Monday, April 21, 2008

Crystal Beach, Zambales Part I


It’s the middle of summer so what do you expect? Of course I’ll spend as much of my free time as possible at the beach! Regardless of the fact that I’m already getting as burnt as a coal and the sun’s rays are A LOT  hotter than the previous years (no thanks to global warming). So last weekend, after packing all my beach attire, gadgets and gizmos in a trot, off we went to San Narciso, Zambales to explore Crystal Beach, one of its more famous beaches known for its great surf, kind locals and great ambience! Never mind the fact that I haven’t slept in 24 hours and looking (and feeling) like a zombie, I was still very much excited to go. It’s just me, my hubby, and our four girls. Yep, we brought them with us — Samantha (our ever lovely adopted basset hound), Didi (our ever reliable yellow surf board), Bebe (our sturdy and uniquely-shaped green skim board) and Pupu (our ultra mighty purple body board).  Despite the fact that Peter and I were both excited, we were also preparing ourselves for the worst like what happened the other weekend when we went to Calatagan and ended up in Nasugbu.


Also, the past few times we visited Zambales, we’d always go to Pundaquit in San Antonio.  Megan’s resort  is a great place to stay at and the nearby falls and estuary are really fantastic natural resources we love to explore. But I must say that if we were not with our friends and we were not heading to Capones then and just stayed at the Pundaquit beach, it would’ve made those vacations depressing. Pundaquit beach has a certain air of sadness that I cannot explain. I was hoping that Crystal beach would be different.

As  it turned out, it was!!!! O-M-G!!! Crystal Beach went far better than our expectations! When we went there last weekend, the water was so clear and bluish (unlike the one in Pundaquit which remains grey even when the sun is shining), the waves were awesome, the sand has always been powdery grey (a mixture of white crystals and black sand) that is soft to touch, the beach is sooooo wide, and there werent’ many people at all ( as compared to Munting Buhangin the other weekend when it seemed like most residents of Metro Manila flocked the entire beach). We even saw a lot of pine trees far into the distance which we explored later on.

There were also flower-bearing bushes that are shaped like a starfish! Cool!

And locals say that this beach is the breeding ground for turtles. We didn’t see any but we saw their man-made turtle sheds.

There was also a very refreshing mini lake and estuary. Nice! And the ambience…oh the ambience… it’s so relaxing and freeing.


I can imagine myself going and staying there repeatedly for a long time, to simply unwind and free my mind of stressful stuff. It’s one of those great beaches perfect for building a home if you have the funds for it. It almost has the same vibe as the beach we frequent in San Juan, La union for surfing. But Crystal beach is more rejuvenating.

So we unpacked our bags and checked in at Johneva Beach Resort and Campsite.  We originally intended to check in at Crystal Beach Resort because it’s a lot cheaper there but since it’s already fully booked, we went to Johneva which is just beside it. I guess we deserved to splurge that weekend. It was just me, Peter and the girls so we got the best room they have. It’s a huge room with one queen-sized bed and bunkbeds. It has aircon and the bathroom is large. For Php3,000 per night, it did not come with a towel and toilet accessories like soap, shampoo and tissue. No free beakfast either. Oh well.  Because it was our first time, we had no idea that families usually go to this place to hang out and have a picnic. They bring their own food, own utensils, own stuff…they barbeque and cook. I’ts a campsite afterall, so they have all sorts of rooms and amenities to accommodate these family activities. They even have the slot machine type of Videoke, tons of kubos around and a big piece of land for volleyball and camping. Johneva is huge and it takes quite an excercise going to and from the beach.  Actually, you can’t see the beach from our room. At first I got disappointed but it was all for the best. We got the exercise that we needed, Sam was able to explore a bit and by the time we got to the beach (around 2-3 minutes walk from the room), We simply forget that we’re tired coz of the magnificent view of the surf, sand and beach.


It  was way past lunch time when we got there. Since we didn’t bring any food and there was no nearby store (except Johneva’s canteen and a carenderia  we passed by at the main road), we opted to have our lunch cooked. Again, it was quite expensive but worth it.  Then off we headed to the beach with Sam, Didi and Pupu. We left Bebe with Rachel Veronica (our Toyota Revo) since the slope of the beach might not be conducive for skim boarding.

As expected, Peter rushed to the waves. He even made a couple of fans from the people there since we were the only ones with our own surf board. Coz the moment he braved the waves, people started looking at him (as evidenced by the picture below). And as soon as he stepped out of the water, one was already talking to him. Talk about charm!


As for me, I discovered  two new hobbies (as Peter would put it) — sunbathing for a long period of time and sleeping (that’s why I was sunbathing for hours and hours…coz I fell asleep, hahaha!) Remember, I still haven’t had any sleep since I came from work which finished at around 7:30 that morning. And with the cool breeze, soft sand and the sound of the waves, who wouldn’t fall into slumber? 

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