What was supposed to be a relaxing sleep left me with an aching back on Sunday morning, inside a blue tent I happily put up the afternoon before. It took me a second to realize how my thin fleece blanket was the only thing separating my back and the uneven floor I inferred was from the grooves in the sand. I looked around to see Calvin sleeping with some strange headgear wrapped around his head like a cartoon madman. I could hear whispers coming from the hut that I quickly recalled was a few steps away from our tents. The voices belonged to three of my friends without sleep from the night we spent grilling liempo and marshmallows over our own little bonfire that Karl painstakingly lit up, sharing three things we looked for in a soulmate instead of campfire stories and drinking cheap alcohol grabbed from the 7Eleven in the nearby town while staring up at the many stars that only come out for places like this.
I was in Nagsasa Cove (San Antonio, Zambales) – this quiet little cove with an exceptionally beautiful lake with no cemented structures save for a 4-cubicle bathroom. It was a last minute decision to escape to a place that I’ve never heard of before with zero electricity and network coverage. It seemed perfect, just a quiet place where I can relax and fall asleep to the alternating sound of the waves and my outdated ipod with the beach-salty taste not leaving my lips.
In a rush to relax, I sneaked out of our tent with just my blanket and my music to find a nice spot on the shore with a good balance of shade and sunlight, of the waves and the quiet – exactly like how I pictured it on the long bus ride going to this place. I lay there looking up at the bright blue sky with OneRepublic playing in my ears – scrambling for the thoughts I have prepared to think about at this very moment and at this very context, but instead, got a clear mind that I could almost hear echoing on itself.
I tried to watch the clouds above and the small waves of the sea, feel the ironic cold weather of that sunny morning and the eerie silence made by a number of tourists sleeping soundly inside colorful tents that lined up the cove; all in an effort to gain some profound sense of peace and calm, something I expected from a beach disconnected from the hustle and bustle metaphorically and literally. And just when the buildup of this dramatically piercing silence was about to form a thought in my mind, Calvin appeared still in his ridiculous headgear and said in comic timing only he can pull off, “I feel sh-t-y.”
Visit Nagsasa Cove! Excluding food, Php3,000 was more than enough for the entire weekend. We rode a bus bound for Anawangin after (missing the first bus out at 4/5 am). We got to The Beach Place at around 2 pm, they provided us with the tents, the “space”, firewood, a cooking area, cooking pots and pans. They also arranged for our boat ride from San Antonio to the cove and to Capones Island, famous for its lighthouse, on the way back to town. We were supposed to skip this island but our boat-mates insisted that we pass by even for just a short while. I think we ended up spending more than 15 minutes trying to battle it out with the waves and the rocks only to come out with cuts and bruises and tons of laughter. We spent at least another 15 minutes going up to this famous lighthouse and from there spent at least another hour going up the rust-covered ladders that took you to the viewing deck. I think we only got over this ideal of a physically and emotional stress-free weekend on that island, just minutes from when our phones started buzzing again, and only then did we really laugh our good laughs, just enough to knock us out on the long bus back to reality.
All photos taken with my iphone, no filters all the way!