Nagsasa Cove: A rare and true beauty

To say that this was a much-needed break is an understatement. Nothing has been happening to my life since I returned from Los Angeles. I guess you can say I'm always looking for adventure. I can't stay in one place, even metaphorically, for so long. This time, I just wanted to get away because not doing anything bares my soul enough to make me see that I'm missing something. So when my Baguio college friends suggested a trip, I was stoked!

Nagsasa 2014

It took months for us to plan -- online or through quick meetups despite the new schedule that accompanies transition to after-college Manila life. But it happened, and it was so worth it!


During one of our Metro planning meetings (left), and our overnight prep session (right).

There were 7 of us who made it, and we spent about Php 2000/person for food, transportation, island hut and camping accommodation, tour guide for trekking, and a little extra for other things. A bunch of us prepared overnight at a girl friend's place. She and I also went grocery shopping for the group's food a few hours before. Christmas shopping is no joke, people! :)

Bag Tag
Official Bag Tag for Nagsasa 2014! :)

We all met up at Victory Liner Caloocan for a 4-hour bus ride to San Antonio, Zambales. Then, we bought a few items at the market before riding a tricycle to Pundaquit where we'd be riding a boat. We were supposed to stop by Capones island, but since the tides were high, we ended up in Annawangin before proceeding to Nagsasa. I must say, Annawangin is pretty overrated compared to what I'd heard. We probably stayed there for 30 minutes just taking photos until we decided that hunger can't wait no more. Hahaha!


© THUNDERCATS 2014 photos courtesy of Heide Ballesteros. Click to enlarge.

Nagsasa was beautiful and more isolated. I'd be content just by sitting at the hut and looking at the beach as the sun goes down, but there is also joy in spending quality time with friends. Also, building a fire the old-fashioned way is quite a challenge, and making food is an endeavor. Nevertheless, it makes eating more worthwhile.

I had the time to swim by myself and contemplate how much I've been needing busyness in my life just to get through. Sometimes all the work is really just an escape from criticisms of being unproductive. Sometimes, it's just me running away from the things I really need to deal with. And soaking myself in salt water, looking at where mountain, sea, and sky intersect, made me realize how peaceful I was -- something I haven't felt for a very long time.

Sunset at Nagsasa.

At night, the group contented itself with a bonfire by the beach. We exchanged white elephant items which were meaningful to us, and then asked a bunch of personal/catch-up questions until the fire was low. We ended the night stargazing and figuring out how to fit all of us in two tents. Haha. Unfortunately, some had to sleep outside.

Kuya Rollen
Kuya Rollen walks on foot for two hours
 across the mountains from Subic for his livelihood.

An hour after reasonable daylight, we trekked with our 11-year-old tour guide, Loria. She was pretty interesting, as most humans are, and way better at trekking and hiking than the adults she was with. Haha! The trek was probably the best experience for me. It kind of reminded me of hiking in Los Angeles, but it also made a statement that the Philippines has a true and rare beauty of its own -- not just with nature, but the locals who lived there.

Nagsasa Weeds

We ended up swimming at a pretty deep lake by the falls for almost 2 hours. The water was cold, and the fishes were entertaining. But it was really just having the company of your friends that makes it awesome.

When we got back, we prepared lunch, packed up, and chilled at the nipa hut, recounting how awesome the past two days have been. I think everything was perfect. Neither too short, nor too long, as familiarity breeds contempt.

Nagsasa Selfie
Selfie Level: 9999999. Just before leaving Nagsasa.

The bus ride home was my concluding "moment" of the trip. I ended up crying on the bus with one of my friends as we talked about similar experiences about God's calling, and how the process can be so painful as He refines our hearts, but more on that on another post. For now, I'm really grateful this trip happened with just the right timing for everyone involved. :)

What are your thoughts about this? Tweet me @KrishnaBanana and hashtag #KrishConquersPH!

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