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!)
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.
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- Take the NLEX until the last exit.
- Take the SCTEX until Subic.
- Head to Kalaklan Gate.
- Upon exiting Kalaklan Gate, turn left, go straight and pass through the towns of Subic, Castillejos, San Marcelino until you reach San Narciso.
- You’ll encounter a T-intersection with a Petron Gas Station nearby, turn right (where Crystal beach arrow is pointing you) and head straight.
- 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|
|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|
Surfing per hour – ₱ 200/head
Surfing half day – ₱ 400/head
Related Posts to Liwliwa Beach
liwliwa beach zambales
liwliwa zambales itinerary
liwliwa zambales 2017
liwliwa zambales hotels
liwliwa zambales 2018
liwliwa beach resort rates
haribol, liwliwa san felipe zambales
hideout liwliwa zambales