Tag Archives: Summer

Camping at Nagsasa

The Busy Boys are back for another summer adventure. This year, me and the boys decided to give beach camping a try. Schedule conflicts make these adventures tricky to plan, but we still make it a point that we get to do it at least once a year. This trip had a chill start with everyone getting picked up from their houses (almost everyone. Lol). The drive to Zambales was quite eventful, we teased, bullied and caught each other up with what we’ve been doing since we last got together. Once there, we dropped by the town’s public market to pick up the supplies we needed. This is an activity that I really enjoy whenever I go on out of town trips. I’m not yet sure why, I just do. Hehe.

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It was back on the road for us after that. Google Maps lead us to this resort (I did not really pay attention to the resort’s name so I can’t recall what it is now, plus they overcharged us, so no free advertisement, Sorry.) where we left our ride and rented a boat to take us to our destination. What followed was the longest boat ride ever. Apparently the cove we chose to go to was the furthest of all the coves of Pundaquit, San Antonio, Zambales. Our late arrival (past 11:00 am) at the resort did not help either since the waves were already high at the time and if the boat went too fast, we run the risk of capsizing.

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I was wondering why the guys manning the boat gave us big garbage bags and asked us to put our stuff inside. I got my answer five minutes in to the boat ride. We were riding against the waves and every so often sea water would splash inside the boat giving us a salty shower. I was lucky to be seated at the back, before the water reaches me it will hit my companions first. Lol. After an hour and a half, with some of us dripping wet and all of us tanned, we finally arrived at the shores of Nagsasa Cove.

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We were led to a nipa shed which will be our accommodation during our stay. The bangkeros helped us pitch the tents while we organized our stuff.  When everything was settled, I got the chance to look around, suddenly I forgot about the long boat ride or that my stomach was growling, (I exaggerate, I was very hungry. Haha.). It was all worth it. Nagsasa Cove was a far cry from the hotel type resorts we were used to. Mountains. sand, trees, nipa sheds and tents, the vibe was very chill and relaxing. The place was awesome.

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With everyone exerting effort in preparing our (very) late lunch from scratch, we were able to sate our hunger in less than an hour. Not bad for a group of boys huh?

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Our accommodations in Nagsasa

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One of us brought a portable stove

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Portable, waterproof, shockproof speaker.

Upon our arrival we were all quick to notice one thing,  there was no mobile reception in Nagsasa. This meant no phone calls, no text messages, no mobile data. This might sound scary to some, being cut off from the outside world, but it was a welcome change for me. Electricity supply was also limited. The place gave us the chance to go back to the basics that we often neglect back at home, talking and interacting in person. That’s what we did for the rest of the afternoon.

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Shot na!

When the heat of the sun became bearable, we took our session to the beach front.  The sea breeze keeping you cool, the sun as your light and the sand as your cushion, nothing beats sessions by  the beach.

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Bury a Buddy Part 2

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We pretty much stayed there till sunset, only breaking for a quick dinner then we went back for a night time chill out session by the beach around a modern bonfire.

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The darkness of Nagsasa was not frightening, it was peaceful. The only source of electricity was a generator. Anyone who wanted to have a light had to pay Php 100 for it. Aside from that, it was total darkness.

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Thanks to the LED lights of our mobile phones and disposable styrofoam cups, we were saved from the trouble of building a fire and enduring its smoke. The night was warm so fire would have just made it hotter. The modern bonfire was a stroke of brilliance.

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No firewood? No problem. Modern bonfire.

Eventually, the excitement wore off and tiredness due to all of our activities for that day caught up with us. We called it a night and retired to our tents.

I wish I could say it was the most peaceful night’s sleep I’ve had, that I slept like a log. It wasn’t and I did not. Sand may seem soft when we walk on it, but sand serving as a bed to sleep on was a different story. The tent was the only barrier we had from the sand and it was like lying on a lumpy rock. Haha. I woke up with a stiff neck, sweating (sun plus closed tent equals sauna. Lol.) but still in a good mood. It was a great experience since I have never slept in a tent before this. It was something I’m glad I was able to do but its not something I’d like to do on a daily basis. Hehe.

It was just around 5:00 am and my buddies were still sleeping so I decided to walk along the beach and maybe catch the sunrise, one of my favorite things to watch when I go to the beach. Armed with my camera I walked towards my destination.

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Gotcha!

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I lost track of time, it was already 7:00 am when I got back to our camp. The boys were up, and one of them showed me what was left of our food. A stray cat or dog beat us to it while we were sound asleep. Lol. We had no choice but to buy some “golden” (cost Php 10 each!) eggs  to cook for breakfast. To take our minds off food or the lack of it, I showed them the photos of the lagoon I discovered this morning, it was at the far end of the cove but we had time to spare.

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See you at the crossroads

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We had all the time we needed. Lol.

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Photographer duties

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My turn! Haha.

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The part that connects the lagoon to the sea was shallow but the current was strong enough to carry us. We had a great time laying there, floating and letting the current propel us from the sea to the lagoon. We did his several times. Lol.

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One of us had this awesome idea to stick the monopod in the sand, and set the timer to my mobile phone’s camera so that we could all be in the photo. From the LED light bonfire to the monopod turned tripod, we Busy Boys will never run out of brilliant ideas.

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Test shot.

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Dadbods. Haha.

As the well worn cliche goes, all good things must come to an end, same goes for this adventure. Me and the boys left Nagsasa Cove with awesome memories. We arrived back to the unnamed resort after a two hour (Yup, took us longer now, it was less wet though.) boat ride with me singing loudly halfway through the trip to distract myself from feeling nauseous, I did not want to end up feeding the marine life. Lol. All things taken in to consideration though, I’d say this adventure is one for the books, or in my case, the blogs. Hehe.

Foodie Fridays : Baler Food Adventure

A pimped up Volkawagen beetle used as a BBQ grill. Drinking fresh buko juice, moments after it was taken from the tree. Fresh and healthy Pako salad. Unlimited seafood and dessert buffet for two hundred bucks. These are the thoughts that come to mind when I look back at this food adventure. This post will kick start the summer posts for the Foodie Fridays series.

After a being tossed around by the waves of the Pacific Ocean, our group was famished. We decided to leave the resort for lunch and explore a bit of Baler after.  Our trusty friends, GPS and Google lead us to the bay walk area of Sabang Beach. From what I’ve heard this part of Baler is quite popular with surfers, true enough there were surf boards on display. Surfers and those who want to learn how to surf were out on the beach.

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It’s safe to say that the place where we had our lunch took its inspiration from its location. Baler Surfer Grill is an alfresco food place that offer grilled meat and seafood. The food choices are split in  two categories, the Pro Surfer meal and the Beginner meal, they are basically the same except for the serving size. While eating the sea breeze will keep you cool and the sound of the waves will be the background music.

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The bright red Volkswagen beetle immediately caught my eye. I found it odd that they have it displayed there, it did not seem to be cohesive with the theme of the place. I got my answer after a few minutes when my buddy pointed it out to me. The beetle was a BBQ grill! How awesome is that?!

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After ordering our lunch, two of our companions set out to buy our drinks and came back with buko, fresh from the tree. Here was my lunch.

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Baler Surfer Grill’s Bulalo BBQ, Pro Surfer size at Php 200

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A quick groupie before eating.

The whole dining experience was extremely satisfying, all senses being fed at the same time. If you are planning to visit Baler be sure to include Baler Surfer Grill in your itinerary.

We went ahead with our plan and explored Baler, more on that on my next posts. After our mini field trip around Baler we visited the public market to buy goods for our dinner that night.

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I was pleasantly surprised that we only had to pay twenty bucks for a kilo of native tomatoes and a half a kilo of green mangos. The pako was also not that expensive compared to how it is priced here. After buying chicharon and singkamas we were done and ready to go back to the resort.  Here was our spread that night.

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1425978186655Pako Salad

The next day was our last day in Baler. After a day full of adventures we decided to have lunch at this buffet  restaurant that is famous among the locals and was even named the best place to eat in Baler by a television show. For only two hundred bucks one can enjoy unlimited seafood and dessert buffet at Gerry Shan’s. I was so excited to eat that I only got to take a picture of the food on my plate and nothing else. Lol.

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One hack I often use when eating at  buffet or even at parties and fiestas is to get a bit of rice and small portions of all the dishes I wanted to sample, that way I get to taste all of what is served before feeling full. Needless to say we all left the place happy and satisfied. The food was worth every cent that was paid for it. Gerry Shan’s is indeed one food places you need to visit if you ever find yourself in Baler.

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Biyahe ni Tolits

Over all, this awesome Baler food adventure gets five, unexpert Foodie Fridays  stars.  Good job Baler!

The Practical Dude : Tale of Two Sandos

It’s time to put those jackets, cardigans and sweaters back in storage. Summer is just around the corner and it would be tank top season again. For this post, instead of tank top, I’ll use the word sando just because it sounds better for the title. Haha.

When I first started the Practical Dude series I mentioned that I would try to give some tips. I think I have given three so far. Here are some more, this time on how to look awesome this summer without breaking the bank.

Tip #4 : There is always a less expensive alternative.

This is the mantra of a practical dude. This is a bit tricky since choosing the less expensive option does not mean you have to sacrifice quality.

Check out these two sandos. Except for the color, the two are quite similar and can come from the same line. Can you guess which one is from Forever 21 and which is unbranded?

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Sirit na?  Hehe. Alright here’s the deal..

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Forever 21, it was on sale when I got it but it originally priced at around Php 500+.

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Unbranded, scored at a local mall for 100 bucks.

Tip #5 : Dress appropriately.

Wearing a hoodie during summer while on the beach, bad idea. If you’re worried about your skin, use sunscreen.

Here’s what I wore on two recent summer adventures.

Puting Bato, Mount Arayat, Arayat , Pampanga

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printed cap, (Oxygen), sando (unbranded), shorts (Baleno), mandals (Sandugo), backpack (unbranded)

Sabang Beach, Baler, Aurora

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straw hat (SM Accessories), sando (Forever 21 Men), swim shorts (Portside), mandals (Sandugo)

Comfort is the keyword for summer dressing. Aside from sandos you could also opt for light colored shirts, Dri-fit shirts and tropical button downs with subtle prints.(avoid Lito Atienza prints, unless you want someone to suddenly sing the Maynila theme song when you pass by) What ever look you decide to sport this summer season, the main thing is you enjoy your summer adventures.

Roadtrip

After posting Perks, I knew right away what topic I wanted to take on next. There was just one minor hitch. Writer’s block. On my second post. Yey. Haha. So I thought, what to do when words fail?.. Pictures! Yep! This post will be made up mostly of pictures.  A visual diary. Problem solved! Lol.

We’ve known each other since the start of college. By 2007 our brotherhood took on the name Busy Boys,  and the rest, as they say, is history.

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Fast foward 2014, and here we were on a short breather from our day jobs going on a road trip up north, so begins our out of town adventure. 

Turns out our rented ride had issues. That was discovered on our stop over in Subic. We were at Pier One, looking for a public rest room but sadly we did not find one. Lol. On our way back, we found the boys pushing the car to make it start. The attempt was sucessful so we did not think much of it and went on our way. Guided by GPS, (thank God for technology!) the adventure continued.

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After a quick photo op at the town of San Marcelino, we picked up a couple of supplies.

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A good way to experience a place’s culture is to visit its public market. You get to meet and interact with the locals. We even met a vendor who was also a Kapampangan. One important tip though. Do not forget to pay for what you buy. I did. It was embarassing. Haha.

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Seafoods. Seafoods, and Seafoods!

Once done, we left the public market with heavy loads and lighter pockets. We were now ready for the beach, but apparently our ride had other plans. It would not start.  Again.

When the situation seems to play with you, play with it! Have fun!

Eat ice cream.

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Take groupies. (group selfies. Haha.)

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After an hour and half we were finally on our way to the beach. To be honest our expectations were quite low since we were informed that the place was fully booked. We were expecting a crowded resort. Oh boy were we surprised.

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Pine trees on the beach! It was like Anawangin but with cell reception and electricity. Hehe. The place was huge! Far from being crowded. We were stoked.

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House of Ezra

Crystal Beach Resort offers nipa huts, like the one we stayed in, and other traditonal Filipino houses to its guests. I find this set up very refreshing since most resorts now have hotel type accomodations. It brings you back to the simple way of living.

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We also had a tent. No one really used it though. Hehe.

Once settled, we all fell into our roles. One cooked, the others helped and I took pictures. Haha.

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Seafood grilling by the beach. Sarap! Our fresh water source is that old school deep well on the far right. How cool is this set up?!

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The resident Chef in action. Girls, single pa yan!

Now for the best part.

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Galit galit muna. Mangan tana!

Eating good food in the company of good friends while the sea breeze keeps you cool. It was one of the best dining experiences I’ve had so far. Hunger satisfied. It was still quite hot to go out to the beach so..

Groupie time!

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Then they played cards. Me? I took pictures. Haha.

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After that,  we played with the camera.

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Sessions by the beach. This is the life. Lol.

Then it was swimming time! Leggo!

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We played games. Its was like being a kid all over again.

1)Pose off

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2)Bury-a-buddy.

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3)Ride the barrel.

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That ends our first day in Zambales. What happened during the night is for us to know, and for you to think about. Right boys?! Lol.

 

Day two started with this spread which was included in our accomodations.

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After breakfast it was time to explore and of course take pictures! This time we tried the photo app Retrica. Here are the results.

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Then it was time to leave. Or so we thought. Of course the car would not start. Again. Haha. Good thing one of our fellow guest helped us out and was able to get our very reliable ride to start. Now it was time to go.

All was well until we reached the exit to Subic. The car stopped. Haha. We weren’t really suprised about that, we just thought we’d reach Pampanga before this happens. This is very frustrating since one of us still has to go to work, one needs to shop for an anniversary present and all of us wanted to go home and rest.  

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When placed on a situation which you do not like but have little control on, instead of wasting energy on negativity, try to make the most out of it. “Mayli ka man o magbusit ka ala namang magbayu, edi mayli naka mo. Pogi ka pang akakit”. That’s exactly what we did.

Trip to Holy Land.

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We kept seeing these signs around so we decided to do some exploring. The place was nice and creepy at the same time.

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These three were walking ahead of us. Then suddenly they started running back like they were being chased by something. Instinct took over and I ran too. Without really knowing why I was running. Haha. I stopped when I realized I was the only one running and all of them were laughing really hard. Then I laughed too. Ang lagay ba eh sila lang ang masaya? Haha.

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After that episode we walked backed to the gas station to wait for our replacement vehicle.

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By 8:00 pm we were finally on our way home.

In the roadtrip called Life we get to experience a lot of things and meet a lot of people. Im glad I was able to meet these kolokoys whom I now consider my brothers from other mothers.

Overall, even with the car troubles, this road trip will go down as one of the great adventures I’ve taken so far. Looking forward to the next one. Boracay ba tayo next boys? Hehe.

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Crystal Beach Resort is located at Brgy La Paz, San Narciso, Zambales. For more details visit their website http://www.crystalbeach.com.ph 

For the complete photo gallery the Zambales adventure of the Busy Boys,  click this link http://www.facebook.com/KingofWrongmistakes.