Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Nagsasa Cove, Zambales

(photo by AllanBarredo, NIKON D50, May 16, 2009)
Nagsasa Cove (pronounced as NAG-SASA) is located further south of Anawangin Cove in Zambales. To date, this beautiful corner of Zambales is what Anawangin used to look like before they setup flags there and before the hoards of multitude invaded it resulting in bumper to bumper tents and overcrowded shores.
(photos: below left, google rendition, below right:NagsasaCove by AllanBarredo May 16, 2009)










This
cove has a visible aeta community of around 7 families or roughly 30 people. Their leader or spokesman is who we refer to as Mang Ador, a wirey fellow in his late 30s who is married to an aeta woman. Mang Ador, with the help of good hearted visitors such as Mr.Ryan Guzman, has taken it upon himself to improve his corner of this cove so as to make it camper friendly. He lives on the NORTH side of the cove while the rest of the aeta community lives on the SOUTH side. Mang Ador is not an aeta himself but hails from La Union.





THE CAMPSITE:
One of Nagsasa's features is this lake with a superb view of the mountain range. One can enjoy this scenery while cooling off in the clear waters of the lake.
(photo below:NagsasaLake by AllanBarredo May 16, 2009)
Mang Ador has already setup 5 long tables along the shoreline for campers to use. He also setup a small bahay kubo with papag for visitors. There is a handpump at the back of the campsite as well as two toilets similar in construction to those in Anawangin. Mang Ador always sees to it that all toilets have water so since we were a group of about 40(the largest he has entertained so far), he never stopped fetching water from the pumps! (poor guy!) He does not charge any fees for these facilities (yet) so we took it upon ourselves to give 100pesos per head nalang. Other groups such as that of Ryan Guzman's make it a point to bring 2 extra canned food each to leave with Mang Ador.

(CAMPSITE photos by AllanBarredo May 16, 2009)





There was an abundance of fishcatch, mainly bangus(milkfish), while we were there (due to the recent storm) so they were selling it at 40pesos per fish. These fishes weighed approximately 1.5 kilos and were really FAT and delicious. You can ask Mang Ador if he or the others have any fresh fish, they usually do, and buy them to add to your meal. Nakatulong ka na, fresh at masarap pa yung kakainin mo.

(photo below:NagsasaLake by AllanBarredo May 16, 2009)
There are many pine trees where you can tie your hammock and/or clotheslines. Since there is absolutely NO CELLPHONE SIGNAL anywhere on this cove, I suggest you turn your cellphone OFF, lie down on your hammock and let the wind rock you to sleep while you listen to the soothing sound of the birds and the waves.
(photo below:HAMMOCK central by KitLava May 17, 2009)














THE BEACH:

The beach is composed of the same volcanic sand that covers the whole zambales shoreline stretch. It gets VERY HOT during noontime so take caution to don your footwear pls.
(photo below:NagsasaCove at 6AM, by AllanBarredo May 16, 2009)
Unlike in Anawangin, the waters are very calm since the cove is very big. Also, there is a very nice snorkling area about 100meters off the campsite shore with a depth of about 20feet. I noticed a lot of coral formations as well as abundant and colorful fishes there. I do hope dynamite fishers do not touch that area.
If you happen to witness dynamite fishing then don't be afraid to speak up! Get their attention and let them know that what they are doing is wrong. Take out that nice digicam and snap away! Report them and their vessel to the local barangay. Enough damage has been done by both these people and those who condone them by their silence! After all, we deserve the environment we help create diba.


THE FALLS:

One of Nagsasa Cove's special features is this beautiful cascading waterfalls that can be reached via a 30minute leasurely hike to the south of the campsite. You can ask Mang Ador or one of his fellows to guide you to the falls. Just give the guide a small tip (50pesos or so) afterwards. The waters are clean and clear due to the fact that settlers are forbidden to take residence upstream.














(photos courtesy of KitLava, May 16, 2009)
TIP: Go up just a bit higher along the cascading falls and sit in one of the larger crevices. You get to view the mountain range while cooling down as if you were in your own private INFINITY POOL.





HOW TO GET THERE:
(photo by Allan Barredo, May 16, 2009)
Its pretty much the same as going to Anawangin. Only the boat fare and distance from Pundaquit to Nagsasa cove is greater. We used our usual boatman Mang Vic. His boat is quite big so 10 of us were able to fit in it. Our gear, however, had to be loaded on a smaller boat. The big boat charge was 3k and the smaller boat charge was 1.2k so thats about 420pesos per head.
Mang Vic will soon be using his new boat which is big enough to hold 25 passengers so please call him if you have a large group. His number is still +639297170739. He can also buy mineral water for you and lend you containers for them.
We arrived in Pundaquit in the wee hours of Saturday morning, at 2AM, and were able to leave for Nagsasa at 3AM. Since it was such an ungodly hour, I'm really grateful that Mang Vic was so accomodating. I didn't hear a word of complaint from him!
You can apply the Anawangin sample itinerary and costings found in my old blogs for Nagsasa.





PARKING:
Numerous parking areas have sprung up in Pundaquit so parking should not be a problem. The normal parking fee charge there is 100pesos per night. Make sure your vehicles are secure and all parking lights are off when you leave it.


CAUTION1: SANDFLY ALERT!
The (rocky area)northern tip of Nagsasa beach has sandflies. If possible, avoid this area during sunrise and sunset. If you need to go to this rocky area during these time periods consider taking VitaminB first or putting some Citronella Oil as suggested in this site.


CAUTION2: CROWN OF THORNS
The coral area in Nagsasa has a number of C.O.T. starfishes. DO NOT TOUCH the thorns! It releases a neurotoxin that can cause a sharp stinging pain lasting hours, as well as nausea and vomiting. For more information on COTs please click here.
Divers who plan to go to Nagsasa please bring large thongs and sacks(or sodium bisulfate injections) and volunteer some of your time to remove a few of these and bury in the sand. During low tide, the COT locations are shallow enough to reach and extract safely without dive gear. DO NOT CUT OR DAMAGE them during extraction as this will (supposedly) cause them to release eggs thereby aggravating the situation even further. Thanks




Visit my friend's blog by clicking this link (AllanBarredo's LANTAW blog) to see more of his exemplary photographs of Nagsasa Cove and read his writeups.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

TAMBOBONG ON MY MIND

(photo: osmena beach front, just in front of barangay captain's house)



This place really has a stronghold not only on me but on all of us who have been there. What keeps us coming back? Maybe its the memory of all that fresh seafood? Or the simple life of the fisherfolk. Or the increadibly beautiful powdery-white sand and clear waters? Perhaps its the affable locals we have now come to regard as dear friends. Truly it is a blessing for us to meet such wonderful folk as Leon Bobis (contact# 09075183062) and family. It amazes me how they keep smiling through all their strife and even this last hardship of loosing their home to the most recent typhoon.










Our last foray into the sleepy town of Dasol was, of course, pleasantly relaxing. This time a friend of mine brought some of his photo-buddies from flickr and had a great time taking images of the place.



This time
we went to Dasol via SLEX, Luisita Exit, then onto Alaminos then to
Dasol. We were able to cut travel time by almost half because we were able to travel very fast on that road to Alaminos.







Also
, we were able to sleep at one of the huts instead of our tents. It took away some of that "outdoor" experience but it did not diminish our enjoyment of Tambobong in the least. I slept like a baby on their cool bamboo floor.






We discovered something new in Tambobong this time.











A fresh water pool inside a hidden cave not far from the beach. According to the locals, this used to be a very famous source of fresh water for this area and the waters purportedly contain healing properties. I noticed that despite the evindence of people bathing here, the waters remain crystal clear. This means that the waters are constantly being renewed by a network of springs and canals.












I went back to Balinmanok Wreck and noticed an increase in marine life. I saw several hundreds of different types. There were even three huge ones, about 3-kilos each, but I failed to classify them. The waters were clear and cool so some of us can't help diving into the inviting waters from atop the wreck. I'm glad to see our companions enjoying themselves and taking a break from their picture taking.





One can go beach-hopping for days here and won't run out of beautiful venues. I'd love to stay at least a week in this peaceful place and sit on its beaches, just sipping cold beer and thinking of nothing in particular. Someday....
















VISIT the blog of one of the locals >> TAMBOBONGBOY