latter.
If you can bear the heat, its nice to explore the back woods. Its a pity the most of the mature pine trees are gone, most have been cut down for firewood and building huts. The mountains at the back are in a constant cycle of being burnt and recovering. There is not a year when there is no wild fire, no thanks to greedy hunters!
backwoods panoramic view
View the large version of the backwoods panorama