Liwliwa in San Felipe, Zambales

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

It has always been a dream of mine to go on a solo backpacking trip and just recently, I made that dream happen. I spent ten days backpacking in the North of Luzon, where I made six stops, and I will tell you all about the whole trip, one blog post per stop. 

My first stop was Liwliwa which is located in San Felipe, Zambales. It was not my first time there, because I have already been there three years ago. Although this place wasn't new to me, I promised myself that I would make new memories, and so I did. 

I spent one night there. I left Manila later than I had planned and I ended up arriving at Liw-liwa past 9pm. The travel time took more than six hours because of the traffic in Metro Manila, and the several stops along the way. Since it was late and I was very exhausted (even though I was just sitting in the bus), I freshened up quickly and then slept almost as soon as I checked in. I woke up early for the day's activities which involved just swimming, eating, and of course, surfing.
 I watched the sun rise from the beach.
 Just like my first time in Liw-liwa, I stayed at The Circle Hostel.
 I ended up making new friends.
I rekindled my love for surfing and vowed to practice more.

After surfing, I had lunch with my new-found friends. I recommended the place next door which serves yummy and crispy bagnet. I rested for a bit and packed my stuff, ready for the next adventure. 

Travel Notes:

How to get there:
  • Board the bus from Manila going to Iba, Zambales and tell the conductor to drop you off at San Felipe, Zambales. I took the bus at Victory Liner in Pasay. If that option is not available, you can take the bus going to Olongapo, and from Olongapo, you can take the bus going to Iba, Zambales and tell the conductor to drop you off at San Felipe. From the bus stop in San Felipe, take the tricycle and ask the driver to take you to Sitio Liwliwa.
Where to stay:
  • The Circle Hostel - This is my go-to place whenever I'm visiting a surfing spot here in the Philippines. They have two other branches: one in San Juan, La Union and another one in Baler, Aurora. The Circle Hostel is perfect for backpackers because of their motto: "There are no strangers here." Plus accommodations are affordable too. Check out their website here.
  • There are other hostels and resorts in Liw-liwa, and they're all just beside each other. There are also places that will allow you to pitch a tent for a fee or you can rent one from them, if camping on the beach is more your speed. 
  • Bus from Manila to San Felipe, Zambales - Php330 (x2 for roundtrip)
  • Tricycle - Php50 per ride
  • Accommodations at The Circle Hostel - Php500 (per night on a bunk bed)
  • Surfing - Php400 (board rental + 1 hour surfing lesson with instructor)
  • Food - rice meals range from Php100 to Php150

My stay in Liwliwa was really short. Which meant that I have a reason to come back there. I would have stayed longer had I not made accommodations for my next stop which is Pangasinan. But that's another story that I will tell you next time. Keep posted for more! :)

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