I know I’ve been to Zambales several times before–like Anawangin, Nagsasa and Silanguin–but realizing there wouldn’t be any service left me in a slight panic once again. No social media?? However, once my bare feet touched the fine sand of Talisayen Cove, all my worries just washed away into the sea.
Gray-White Sand Beach of Zambales
How to Get to Pundaquit
We drove to Pundaquit from Manila via SCTEX for about 4 hours. However, we’ve tried commuting to San Antonio before.
Manila to Pundaquit:
#1 Victory Liner:
Option 1: Cubao to Iba or Sta. Cruz (~PHP 260) – 4.5 hrs
Option 2: Cubao to Olongapo (PHP 212/person) + Olongapo to San Antonio Municipal Hall (PHP 58/person) (bound for Iba or Sta. Cruz) – 5 hrs
#2 Trike: San Antonio Municipal Hall to Pundaquit (PHP 30-PHP 35/person)
Pundaquit to Manila:
#1 Trike: Pundaquit to San Antonio Municipal Hall (PHP 30-PHP 35/person)
#2 Victory Liner:
Option 1: San Antonio Municipal Hall to Cubao (PHP 265/person) – 4.5 hrs
Option 2: San Antonio Municipal Hall to Olongapo (PHP 58/person) + Olongapo to Cubao (PHP 212/person) – 5 hrs
Option 3: San Antonio Municipal Hall to Sampaloc (PHP 265/person) – 6 hrs
Fees and Expenses
Bus Fare (Manila-San Antonio): ~PHP 260/pax
Tricycle Fare (San Antonio-Pundaquit): ~PHP 30/pax
Environment Fee: PHP 20/pax
Boat Rental (2-4 pax): PHP 1,700
Entrance Fee: PHP 130/pax
Overnight Parking: PHP 200/car
Boat Rental to Talisayen Cove
Upon entering the driveway to the Pundaquit Port, we had to pay the environment fee of PHP 20/person at the guard house or tourism center which acts like a checkpoint. One of the ate got on a motorbike and guided us to one of the boat rental resorts at the end of the dock–Purok 4, if I’m not mistaken. There are a number of car parks in each purok. It’s about PHP 100 for day parking and PHP 200 for overnight parking.
Since it’s right after Anawangin Cove, the ride to Talisayen is a relatively short one compared to Nagsasa Cove and Salingauin Cove. It took us about 45 minutes to get there. The earliest time Kuya could come back for us the following morning was at 6:30 AM since Miguel had a flight to catch.
Tip: Since there’s no network, it doesn’t matter if you get your boatman’s number or not, but it helps if you take a picture of the boat and the boatman in case you need to ask for him the next day. You can easily ask the caretaker or employees at the resort, since everyone knows everyone.
Talisayen Beach Resort
As soon as we got to Talisayen Beach Resort, we pitched our tent, had some of the balut we bought from the market and went for a dip! The entrance fee as of March 2019 is PHP 130/person.
Zambales has one of the best sunsets. Every time I come here, I act like a deer caught in the headlights just gawking as the sun disappears beneath the sea. That’s just the beginning. The stars in the dark sky are a completely different experience altogether. You have to be there to feel the awe combined with fear as you realize how small you are in the universe.
Bonfire, Massage, Stargazing
Much like the other coves, there’s not much to do on Talisayen but to beach bum and soak in the sun. At night, we lit a bonfire for an additional PHP 250. Can you believe it? Miguel and I used up 2 piles of dry wood!
Tip: Build a small fire then gradually add firewood. It doesn’t make sense to light a big fire for a small group. It becomes too hot and dies out quickly.
Being a good boyfriend, Miguel gave me a massage, and I returned the favor with….a massage too! We spent the rest of the evening gazing up at the sky and admiring the constellations, which has always been my favorite thing to do in Zambales.