Disclaimer: All views expressed on this blog are my own based on my own experiences and do not represent of any entity with which I have been, are now or will be affiliated

Date of Trip: May 06-07

May 11, 2022 – Buendia, Philippines

I was invited by my friend, Mia, on a trip to her hometown – Zambales. I have been wanting to see the beaches in the North since I heard a lot of great reviews about them.

Zambales is a province in the Philippines located in Central Luzon. It is surrounded by beaches, lush views and surfing spots. It is a three hour drive from Manila, making it one of the accessible tourist destinations near the city. It is also the home of Subic which is mainly responsible for the tourism in the province where you can shop tax free (Duty Free).

Restrictions

Zambales is accepting leisure travelers provided that they follow the standard health protocol. No medical certificates, S-pass, RT-PCR test or vaccination card to be presented to some establishments or checkpoints. But I suggest to always bring your vaccination card and for your protection, have yourself vaccinated.

Getting Around Zambales

I rode a bus going to Olongapo to meet Mia and her friend. It was really a bad experience commuting by bus. Unfortunately, all provincial buses were prohibited from entering Metro Manila, especially EDSA and other major thoroughfares, as a measure to address traffic jams. The buses that would enter NCR (National Capital Region) have a window hour between 10 p.m. to 5 a.m because it is where traffic flow is light. It was such a pain since it was just implemented without even taking to consideration the public commuters of the alternative ways on how they can go from one place to the next.

I came from Pasay and the bus operator informed me that I needed to come back at 10pm to just ride a bus. I didn’t know how to feel, it was so unfortunate that the people had to just accept this inconvenience and find an alternative way on their own. I was so disappointed, I almost decided to cancel the trip. But, I needed to meet my friend. We planned this trip a couple of months back and it would be more devastating not to go and be with my friend. She will also be leaving for work in Taiwan. Friends are more important than inconvenience. I already know what love means from this trip alone haha!

So to cut the inconvenience of this story, I have gone from Pasay to Caloocan and fortunately, the bus was available there. The travel time from Caloocan to Olongapo took 3 hours and the bus fare cost Php265-00.

From Olongapo, we had to ride another bus going to Limliwa Beach Resort for Php107-00. From San Felipe, we rode a tricycle to reach Limliwa Beach Resort that cost Php30-00 each. The tricycle ride is only about 10minutes away from the resort. The commute from Olongapo to Limliwa is approximately an hour.

It felt like the whole day I was commuting by bus, I was so tired to the core that we decided to rent a car going back to Olongapo for a trip to Subic. Mia’s brother fetched us in the resort.

Budget

My budget for a 2 days and 1 night trip was Php3,000 for food, transportation and accommodation.

Limliwa Beach Resort
Sitio Liwliwa
San Felipe, Zambales
May 06 5:00pm

It’s a beachfront resort with a lot of room options. We booked a VIP AC room for 3 in advance as we were anticipating volume of people due to long weekend (Mother’s day on May 08). It cost us Php4,500.

We were quite disappointed with the accommodation especially the bathroom. There were no shower and heater. They did not provide any toiletries, we even paid for towels and the aircon took time to cool. The photos on their Facebook page were very different in real life. And at night, there was a band who sang out of a fucking tune. It was too loud and annoying you just wanted to turn off his mic. I did not like the overall service of the resort, but, hopefully, they can improve overtime.

The beach was clean which I liked although it was really wavy. I also like seeing the sunset. I love the waters. I still enjoyed the sea view and relaxing by the beach.

We decided to wake up at 5am the next day to eat breakfast in Kwentong Dagat an eco-friendly resort which serves vegan meal. I have tried vegan before and I actually liked some but not my go to food. The sausage served was chewy and bland, I still prefer meat which brings almost a surprise to my dish. I enjoyed the mango shake and the nipa huts in their area.

If you’d like to unwind, this beach resort is not for you. I will not recommend this to anyone. It’s good for once but I will not surely go back. Although, I really had fun with my friends, this experience I won’t forget and it’s still worth sharing.

Subic, Zambales
May 07, 2022

Mia’s brother, Jojo, fetched us at noon for a road trip in Zambales. This was my most favorite of the trip. Subic is actually peaceful and they strictly obey traffic rules. Apart from being peaceful, they also have some of the best food spots. We headed for lunch first at Meat Plus, they served pocket friendly steaks. The rib eye steak was so good and tender for only Php600-00. They also serve burgers. I highly recommend it.

I also enjoyed the dessert outside of Meat Plus – Bayan Ice Cream. It is called “dirty ice cream” in the Philippines. The term was used by parents as way to keep their children from buying scoops of ice cream sold by vendors who did not wear any gloves. But to be honest, this ice cream is anything but dirty! It has variety of flavors – from mango to cookies and cream! You won’t believe how good it was until you are in Zambales. It’s so delectable, homemade and exquisite! It only cost Php20

We also went to Boardwalk in Subic where we sat and enjoy our friendship stories, while sipping the sweetness of mango shake in an al fresco bar. Zambales is well known for their mangoes, it was so refreshing. I also loved the food trucks and the lighthouse. It was so cozy in Subic I’d wished I could stay a little longer.

I’d visit Subic again, I really like their food spots and I’d want to try Magic Lagoon Bar or maybe their waterparks when I return.


It was a great experience having friends around on a trip. I’d definitely will be booking another trip with them.

I was a chance passenger on a trip back to Manila on a Saturday night in Olongapo. It took 3 hours to be back in Manila and upon my return at 10pm, I couldn’t get a car since there was heavy traffic due to an election rally. It was my first time to book a motorcycle app (Angkas) at night because I needed to.

On a Sunday for Mother’s Day, I went back to Batangas to be with my brother and the dogs. From north to south with love haha

Love,
Maria, sometimes Niskie