Living in a tropical country and an archipelago to boot, I feel fortunate to have plenty of choices whenever the need to chill by the beach arises. Among my recent summer hot spots of preference is a surf spot in the province of Zambales, just three hours away from Manila.
Summer may be over here on my side of the world with the onset of the rainy season in June, but that doesn’t mean beach time is totally over. The Philippines, being a tropical country that feels either hot or hotter, still gets its share of sunny, scorching days when typhoons and monsoons aren’t lurking.
The Philippines is also an archipelago comprised of 7,107 islands, and when you have that many, there’s bound to be lots of places to explore — beautiful beaches included. I consider myself lucky to be either just a bus ride, drive, or a quick plane ride away from many of these scenic seasides. Among my recent favorites is Liwliwa Beach, located 167 kilometers northwest of Manila in the province of Zambales.
A bus ride or drive from Manila will take you to the municipality of San Felipe. From the town market, you will need to ride a tricycle (auto rickshaw) to Sitio Liwliwa, where you can find some hostels, homestays, and camping sites (you must have made arrangements for your accommodations by the time you get there). The beach, named after the quaint fishing village of Liwliwa, is just a stone’s throw away from these hostels and lodgings.
People flock to Liwliwa Beach because it’s a popular surf spot, especially among beginners. I’m no surfer, but I find it to be a nice spot to beach bum and occasionally take a dip during the day, and go stargazing next to a bonfire (and some drinks) at night. If beach bumming and surfing gets boring after a day or so, it’s always a good idea to take a sidetrip to Pundaquit in the next municipality of San Antonio. There, you can rent a boat that can seat up to eight people and sail towards Camara Island, Capones Island (where a Spanish Lighthouse awaits), and Anawangin Cove.
Liwliwa Beach doesn’t have powdery white sand like other popular beaches in the Philippines. But, as I said in my blog post, the best thing about it is it’s just a few hours away from Manila so it’s possible for my beach buddies and I to indulge in a relaxing beach weekend whenever we feel like it. They get their surf fix, I get my sunsets and beach bumming, and we all get to cap our days with amazing bonfire nights of chit-chat and stargazing. Everybody happy.
Take a look at my Zambales Weekend Getaway album for more snaps!