Wednesday, March 7

Cabangan, Zambales: Beach Trip Just 4 Hours North of Manila

I've never been to Zambales before. Not even in the notoriously-crowded-especially-during-the-Holy-Week Nagsasa Cove or Anawangin Beach in Pundaquit. So visiting Cabangan (pronounced as ka-bang-GAN) with my friends had been a wonderful first time.

We stayed at JOY'S PLACE ON THE BEACH overnight and it cost Php6300 for 6pax. See map below for the exact location.

The journey to Joy's Place was problem-free; my friend drove and we left early on a Saturday (Feb. 17), the day after the Chinese New Year. You'd think many people would flock the beach on this holiday weekend but when we got there... WOW! The beach was almost empty, begging us to come in for a swim. It was so serene and relaxing. There were only 5 groups including ours booked in Joy's Place. The other resorts nearby were about 10-15 minutes walk from ours so we had monopoly of our beach front. 

We checked in at 3pm after a late lunch at a restaurant called Elsie's (about 10 mins drive from Joy's Place) and market shopping at the local community market (5 mins away from Elsie's) for our dinner and breakfast meals.

After checking in and taking a short rest, we headed out for an afternoon swim so we can catch the sunset.

At about 7pm we started cooking food for dinner (pork sinigang with gabi and grilled tilapia). At Joy's Place, you just pay Php200 and you'll be able to use the entire outdoor kitchen fully equipped with a double gas burner, grill, pots and pans, kitchen utensils, dinnerware, etc. They will also give you a free 5-gallon distilled water (20 liter blue bottle with faucet). We also borrowed an ice box for our beverages (ice costs Php5 at the nearby store).

All I can say about Joy's Place is that they really are a very welcoming family and they render outstanding services filled with hospitality and passion. We met Samantha, Ms. Joy's cute little daughter, Ms. Joy's sister, and even their cute little Jack Russell Terrier named Beamer.

The family room was spacious enough to sleep 6 (two bunk beds with the lower bunk sleeping 2 persons and upper bunk sleeping 1 person). Airconditioning was working well. We were provided bath towels (I don't think this applies to the kubo). There were also a couple rolls of toilet paper and a small drawer/cabinet for our things.

It truly was a wonderful experience and I'll definitely be returning to this place with my husband and my doggo. :)

By the way, to reach Cabangan from Manila, you can take the Victory Liner bus to Iba, Zambales, costs less than Php350. Tell the conductor to drop you off at Brgy. Anonang (it's quite popular there cause another famous resort is in the same beach strip -- the Casa Angelina) , just right after the Cabangan welcome arch. From there you can either take a tricycle or ask Ms. Joy to fetch your group (fee applies).

For information on Joy's Place room rates and her contact number, leave your email on the comments section and I'll send them to you. Thanks! Cheers to more beach trips! <3

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