Forgive the low quality of my photos here, I took it using my cellular phone. This was year 2007, when we call it cellular phone, not smartphone, mobile, cellphone or phone. I was using a Sony Ericson W700 with just 2MP camera, I hope that explains it. And I guess this is a legit throwback post.
Just recently, I found out that the place is now more commonly called Crystal beach, mainly because of the popular beach resort located here which specifically has the name Crystal Beach Resort. And this same resort was where we stayed during our visit, but it's somewhat far from what it looked like before. It looks so serene and remote a decade ago; now it's still beautiful, but modernized. I'm not sure what's the best, but I think I'll still pick how it looked and felt ten years ago. By then, we just knew it by the name La Paz beach.
So the story goes this way...
There was no plan.
My sister and I together with some friends embarked on a road-trip without a concrete plan! The road wasn't at its best, no shortcuts, no Waze. We just have an imaginary compass on our heads to guide our trip.
Our butts were sore from sitting, nevertheless we were resilient even though it took us more than seven hours to arrive on our perceived destination. Our only goal was to spend an overnight stay in a beach resort. We know Zambales' coastline has a lot to offer so we just drove our hearts until we found one.
The province of Zambales became one of the top destinations in Luzon along with Batangas and Quezon Province as these provinces boasts of a distinctly beautiful long shore lines. It's very accessible and budget-friendly too. Although when you speak of Zambales now, most Pinoys will think of Potipot Island, Nagsasa Cove and the famous Anawangin Cove.
La Paz beach in San Narciso was a complete opposite from the crowded, more popular beaches in the province. What I liked about this place was that there’s the real feel of rural living and the locals really took good care of the beach. It’s remote, tranquil and just perfect if you’re on the stage in life wanting to just have some quiet and peaceful time.
The place where we stayed was the sole resort in the vicinity back then. It has a very cozy accommodation, a big Nipa Hut house and outside were several small huts which provides shade for those who want to get near the soothing waves or sit while doing some BBQ. The place also offers its visitors a glimpse of Camara and Capones Islands.
Facing South China Sea, expect a good set of waves for surfing as well. The sands were beige in color and fine in texture with a mix of shells and coral rocks here and there. Crystal beach resort has a wide-enough space to camp plus there's a lot of pine trees around. I think what adds to its ‘rural-ish’ look too, was the bamboo ornaments all over the resort.
It was memorable. We cooked our food under the shade of pine trees. We had a bonfire at night, we were the only people awake and around past 8pm during our visit. The breeze, the contrast of the quiet night and the crushing waves under the moonlight were calming, undemanding, and alluring.
I guess I really dig this type of beaches; tranquil, exotic, and remote. It wasn't overly commercialized then, and definitely not crowded.
A lot has changed from what it was eleven years ago, some of my friends were able to visit last year and they have positive words to say. The good news too is that from Manila it now only take approximately 4 hours drive. So why not try to visit? If you're in the metro, this one's a gold mine too especially if you're contemplating on gaining back the sanity you've lost in the busyness of the city.