Other than Baler and San Juan La Union, there is a other surfing destination in Luzon that is rising in popularity ----San Felipe Zambales. Makes sense because San Felipe is the 2nd town from San Antonio which is well known for its coves Anawangin and Nagsasa as well as Capones Island. That said, the place is only approximately 3 hours away from Manila via NLEx and SCTEx, half the time you need to travel for both Baler and San Juan. So if you are a beginner who wants to learn the 101 of surfing, San Felipe is the place to go.
There are only a few accommodations in the beach area (less than 10 in my count) and some of them are private vacation accommodations but the fact that a popular hostel brand -- The Circle Hostel --has put up a branch here means this place is in for bigger things.
And that's where we stayed for two nights last month. Not so much to surf because we knew the weather will be not good due to an incoming storm but we were there to feel the place and chill.
-urn left upon exiting the Kalaklan Gate.
-Go straight and pass through the following towns: Subic Town, Castillejos and San Marcelino
-You will hit an T-intersection with a Petron. Make a right.
-Straight until through San Narciso until you see the San Felipe arch.
We got here by taking public transport. Took Victory bus from Caloocan station bound Iba Zambales.
We were not able to surf for two days we were here because the waves were too rough due to a storm passing Northern Luzon so most of the time we were at the gazebo chilling out. The gazebo at Circle Hostel Zambales is an elevated hut. Since all sides are open and the roof is made of kugon grass, it's really cool and airy. It's a perfect place to just relax and let time slip. Spend lazy hours while on a hammock with mellow music playing. Chat with friends or fellow travelers while sipping San Mig light or red horse beer. This the place to chill.
Food? There are not much choices here. Don't expect special dining places but you will be ok that's for sure. The hostel doesn't have a restaurant of its own but opposite it is a sari-sari store and they also sell set meals mostly silog (tapsilog, longsilog, tocilog etc.). There is another restaurant nearby selling local delicacies like sisig, bopis, sinigang, even bagnet. This is where we had meals most of the time and we were satisfied naman. Good tasting lutong-bahay style Filipino dishes. This store also rents out bicycles for 100 pesos per hour. We managed to haggle for 150 pesos for two bikes and went around despite the drizzle. It was quite a challenge but fun.
The story weather still didn't stop us from going to the beach. We were there two afternoons sitting by the sand appreciating the view and even the turbulent waves. There was heavy rain prior to our arrival so the many water lilies washed by the river nearby were scattered on the beach. It could look messy at first but I came to appreciate the pattern they make on the beach. We walk through the length of the shoreline, and it is really a long beachfront, and noticed many pvc pipes lining the Northern section from where our accommodation is located. Saw some men working on one of the pipes and asked one of them what the pipes are and that's when I learned that these pipes are for the purpose of getting seawater to prawn hatchery inland. One pvc pipes accounts for one prawn hatchery and there were many pipes which means there are many hatcheries in the area. San Felipe is a major source of prawn.
One managed to get to him but they were already too far afield. They held hands for a few seconds but were separated eventually. The current drifted both of them towards the North direction and we thought both men would drown. The one who went out to save his friend managed to make it back shore but the other guy was still drift. The weather was uncooperative and a sudden strong rain and wind hit the area. That is when the guy finally disappeared from everybody's sight. The ones who came to rescue him were too late.
Looking for a surfing destination in Luzon?
To relax, to meet fellow travelers, to surf or simply to chill by the beach, Liw-liwa Sab Felipe is a good option and it's nice that there is Circle Hostel to provide the venue for it all. I would love to go back here one summer. Happy travels!!!
Phone:0917 861 1929
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