Ironically, we work to save money and spend the money that we saved. Others spend their money on extravaganza shopping, others would rather spend it to feed their cravings, while the prudent ones will use his savings for investments. But not for travelers. Travelers commit themselves (and their money) to grant the wanderlust of their heart. How about you? How do you spend your money?
No matter how well you manage your life and your finance, we all live with one common denominator: a vacation to get away from the stress. And happily, our Earth is a wonderful paradise of stunning vacation places.
If you’re living in Manila and looking for some gorgeous places to spend your weekend, consider a trip to Zambales, the Luzon’s version of Boracay. Here are some great things to do in Zambales that might just tempt the nomad inside you.
Trek Mount Pinatubo
Are you a dauntless mountaineer that seeks quest to challenge your strength and to test your limits? You might not have tried trekking the Mount Pinatubo, an active stratovolcano that surrounds the provinces of Zambales, Pampanga, and Tarlac. This silently raging active volcano has erupted several times since the civilization of the country.
Though this volcano has hidden endeavors inside its crater, intrepid lovers and thrill-seekers aren’t threatened at all by this gigantic land form. They trek and climb every rough edge of this mountain.
I may have exaggerated it a bit because the trail to this mountain is not as difficult as I may have made it sound. It’s actually simple and fun and is ideal for everyone yearning for adventure. It does not require any dauntless attitude nor professional mountaineering skills. After the two-and-a-half-hour trek, you will reach the beautiful crater lake which leads us to our number two of the list;
Relax your soul in Pinatubo Lake
After your “arduous” trek, you will be rewarded with the majestic crater lake with turquoise water that changes its color accordingly to the season. The grandiose calm lake is walled by giant boulders with some touches of green foliage. There is a deck just before the lake where you can have your obligatory #imadeit shot and #jumpshot. When you’re with your friends, you might be focusing on taking good shots, but take a moment to feel the nature, to appreciate its beauty, and to commune with the solitude and have yourself breath the cool wind that dances in the air.
Propel in the water of Anawangin Cove
A hiding paradise in San Antonio, Zambales, Anawangin Beach has the beauty, royalty, and magnificence. This pristine water form has an unusual genesis. It was said that long ago, the cove is nothing but a typical forest amidst enormous boulders. But Mount Pinatubo raged in anger and erupted its dark ash. The catastrophe, though massively damaged a vast landscape, has created a magnificent landform and then born the Anawangin Cove.
To reach this natural beauty of nature, you have to trek Mt. Pundaquit that will take approximately 4 to 5 hours. Anawangin Cove is also the starting point if you will avail island hopping tours to visit other islands including Camara Island and Canopes Island.
Plunge in Nagsasa Cove
Nagsasa Cove shares the same story with Anawangin Cove. Though for some, it may be somewhat difficult to accept the story. But no matter how the cove existed, aren’t we just thankful for it? Sure as I can be, it exists because nature wants us to be happy. Nagsasa Cove has clear and crisp water with a soothing intensity of wave created by the cold breeze. Surrounds the coves are humungous boulders and lush of greens.
To reach Nagsasa Cove, you have to trek for 5 to 6 hours over Mt. Nagsasa from Sitio San Martin. But if you love to be in this paradise as quick as possible, you can rent a boat that will depart from Pundaquit.
Indulge yourself in Baloy Beach
Baloy Beach is a stretch of fine sand and stunning coast that host several themed resorts in one strip. Baloy Beach is also known as Baloy Long Beach because of its coastline that is long enough to welcome hundreds of swimmers and sunshine buffs. From deluxe hotel resorts to budget-friendly staycation, you’ll surely find some place to grant your dream vacation!
Peace and Quiet in Mt. Balingkilat
In the native Aeta dialect, Balingkilat literally means “Mountain of Thunder.” Being the mountain with the highest peak in Zambales, Mt. Balingkilat truly is a mountain of thunder considering you will draw nearer in the clouds when you reach the summit. And just like any other massive mountains, the Mt. Balingkilat has the aesthetics of your mountaineering wanderlust having green boulders, chocolatey rocks, steep trails, and windy ambiance. The experience is truly surreal when you reach the peak, witnessing the proud Sun goes down to the horizon. The peak can be reached within 3 to 5 hours of trekking. The trail is easy, you can do it alone or with your Robin.
Another swim in Puerto Silanguin
Sometimes, our dusty feet needed more than just dust and worn out sandals. It also needs to go bare and propel in the ocean. And one of the best places to swim is in Puerto Silanguin, a precious beach hiding in the corner of Zambales.
The clear sea water of the beach brags crispness. The coast is surrounded by tall pine trees creating a lush and mystic ambiance to the place. In the horizon, you’ll see massive mountains as your view along with the golden sun that creates blinding sparkling reflection to the sea. Probably one of the gorgeous beaches in Zambales that you can have full relaxation without the noise of beachgoers.
Be young at Potipot Island
Laze on the beautiful paradise of Potipot Island, one of the favorite meccas in Zambales. This small island of Potipot has all the dream vacation that you might be looking for: tall verdant trees that give off shed, fine white sand that will relax your sole, clear salty water, and the majestic underwater life. The offshore land of Potipot is truly a sanctuary for the stressed out souls.
Amity in Rosa Farms
Zambales is famous not only because of its stunning beaches and golden sunshine but also because of their massive mango fruits. The mango trees in Zambales are cultured with all the organic agricultural methods known. No doubt why the fruitages of mango trees in Zambales are gigantic (most have the size as big as an adult face or palm). In Rosa Farms, you can handpick your mango fresh from its tree. After gathering your fruits, you will pay for it at a reasonable price on per kilo basis.
Art in Mango (Zambales Mango Festival)
And because Zambales has a lot of mangos (and I mean, a LOT of it), one of the celebrated feasts is the Zambales Mango Festival where chefs (professional or amateur) gather together to create art in mango in any ways they know using knives. This festival is being held annually, usually every third Tuesday of April.
Looking for a perfect place for your weekend? Or perhaps, just to have a quick escape from the noisy metro? Zambales is a perfect place for that! It has lots of beaches to offer, beautiful sceneries, and verdant foliage that might just kick the stress out of your mind!
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