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)

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.

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 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.


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.

(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.

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.

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.

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.


Lantaw said...

"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!"
- thats because he is already used to my ungodly hour jump offs to Capones and Anawangin to catch the sunrise. Vic is also a favorite among DPP ( Digital Photographer Philippines) members. The early jump offs works for him as well as he can pick up other groups during the "normal" hours

demeter said...

that explains it. hey, thanks for the great images Allan! I especially love your POV of the lake, galing talaga.
Special thanks for instigating our trip to Nagsasa. Buti nalang nag cooperate yung weather din! Great discovery mo din yung (H2O) lake! Its good that you make it a point to talk to the locals. We all should do the same. More power

Racquel said...


Thanks to this blog. the pictures are wonderful. Come to think of it, I live in San Marcelino, Zambales, the nearby municipality from San Antonio and I haven't gone to this place.
I hope it will not be too crowded when I get home. Definitely, I will be visiting this place. Can't wait to have my vacation.

demeter said...

Thanks for visiting Racquel. And thank you for your comment. Nagsasa truly is a peaceful and beautiful place to spend a few days vacation. You won't be sorry.

Tisha said...

Nice, informative post.:) Just a question--is it safe to spend the night at Nagsasa? If you don't mind, please email me Thanks a lot!:)

demeter said...

Dear Tisha, yes, VERY safe indeed. Just sleep as far away from the house as possible because the freakin' rooster can get a bit noisy.

privelegedaccess said...

hi. i'm a frequent visitor of nagsasa as well, and i've bumped into ryan guzman during one of my trips there.

anyway, i'd just like to inform anyone who plans to visit, or those who already visited and know ka ador, about his wife's predicament.

he texted me the other day and told me that she's been diagnosed with cervical cancer. so far, they've already gone to olongapo to get a biopsy, and the doctor said she needed chemo. i still need to verify this, and hopefully, see a copy of the doctor's recommendations.

i'd like to urge anyone who appreciates this place, and appreciates ka ador's care for the visitors, to help out in any way. i'm rounding up my friends and pooling some cash, but this won't be enough for sure. hopefully you guys, independently, can help too.



demeter said...

Thank you Migs for that information. Mang Ador has been extremely helpful to us and did so much to make our stay as enjoyable as possible. Please inform us if you are able to verify his wife's condition.

FDIR said...

Thank you for this helpful information! We will be there this weekend. Excited na kami :)

gezelle said...

i just called up mang vic and scheduled a boat ride for next week. thanks for all the useful information! keep posting :)

demeter said...

@FDIR: Your welcome! I'm glad you decided to check the place out. Di kayo magsisisi!

demeter said...

@gezelle, I'm glad to be of help! Its really a beautiful place. Please note that since there hasn't been any rains at all for the past 5 months, do not expect a lot of water dun sa batis k? To those going there, we would apprecieate it if you can please give us feedback on how the place looks like now? thanks!

gezelle said...

awesome place! really worth visiting. may halo-halo and ice drop pa when we got there! here are some panoramas taken from our trip there last week:

demeter said...

BEAUTIFUL panorama shots of the cove AND the LAKE gezelle! Thanks for sharing! Pero... halo halo and ice drops??? I don't think they have electricity yet right? Very resourceful these natives eh?

kulot said...

09108162974 call me if you going to vist nagsasa cove or inter island of san antnio pudakit

RedBillions said...

This is really the best of zambales.

The Best of Anawangin

leslie said...

hi,i just want to share my experience in nagsasa,i cant reached mang vic so i search boatmen that will take us to nagsasa,it lead us to kuya jay-r in which he also knew mang vic.he was also very accommodating and they even stayed in nagsasa for overnight so they helped us do the bonfire and cooking as well.unfortunately,there was no water in the falls but still we enjoyed a lot.we took pictures of the mountain and as well as the whole cove.very fantastic!on the second day we headed to the capones lighthouse and still we are guided by kuya was indeed a very,very wonderful trip!by the way,i can give you the contact number of kuya jay-r as can also make arrangements to him.he has also a bigboat.

demeter said...

@leslie - Hi Leslie! Thanks for that update. We really appreciate it. Did you say walang water sa falls? Thats really too bad. But I'm glad you enjoyed your stay at Nagsasa cove nonetheless!
Can you tell us how much the boat rental was? And how many can fit in Jay-r's boat? Thanks again.

meallettuce said...

and Demeter is just my favorite person right now! :) Your blog about Nagsasa is more than a handful contributive! I was only planning to go surfing here as suggested by my cousin but browsing from your blog, (since office hours and procrastinate my drawings) I must say all worth it and made me consider on staying overnight. Overwhelmed to mental note those waterfalls, caution 1&2 & Migs comment about Mang Ador's wife.. would really love to reach out. and to my surprise this certain "Kulot" who solicited his number for future visitors.. ( I was really finding ways to get in touch with this person.. hopefully he is the one my cousin is referring to as he also knew basics of surfing aside from this " Kuya Ewoks" who happened to be a boat organizer/surfing instructor/self-confessed matinee idol )
Keep on exploring our 7107 islands man! I'll keep an eye on your blog and will surely try those you've mentioned whenever I have the chance to sneak out Sg! :)
I'll be hittin' Nagsasa end of August..
More power and thanks thanks!!!! :)

- meallettuce

demeter said...

@meallettuce - thanks for your complements meallettuce. I'm glad I was able to help!
So you're based in SG eh!? I do hope you have a great time in Nagsasa Cove. However, end of August is peak typhoon season! Remember that Ondoy occured in early September right? You have to check if the boats will agree to ferry you to the cove because the waves might get too big. If you manage to get to Nagsasa, the waters there may not be as clear as they are in my pictures (taken in summer) but the rivers will be roaring because of the rains. You must expect rainy weather and just hope for the best okay? The upside is you might get good sized waves if the weather is bad enough?
Thanks for visiting meallettuce and I sure will continue to look for the better spots of our islands here!

Alan Arlantico said...


*****P1500/head minimum of 12pax and above..
*****P1600/head minimum of 10-11pax
*****P1700/head minimum of 8-9pax
Roundtrip AIRCON Van transfer all in boat tour anawangin , nagsasa, agnaem or capones
-2 days 1 night stay in nagsasa
-entrance fee to 3 cove included
-gogles for snorkeling
-cooking utensils (kaldero,kaserola, kutsilyo, sandok, ihawan etc.)
-cooler na with ice pa!
-Mineral water 5gallons

We also offers boat package only for those commuters or with their own vehicle…

Package B Rates:
P 700 per head for 10 pax AND ABOVE.
P 750 per head for 8-9 pax
P850 per head for 6-7pax
P750 per head for 5 pax
(Pick up point: Town proper of San Antonio, Zambales)
*Boat ride to Anawangin (round trip)
*Island hopping (Capones / Camara Island)
*Entrance fee / Environmental fee
*cooking utensils (ihawan, kaldero, pitsel, etc)
*cooler WITH ICE pA..


Additional 400 per head for food (4meals)
FOR MORE INFO TExt or please call ALAN ARLANTICO for immediate response.. :
Smart: 09185595597 or 09399398456
TM: 09358118095
Sun: 09223753555

dindo said...

To everyone that is planning to visit:
Capones and
Camara Island

We would like to inform evryone that we offer boat boat transport to this places. We also have TENTS that is for rent.

So please don't hesitate to get in touch for inquires.
Contact Numbers:
Smart: 09995959623
Globe: 09172022692
Thank you and God bless po...