I woke up early on Saturday morning and packed my stuff for my weekend out-of-town trip. Crystal Beach Resort in 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…
But she’s late!
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 she’d communicate it with me, I felt she missed her alarm. So, I just waited, thought of alternatives should Angge suddenly decide not to push through with this trip (go to this Zambales beach resort alone, visit to Baguio instead, or head home and save the money for some future trip), and played Candy Crush. Haha! Man, that game is addicting!
In the meantime, I met lolo Loreto…
While waiting for her, an adorable older person 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 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 he was supposed to go to the US but opted to stay in the Philippines, where his entire family is. I found that sweet.I don’t mind people being late because I find it an opportunity to experience pleasant surprises. I have often arrived at realizations, come 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?
Tweaking our plan
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 another bus to San Narciso. 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 sun’s scorching heat. Yes, it’s officially summer!
Crystal Beach Resort
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, we went to get something to eat.
We headed to the beach after having our instant pancit canton, soda, and shake. 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, and I know Raisa from INCITEGov. The waves were fit for surfing then, so Angge and Raisa got to surf. Tin and I were supposed to go to Baguio, so we had sweaters and no swimming stuff. Talk about not being ready for the beach!
The Beach was calm and fit for swimming
While Angge was taking a dip, I enjoyed sitting on the sand and taking a few pictures. It would have been awesome to listen to some reggae music while doing this. But, well, my iPod died, so I just opted to listen to the sound of the waves and the wind. It was lovely.
At first, I didn’t want to jump into the water because I was lazy. Haha! But, when Angge said, “Life’s too short,” I put my camera down and went for a swim.
I didn’t get to take a picture of the beautiful sunset, though, because, well, 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 sunset through the sky. It was such a magnificent experience.
After showering 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, consider sharing it with a friend.
Then, we headed to their Kampsite, where the Jamming Night would be held.
Jamming Night at Crystal Beach Resort’s Kampsite
When we got to the resort, we asked them who would play that evening. The lady at 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 amazing! Angge said she never appreciated one Filipino song until that evening when one of the guys sang it.
Then, we returned to our room and 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 a fantastic night.
Morning Stroll at Crystal Beach Resort
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.
The Pawikan Sanctuary
On our way back to our room, we passed by their Pawikan Sanctuary and saw a couple of huge pawikans (sea turtles). The caretaker said that if we’d come back on the day they release baby pawikans back to the sea, we could do it ourselves. That’d be interesting. 🙂
Will i be back?
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, Zambales
Address: Brgy La Paz, San Narciso, Zambales, Philippines
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).
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