When my feet hit the ground, it was as though I had a taste of hell. The volcanic ash that filled the coast of Nagsasa baked in the unforgiving sun, and the heat was unbearable. As soon as I hopped out of the boat, I dashed into a hut, trying my silly best not to touch the ground, as though it was possible.

Nagsasa Cove bears many similarities to its more famous stepsister Anawangin. Anawangin’s popularity, however, is also her weakness. Anawangin can get too overcrowded especially during peak season. Nagsasa, although beginning to draw in more and more tourists each year, offers more moving and breathing space. It has all the good things Anawangin is famous for but retaining the more laidback atmosphere that has started to slip away from the other.

Like neighboring Anawangin and Talisayin, Nagsasa Cove was a typical rocky coast fronted landward by a rich rainforest that was home to small groups of Aetas. Until the first grain of ash fell.

View from the southern end
View from the southern end
Nagsasa Cove is much more quiet than Anawangin
Nagsasa Cove is much more quiet than Anawangin
Nagsasa Cove is blanketed with volcanic ash from the belly of Mt. Pinatubo
Nagsasa Cove is blanketed with volcanic ash from the belly of Mt. Pinatubo
Huts for beach goers!
Huts for beach goers!

On 12 June 1991, Mt. Pinatubo spewed tons of volcanic ash in a cataclysmic eruption and transformed the site into something completely unrecognizable. Over time, the wind (or maybe the birds) might have brought with it the seeds of agoho trees, a type of casuarina which thrives in seashores in remarkable speed. With their slender trunks and pin-like leaves, Agoho trees resemble conifers, which is why people often mistake them for pine trees. The surrounding landscape is not as fertile as it probably was before the eruption. Many of the nearby hills are bald, carpeted only with bushes that occasionally catch fire. One of them serves as a good point to catch fantastic views of the cove.

The smell of grilled pork belly filled the air, taunting my grumblings tummy. I had to get away for a moment and come back when lunch was ready. Under the high noon sun and despite the ground temperature, I walked to the northern end of the cove. Volcanic ash seems to absorb more heat than regular sand; it was almost impossible to walk on dry land barefoot. I dipped my feet in the shallow water and waded through. The cold splashes were such a relief!

Where the sea welcomes the creek
Where the sea welcomes the creek
Nagsasa Cove as seen from the northern end of the beach
Nagsasa Cove as seen from the northern end of the beach

The small estuary that meandered out to the sea was my signal to climb back to the berm. Following it inland, I was led to a shallow, quiet creek that formed a horse-shoe shape. My bet is that this is where many choose to pitch tents for an overnight stay. It just looked like the most ideal spot for camping.

I headed back to the hut for lunch. It was the middle of February and I was the only tourist at the cove. But as Randy, our boatman, said in an excited tone, “Summer is coming.”

How to get to Nagsasa Cove: From Manila, ride a Victory Liner bus to Iba, Zambales, and tell the driver to drop you off in front of San Antonio Public Market (P250, 3-4 hours). Take a tricycle to Pundaquit (P60 per 2 pax, or P30 per pax). In Pundaquit, rent a boat to Nagsasa Cove. Boat rental costs P1500-P2000, good for up to 4pax.

EXPENSES

  • Camping Fee: P100 (includes use of cottage & restrooms)
  • Bus Fare (Manila-San Antonio): P250
  • Tricycle Fare (San Antonio-Pundaquit): P60 per 2 pax, or P30 per pax
  • Boat tour: P1500-P2000

ANAWANGIN GUIDE


Watch our Latest Video!



Important Reminders


Yoshke Dimen

Yoshke Dimen

Storyteller at Yoshke.com
Yoshke is a part-time digital marketing consultant, part-time travel blogger, and full-time dreamer. He has three passions in life: social media, travel, and --- wait for it --- world peace. Yoshke has won 3 PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS and received 9 nominations. Learn more about his personal journeys at Yoshke.com.
Yoshke Dimen

Comments

  1. amazing pundakit says:

    hello everyone..
    im proud that i was born and grew up in this area, my so called natures haven, nagsasa cove..with this im inviting everyone to come and visit nagsasa cove. for any inquiries i am very happy to help you..i am owner of boats going to islands and cove of zambales.. offering cheap and hustle free packages.
    please contact us 09193910019.09198437370..
    joan/anthony gonzales
    amazing pundakit

    • Sam says:

      Hello, I’m planning to travel there on 5th November. I’m a solo traveler. can you pass me your email address please? thank you

  2. Shyne Sovery says:

    SUMMER DESTINATION PROMO!!

    BEFORE: P999/pax

    NOW: P599/pax

    BEST TEAM & FAMILY BUILDING LOCATIONS!! Experience affordable 2D/1N Anawangin Cove & Nagsasa Cove with full packed unique island hopping, trekking, boat transfer & complete camping supply starting @P599/pax (8pax min and/or joiners). -Cut agency/coordinator rates, get more value for money!! DIRECT RESORT OWNERS

    Landline: 047 2714068 / 09778317973

    09335227701 / 09754891998

Leave a Reply