The summer heat in the country’s urban jungle called Metro Manila leaves us feeling drained and listless even before our day ends. And this goes on for five days a week.
While there are many easy remedies to beat the heat such as drinking more water and eating less protein (which can increase metabolic heat and water loss), it is way more fun to go on a road trip with family and friends to catch some waves and breathe the crisp sea breeze.
You can readily recharge and cool down in these two beach destinations located at the north and south of the capital on a weekend.
San Narciso, Zambales
Sandwiched between the municipalities of San Felipe to the north and San Antonio to the south is a less popular surfing town of San Narciso.
Found in the town’s strip of beach resorts is the Crystal Beach Resort, which is several hectares of sand dotted with pine-like Aguho trees. You can bring or rent tents and camp out in the shade under the trees. Position your tents nearest to the beach to get a panoramic view of the sea, sky and the mountains that will surely bring you to a meditative state.
But if you want to get a rush of endorphins and reach a different high, you can go surfing. The resort has a surf school that has some of the funniest and friendliest surfing instructors. The waves during surfing season are friendly to beginners.
To get there: Take a Victory Liner bus in the Cubao, Sampaloc, Pasay and Caloocan bound for Iba, Zambales. Ask the conductor to drop you off in San Narciso. The nearest landmark is the San Sebastian Catholic Church (you can say a prayer or pay a visit first before going to the beach). From the church, you can take a tricycle to get to the resort.
Cagbalete Island, Quezon
For those looking for a quieter spot, you can take the road less traveled to Cagbalete Island in the town of Mauban in Quezon province.
Dubbed as the “Boracay of the Pacific” by the locals, the island boasts of white sand and crystal clear waters minus the loud nightlife.
There are many accommodations to choose from but you can check out Doña Choleng Camping Resort. You can stay in their huts and houses or camp out by the beach.
Rotating brownouts are set in the island so you have no excuse to stay in. You can rent a boat and go island hopping. During low tide, it is best to go to the 3-kilometer sandbar northwest of the island.
But the real scene stealer in the island are the sea urchins, which you can eat straight from the sea.
Ask the boatsmen to catch some and they will happily assist you in scraping out the shell’s edible part called gonads, which produces the eggs or roe.
But the best part of it is the locals serve this fresh sea snack for free. This would make you feel guilty about paying so much in a Japanese restaurant for some uni. So better give a generous tip.
To get there: Take a bus (JAC Liner or DLTB) bound for Lucena. Get off at the Lucena Grand Terminal or at SM City Lucena where you can take a bus to Mauban. Ask the conductor to drop you off at the Mauban Port, where you can then either take a private boat to take you to your chosen resort, or a passenger boat that will take you to another port to get to your resort.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.