White Beach in Capones Island
Capones Island is our first stop as soon as we got on to the boat, this island is where you can trek more than an hour to the light house. Yes, there is a light house in the island that unfortunately, we were not able to see and trek due to the big waves that seems like trying to crash our boat. Capones has got a very fine white sand and clear blue waters, it was 11am when we reached it and probably just stayed 30 minutes here because there was no shade, it was too hot, and the waves were punishing our boatmen standing and holding the boat to its position(and they’re not successful, waves were stronger than them). After some few photos taken, we left to our base camp, Nagsasa Island. We didn’t get to see Camara Island because of the obvious reason, safety.
(Image courtesy of Warren Bulasa)
(Campers in Nagsasa Island)
Lifestyle in Nagsasa is Back to Basics
There were few of campers there, and the island looks amazing. Nagsasa Island is beautiful, there were toilets with running water which is pretty convenient than Anawangin Cove’s water pumps. There’s also a store at the other side of the camp site which was cool, because we have to walk all the way there cross a river, take some photos of the panoramic view before we get there. That side of the camp area is kinda little ‘civilized’ with that overpriced store, pool table in front where boatmen hang out, simple huts to cover some tents and hammocks. This was what we called, “Nagsasa Town” and our side was the village. Pretty cool hey.
(Boatmen’s hang out)
The view looks like we were not in the Philippines, something you would normally see in New Zealand or Scotland. Strange how pine trees are everywhere when it is hot and humid, plus the fact that its sandy beach, that’s another wonders of nature.
How I survived the camp as a non-camper? Well, I bought rice grains from the ‘Nagsasa Town’ a kilo split with Warren(another solo traveller I met in the island) that lasted us until lunch the next day, it was priced double by the way. Then we asked the locals there if they could cook it for us, we paid Php 50 ($1 USD) for it and the canned goods I have brought with me. I’m not cooking because I don’t have complete camping gear like Allen and Vianne, so I set it the most convenient way. The package I paid is Php950($19USD) through Allan which includes the following;
- Island Tours (Capones Island, Camara Island, Nagsasa Island)
- Trek to the Light House with Guide (that didn’t happen as well as Camara Island)
- Mineral Water
- Ice w/ Styro cooler
- Kitchen Utensils (Rice pot, plates, plastic cup, spoons, dishwashing soap and sponge)
- 2 bags of charcoal (this wasn’t there too)
- Snorkel (THIS WASN’T THERE EITHER, the boatmen said, its for rent! It’s confusing because its in the package as Allan says)
- Life vests.
- Transfer from San Antonio – Pundakit (boat point) – San Antonio.
- Entrance fee for the islands (Php50/$1 for day tour and Php100/$2 for overnight stay).
(Nagsasa Island, Isn’t it a paradise?)
It looks like a good deal to me yeah? Php 899($17.98USD) it says on their page, but I paid Php950 for overnight stay, Warren paid Php850 ($17USD) and the couple paid Php1,300($26USD) each (but theirs were 3D/2N). I am so confused how Allan does it, he was really nice and polite, that’s a fact and I think the problem there was the communication between him and his boatmen to really do all the things on the itinerary. You can contact Allan at this number: 09399398456 or 09185595597.
Or you can just wing it on your own, which I think is the best if you have your own camping gears. Just rent a boat to and from the islands, here are the real rates of the boat and camping gears you can rent.
NOTE: Better you bring your own camping gears, buy your food and things you need at San Antonio town market to avoid overpriced buying in the islands.
Things you should bring;
- Torch light/ Flash light
- Lighter for bon fire and cooking your food, if you don’t have a camping stove you can just use woods, but better if you have the camp stove or you’ll end up doing my dodgy survival skills.
- Mosquito spray or net, to protect you from the mozzies and bugs.
- FOOD. Try easy to cook or food that are not easily get spoiled lie Adobo, or fried stuff.
- Mineral water.
- If you want to drink alcohol, bring your own. Red horse beer mucho is Php100 in the island.
Trekking is one great activity to do here, and you can do it on your own but do it in the morning. Trek guide is around Php600, if you want to be safe. The beach is very safe as it is really shallow even if you’re several feet away from the shore, and its not wavy here because Nagsasa is a cove too covered by mountains. Swimming there was amazing, the view, the water, the temperature, it’s wonderful! I’m glad we stayed at Nagsasa Island for the night, its not as crowded as Anawangin Cove that Saturday. We also made a little bonfire at night too, reheated our rice there as well. I didn’t know I would enjoy camping that much hey, dang awesome!
(Pasay Bus Terminal- Victory Liner)
How to Get Here:
Commute from Manila
I took the Victory Liner Bus to Iba, Zambales and told the lady I’m going to San Antonio, Zambales Php275 ($5.5USD). From San Antonio, take a tricycle to Pundakit (boat starting point) Php40 if you’re the only passenger, Php25 ($.50) each if you have company, one way. Alight infront of San Antonio Municipal Hall, tricycles are parked there.
Or you can take bus to Olongapo Php207 ($4.14USD) and change bus at the terminal going to Iba, alight in San Antonio Php44 ($.88). Just an alternate route if you’re running late.