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Monday, January 30, 2017



"O kay tagal din kitang mamahalin.." as the Sugarfree song goes. 

I don't know when, how or where I started falling in love with the serenity that the sea gives me. Back when I was in college I hated attending our swimming classes, I am a terrible swimmer plus wearing uncomfortable swimming attire, boo! But then, every Christmas season, it is a sort of a family tradition to go out for a swim either on a beach or a pool with my relatives. So I guess this had me wanting to be near the sea always. 

Year 2016, I had the priviledge to visit a few towns and their beaches - Real in Quezon & San Narciso in Zambales. This time I decided to go for something new to me, (No, not wearing a bikini!) but surfing. 😊 

Back in November, on a Saturday my bestfriend and I decided to go all our way to Pacific Recreation Kamp in Real Quezon.  We left Manila at 8am and got to our destination by 12pm. It's a 4hour drive from Manila less the traffic. Upon arrival, first thing  that we noticed was the presence of several colorful tents around the area. Not too long, as we enter the vicinity, we were immediately met by their staff & and asked them if we could stay on their tents as well, and they gladly said it was possible to rent or pitch a tent on the area. So we rented one for the both of us. The staff then told us to wait as he sets up the tent. As soon as he was done, we begin to settle in and fix our things and decided to take a lunch. We were lucky that there is a mini carinderia inside that sells "lutong bahay" (home cooked meals). But we were told also that just a trike away there is a wet market where people can buy fresh meat or seafoods and have them cooked at the restaurants located there. But we wanted to save time so we just opted to eat inside. 

After eating, we approach the staff about their surfing lessons. They told us to wait for a little while for it will be done per batch. To take advantage of our time, we went to the seaside to admire the view. As cheesy as it might sound but there is something calming about the sound of the waves crashing into the shores, the way children laugh and the dogs bark. It was music to my ears. 

We stayed until it was our turn for the surfing lessons. We were taught by two young men, who I believed to have grown up near the sea about the basics of surfing. They taught us the parts of the surfing board, the right position and how to ride the board and control it. They told us to be careful because the surfboard might actually hit us if mishandled. (Yup! A board taller than me!) 
After the demonstration, they asked if we were good to go. 

"Kuya, parang ayoko na!" I jokingly replied to our instructor. 

Video Courtesy from Quick Silver

We then went to the sea, I was shaking as my instructor asked me to ride the board. He brought me a bit further from the shore. I was lying with my stomach flat on the board. And as we went further, I can already see those gigantic waves!!!! I had to put those exclamations, because the waves were really big and it could hit you in the face, "nananampal" as they'd say. 

"Yuko! (Bow your head!)" My instructor would say as the waves enveloped us. Many times, I couldn't hear him, causing my head and face to be hit by the waves once, twice, thrice. A few times I fell on the board and could not manage to stand. But I kept trying until I did it. It was an hour long practice, getting thrown away by the waves, falling from the board and being drunk with saltwater. Yikes! But it was all fun, getting bruised up was the last thing that I got worried about. 

After our surfing session, we freshened up, and packed our things to catch the bus. Friends, if you would go to Real, Quezon I suggest that you actually rent a transfer service as it could save you a lot of time waiting. Before leaving we made a promise to come back and surf again. And I didn't quite know that it will happen sooner. 

It was during a holiday last December, a Christmas typhoon is coming. It was said to hit the areas down south. So we looked for a place somewhere north to spend our post-Christmas vacay,  I instantly thought of Zambales. I came across Crystal Beach in San Narciso, Zambales. Judging from all the photos posted online, it looks good & peaceful. It was a paradise for party goers, surfers and adventure seekers as the place offers variety of activities - from Music Festivals, Glamping (Glamorous Camping), Beach Volleyball, Bonfire, Surfing & a lot more. I love how the place is so vibrant and has its accommodations named after the books from the Bible. Cool, isn't it? After browsing their site, we decided to give it a go. 
Photo Courtesy from Crystal Beach Resort

Photo courtesy from Crystal Beach Resort
Photo courtesy from Crystal Beach Resort

We left at around 6 am and arrived at noon. It a 4-5 hour drive from Manila. As we reached Crystal Beach, we were surprised by a lot of people coming into the place. The receptionist told us that all rooms were fully booked. But I asked if we could just pay for the entrance fees, she said yes and advised us that it would be better if we can find empty huts to stay. Luckily, some people were already leaving so we were able to take a hut near the beach. True enough, the place was beautiful & relaxing even if it was drizzling and the sun was not out on that day. 

After consuming our meals, we went ashore to swim. After a while, I asked my two brothers to try surfing with me. And they agreed to join me. 

I am still struggling but I made a few good long rides without falling off the board. And it was my first time getting hit by the board in the face, ouch! Luckily, I had a really patient instructor. I guess I had to do a lot of sessions before I get good at it. 

Imagine surfing just like in life -- Surf, Fall, Get back up. Repeat. Truly, life has its waves that could shake you & most probably you'd be off-balanced but you cannot stay in the water for too long because you will drown. You had to get back to the board and stand again. 

For surfers and non-surfers (like me!) who want to try something new this summer or if you are simply looking for a place to destress without spending too much. You may check out, Pacific Recreation Kamp & Crystal Beach Resort.

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