QUEZON City, Philippines (Eagle News Service, May 4) – The first of May usually sees crowds of people taking advantage of the holiday to go to the nearest beach and have fun in the sand, soak up the sun’s rays while listening to the sound of the surf.
Boracay, Puerto Galera, Caramoan… these are just some of the popular tourist destinations during Labor Day, but if you want to traverse the road less traveled, just a few hours drive away from Manila is a relatively unexplored stretch of sand, sheltered by mountains and covered by pine trees.
From San Antonio, Zambales, it is an hour-long boat ride going to Nagsasa Cove, which is a bit further compared to the more well-known Anawangin Cove.
The boat ride itself is already a feast for the senses, with wondrous views like isolated rocks looming over the blue waters. If you are lucky, you may see some of the local marine life like a turtle or two.
Once you’ve arrived, you will instantly realized that Nagsasa is truly the place to be when you want to escape the stress of the metro. First thing that you’ll notice is the lack of phone signal… meaning no internet, no text message, no communication to the outside world. A blessed sense of isolation engulfs one’s being and allows for the contemplation of nature’s beauty.
You can set up camp amidst the pine trees, and enjoy the rustic lifestyle, with your friends and companions.
The waters of the cove is refreshingly calm as the mountains shelter the beach from strong winds coming from the ocean. The calm, clear water allows one to see the bottom of the beach and wonder at the small fishes and jellyfishes darting around the swimmers. The water is warm and has a relaxing effect.
Exploring the cove allows one to discover scenes that is becoming exceedingly rare as development overtakes many of the more popular tourist attractions. One such beautiful spot is the place where the river meets the sea. One can sit on the spot and allow the water’s flow wash away all your troubles.
Another relaxing activity is swimming by the light of the full moon. The water of the cove does not lose its clarity under the moon’s rays and remains warm as you float over it, gazing at the stars unfiltered by the city’s garish lights.
An early-morning mountain trek is just the perfect way to round off your adventure in Nagsasa Cove. The climb may be tough but once you arrived at the peak, the view is exhilarating. Nothing can describe the feeling of seeing the sun rise from the mountains and light up the sleepy cove.
Alas, one cannot stay forever in this little bit of paradise, but still that one day of serenity and contemplation leaves one recharged and ready to face the world once more.
(ENS, written by Jay Paul Carlos, photos by Vince Alvin Villarin and Daryl Marqueta)