travel

Liwliwa Beach in Zambales: No place for strangers

Zambales has always been a favorite quick getaway of mine. Since going there for the first time last year, I got excited to go back when I came across cheap accommodations available in Liwliwa Beach. My friend Aldous of Aldous Ate The World and I  thought of going to Zambales a night before our trip. Going there only took us around 3 hours, so it was a good choice for a weekend escape.

March 23, 2016 — At 9am, we drove from North Avenue EDSA to Zambales using the Subic-NLEX-SCTEX-San Narciso route. We followed the directions as stated in Circle Hostel’s website.  Although we were not confident with our navigation, we were so thankful that there’s Waze to guide us.

 

 

A Famous Fruit Shake

At almost 1pm, we arrived at the town of Liwliwa. It took us approximately 4 hours of travel. We instantly looked for drinks to help quench our thirst.  Liwliwa Beach only has a few establishments built around it, and it would be hard not to notice Mommy Phoebe’s Place. Mommy Phoebe’s Place is famous for its fruit shakes. (The shakes here are so cheap! For ₱40.00, we enjoyed our Mango and Watermelon fruit shakes. Sarap!)

 

Liwliwa Beach Zambales

 

 

The Circle Hostel Experience

After we have cooled down, we started taking our bags inside the hostel.  This was my first time to book in a hostel, and I was expectant of the experience. The receptionist asked for our deposit slip before signing up in their guest log. We booked for the hammocks (₱350.00/night) and thought it was cool to sleep in it for a night. This would be my first time to try it as well.

 

Liwliwa Beach Zambales

 

When booked for a hammock, one can enjoy the locker rental to store one’s bags and things. If you haven’t brought your own padlock, you can rent one for ₱20.00. One would notice easily how the whole place is filled with graffiti. It’s because guests can paint whatever they want to paint. The walls, stairs, and even the floors had messages painted all over them. There were just colorful writings everywhere, both encouraging and thought-provoking. The whole place looks fun and freeing!

 

Liwliwa Beach Zambales

Liwliwa Beach Zambales

Liwliwa Beach Zambales

 

There were a few people checked in when we arrived. We got to meet Emma, an intern in the hostel from Canada. She took us to the beach and shared a bit about herself.

 

 

The Beach

The beach wasn’t white sand, but the sand was fine.  It took us 3-5 minutes walk from the hostel to the beach. On our way, I noticed that there were so many hostels and cabanas being developed near the beachfront. I guess Liwliwa will become a well-known tourist spot not so far from today.

 

Liwliwa Beach Zambales

Liwliwa Beach Zambales

Liwliwa Beach Zambales

Liwliwa Beach Zambales

 

There were huts and cottages scattered on the beach, and everybody’s too friendly that there’s space for everyone to occupy. It’s all for free. I was sitting on the bamboo benches when we were told that the waves were flat. Maybe that’s why there weren’t many surfers around. Nothing much to do here. We got a bit lost on what to do next aside from the swimming, that we decided to visit Anghalo Falls even though the receptionist didn’t recommend it. It was an exhausting journey from the falls, so we ate at Fely’s canteen. The food costs from ₱75 to ₱85. Everything in here was budget friendly, but there’s not a wide selection of food to eat. After getting ourselves stuffed, we went back to the beach and just watched the sunset.

There were a number of dogs roaming around the sandy shore. But this one furry dog kept following me and my friend wherever we went.  Whenever we stop walking, the dog would follow someone else.  It was a dog in action! While watching, the waves become much stronger than earlier. I got amazed watching this guy skimboard.

 

Liwliwa Beach Zambales

Liwliwa Beach Zambales

Liwliwa Beach Zambales

Liwliwa Beach Zambales

Liwliwa Beach Zambales

Liwliwa Beach Zambales

Liwliwa Beach Zambales

Liwliwa Beach Zambales

Liwliwa Beach Zambales

Liwliwa Beach Zambales

 

After watching the sunset, we stayed at the beach until 8pm. The sea breeze was so comforting and the moment made us more open to talking about random things about ourselves.  When it got darker, we went back to the hostel to rest. The morning after, we went for a walk on the beach. Unlike yesterday, the sea looked much alive because of the number of people around.  There were people sleeping on the beach. After a good night’s sleep, I can’t help but feel empathy for these guys.  I bet they lit up bonfire last night and stayed up til morning. At least they had fun.

 

Liwliwa Beach Zambales

Liwliwa Beach Zambales

Liwliwa Beach Zambales

 

When we dipped in the water, there were small waves welcoming us as we walked further from the shore. The sea water wasn’t as salty compared to the water in Anawangin. It was clearer and bluer. If you have plans going to a short trip this weekend, I suggest go to a trip here in Liwliwa in -ber months where the waves are bigger and current is stronger.

 

Liwliwa Beach Zambales

Liwliwa Beach Zambales

Liwliwa Beach Zambales

Liwliwa Beach Zambales

 

 

 

Guide To Liwliwa Beach, San Felipe, Zambales

    • There’s a wifi signal in the beach area!
    • There’s a mobile reception here! (unlike in Anawangin)
    • You can avail of different activities like trekking to the falls, mountain climbing, island hopping, skimboarding and surfing.
    • You can sleep in the common area instead of the hammock.  (like we did!)
    • Prepare your socializing skills! There are lots of people to meet here!
    • Instead of using the locker, I just leave my bag on the hammock and not a single thing went missing. Nice!
    • When navigating, trust Waze. It helped us big time!

 

How to Get There

  1. Take the NLEX until the last exit.
  2. Take the SCTEX until Subic.
  3. Head to Kalaklan Gate.
  4. Upon exiting Kalaklan Gate, turn left, go straight and pass through the towns of Subic, Castillejos, San Marcelino until you reach San Narciso.
  5. You’ll encounter a T-intersection with a Petron Gas Station nearby, turn right (where Crystal beach arrow is pointing you) and head straight.
  6. You’ll see  a small street before Bobulon Elementary School (painted in peach or pink), make a left.
    Go straight and follow the signs of Circle Hostel or Board Culture.

 

Note: If you're travelling by bus, take the directions from Circle Hostel Zambales here.

 

Itinerary and Budget

Note: This was based on a group of 2 people during a 2016 trip.

Day 1 (March 23) 9:00 AM ETD from Manila ₱ 750/head (gas and toll shared)
1:00 PM ETA at Liwliwa from Manila; Check in at Circle Hostel ₱ 350/head (hammock); ₱ 20/head (Padlock Rental)
1:30 PM Lunch ₱ 75/head
2:00 PM Free time ₱ 40/head (Phoebe’s Fruitshake)
3:00 PM Anghalo Falls Tour ₱ 100/head (tour guide fee)
5:30 PM Back from tour; eat snack[/one_fourth]
6:00 PM Watch sunset[/one_fourth]
7:30 PM Eat Dinner; free time ₱ 85/head
9:00 PM Set up bonfire
11:00 PM Sleep
Day 2 (March 24) 5:00 AM Wake up, walk by the beach; swim[/one_fourth]
7:30 AM Breakfast From Hostel
8:00 AM Free time, socials
11:30 AM Eat lunch
12:00 nn Pack up
12:30 nn ETD to Subic
4:00 PM ETA in Manila
ESTIMATED TOTAL ₱ 1,420 / head

 

Optional:
Surfing per hour – ₱ 200/head
Surfing  half day – ₱ 400/head

 

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15 Comments

  1. Hello! My friends and I are planning to go here by October. Because we’re already have other place to stay, I’d like to ask if is it possible for us to stay/loiter around the area of Liwliwa beach to surf and chill? Eventhough we’re not planning to book for accommodation around the vicinity?
    Do we even need to pay for the entrance fee of the beach? Thank you!

    1. Hi Kenneth! By the time we went there, no entrance fees. For surfing lessons and boards, you can rent from the hostels around the area. I’m guessing it’s okay to chill. (Some even camped overnight by the beach.. 🙂 )

      Have fun!

  2. Good pics, nice coverage. Power on!

    1. Thanks Carl! 🙂 You should visit Zambales!

  3. Hello do you know the room rates? Thanks!

    1. Hi Mary Grace!

      I don’t think they charge per room stay. You can book a co-ed bedspace for Php 500 or a hammock/tent for Php 400. See more details on their website. (http://zambales.thecirclehostel.com/)

      Hope this helps!

  4. Hi! Just wanto ask the estimated cost for gasoline round trip? Also, may mapagpapark ba dun na safe? Thanks!

    1. Hi Homer! I can’t remember how much we paid for gas during that time (I think around PHP 700). It’s more or less 190km distance from North EDSA going to Circle Hostel Zambales.

      And yes, the parking space in the hostel is safe.

  5. Will the waves still be fine if we went there this April?

    1. Hi Ann!

      This time last year, waves were flat.. Ber month is a good time to go.

  6. May i ask lang po kung available po ba tomorrow overnight. Tapus magkano po yung entrance fee and cottage rental? Good for 30 persons po. Hope for your emmediate response.Thank you so much.

    1. Hi Ms Nanette! I am not affiliated with Liwliwa tourism nor any particular establishments. Please contact the business owners for booking information 🙂

  7. Hello 🙂 do they have free wifi or you brought your own?

    1. No, but there was a signal 🙂

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