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    Sunday, March 15, 2015

    Nagsasa Falls


    Nagsasa Falls, Zambales, Falls, Nagsasa, Sidetrip in Zambales


    Your trip to Nagsasa Cove in Zambales won’t be complete without submerging into these captivating falls. It is actually a series a waterfalls that is best visited during the rainy season (June to October) to witness the generous flow of the waters. The falls is located at the middle of the forest and will take around an hour of trekking to get there.

    We went there in February, when the rocks were dry and there’s little to almost no flowing water at all.
    The good thing about it is that during the summer months, when only a small amount of water gush through it, the fishes on the basin are more visible and active. Also, since the rocks were dry, we were able to get to the highest waterfall at ease.

    GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION
    Country: Philippines
    Region: Central Luzon (Region III)
    Province: Zambales

    MAJOR JUMP OFF
    Nagsasa Cove in San Antonio, Zambales

    HOW TO GET THERE
    To get to San Antonio, take a Victory Liner bus bound to Sta. Cruz or Iba, Zambales. If you could, take the one that passes SCTEX to shorten your travel time. Usually it would take 4-5 hours to get there.

    You can go to this link to view their bus schedules:

    If you weren’t able to catch a bus with the above-mentioned routes, you can also take an Olongapo-bound bus and just take another bus from there heading to Iba or Sta. Cruz. Just tell the conductor or the driver to drop you off at San Antonio municipal hall and market.

    From there, just get a tricycle to take you to Pundaquit.

    BACKPACKER’S PARADIGM


    Camara Island, Zambales


    After spending the night in Camara Island (Click the link to view our adventure in Camara), our Valentine adventure continued in Nagsasa Cove. Ever since the Nagsasa Cove has been opened to the public in 2011, we’ve already heard that there is a beautiful waterfall near the beach. We’ve always wanted to see it personally as it was one of the hidden gems, but have become a popular attraction, in the place.

    Nagsasa Falls, Zambales, Falls, Nagsasa, Sidetrip in Zambales
    Our trek to this 4-years-in-the-making adventure was about to start. We suggest getting a local guide to take you to the falls. Not just to not get lost, but for security reasons as well. Make sure you get a trusted guide, or the one referred by the caretaker of the resort. Theft has been a main concern in this area and make sure to not leave your valuable stuff in the campsite. Also, have someone to check on your tent while you are gone. We’ve heard that one of the souvenir vendors would sneak into the tent and steal your things.
    Reminder! Be vigilant on whoever enters your camping area – near the tent or even the cottage. Especially the souvenir vendors.
    We, unfortunately, lost some stuff because we weren’t careful enough. Probably because it was already our 5th time in San Antonio (but first time in Nagsasa Cove) and we trusted the people there. Nevertheless, we hope our readers won’t be victimized by him/her/them.



    Nagsasa Falls, Zambales, Falls, Nagsasa, Sidetrip in Zambales


    It was already 3:30 PM when we asked the caretaker of the resort, named Yolly, to get a guide for us. She was actually a bit hesitant since it was already late. However, we decided to still push through with the plan and just brought our flashlights and headlamps with us. The trek to the falls will only take around 2 hours back and forth, but because of the picture-taking and some ‘exploring’ stuff to do, then it would take a longer amount of time.
    Well, we may not look as ‘hardcore’ as the other hikers/mountaineers, but we certainly can pull it off.

    Nagsasa Falls, Zambales, Falls, Nagsasa, Sidetrip in Zambales
    Her brother, Christopher, served as our guide. The good thing about this trek is that it’s already late in the afternoon and the weather is just perfect. Most of the trail is open or exposed to the sun hence commencing a trek when the sun is up would be more of a challenge.

    Nagsasa Falls, Zambales, Falls, Nagsasa, Sidetrip in Zambales

    Along the trail, you’ll find Mt. Balingkilat on the left side and Mt. Cinco Picos and the left.

    Nagsasa Falls, Zambales, Falls, Nagsasa, Sidetrip in Zambales

    Nagsasa Falls, Zambales, Falls, Nagsasa, Sidetrip in Zambales

    If you have seen the documentary of Romi Garduce and Richard Gutierrez entitled “Pito para sa Pilipino” that was aired on GMA 7 in 2012, this mountain was their setting. We just couldn’t remember it name since we were in a hurry, but our guide said that they both climbed this mountain and he was their guide too.

    Nagsasa Falls, Zambales, Falls, Nagsasa, Sidetrip in Zambales

    Then, we crossed this dry river with tons of rocks. During the rainy season, the water can rise up to knee-deep. This part of the trail can be quiet confusing since it’s very open so it would be best that you have a guide with you.

    Nagsasa Falls, Zambales, Falls, Nagsasa, Sidetrip in Zambales

    We passed by another small dry river. After this would be another 15 minutes of  trekking.

    Nagsasa Falls, Zambales, Falls, Nagsasa, Sidetrip in Zambales
    These Agoho trees provide a good shade after being exposed in the initial terrain. This can also be a perfect spot to get some rest.
    Nagsasa Falls, Zambales, Falls, Nagsasa, Sidetrip in Zambales

    The last leg of the trail is similar to Pico de Loro’s trail to the waterfalls, where it is steep going down to the river that will eventually lead to the falls. According to our guide, this is a new trail that they made.

    Nagsasa Falls, Zambales, Falls, Nagsasa, Sidetrip in Zambales

    Finally, at around 4: 20 PM, we arrived at the first waterfall. Of the three waterfalls, this is the most common area to bathe since the water is more shallow. They call it the ‘Paliguan’.
    Evidently, it was dry. However, we were still amazed of this hidden beauty. The little amount of water gushing through the rocks just made it more calm and peaceful.


    Nagsasa Falls, Zambales, Falls, Nagsasa, Sidetrip in Zambales

    We headed up to the higher waterfall and its beautiful rock formation stunned us.
    Surprisingly, there are fishes living in the basin of the falls. The big fishes are hiding in the deeper part of the water. Here, you can bring some bread and feed the fishes. Hold a piece of bread on your hand and watch them  get near you. Sadly, we were rushing hence we were not informed of this. But, swimming next to them was just as exciting.

    Nagsasa Falls, Zambales, Falls, Nagsasa, Sidetrip in Zambales

    Nagsasa Falls, Zambales, Falls, Nagsasa, Sidetrip in Zambales

    Since the rocks were dry, getting to the highest part of the falls was not a problem.

    Nagsasa Falls, Zambales, Falls, Nagsasa, Sidetrip in Zambales
    Another trivia from our guide – Richard and Romi also went here! Richard even jumped from these big rocks to the basin of the falls. For safety reasons, the guides no longer allow its visitors to jump here due to rock protrusion.

    Nagsasa Falls, Zambales, Falls, Nagsasa, Sidetrip in Zambales

    At 5:00 PM, we decided to head back to the campsite. Looking on the mountains, we noticed an orange-y hue reflecting on them. It was actually the reflection of the setting sun cast by the clouds.

    Nagsasa Falls, Zambales, Falls, Nagsasa, Sidetrip in Zambales
    We witnessed the magical sunset on our way back. Such a scenic view rewarded by nature.

    BOATMAN’S CONTACT INFORMATION
    Name: Mike Bactad
    Contact Number: +63 9283405136

    BUDGET
    Here is the breakdown of our expenses:
    Fare from Manila to San Antonio – Php 1228  (roundtrip for 2 pax)
    Tricycle from San Antonio to Pundaquit – Php 140 (roundtrip for 2 pax)
    Boat Rental (small boat)  – Php 2000
    Food and Water – Php 600
    Guide Fee – Php 300 (Php 150/pax)
    ————————————————————————–
    Total Expenses: Php 4,268.00 (good for 2 pax)
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