Crystal Beach Resort wasn’t exactly crystal that time.
Its waters, despite the attraction made by swelling waves, were almost muddied from our view approaching the sprawling sea. The clouds hovering over the beach set a gloomy mood, rendering its ashen sand, a far cry from the blinding white shores of more celebrated beaches like El Nido and Boracay, a dull display in monochrome.
Maybe because before we could even check in on Facebook, Typhoon Ferdie was already making his presence felt across the province, obfuscating what should’ve been a bright vista known as a paradise for surfers in this humble municipality of San Narciso in Zambales.
The storm, which canceled classes in Manila and ruptured Batanes, would eventually put a halt on our supposed hopping trips to neighboring islands Anawangin and Capones.
Amid the drab complexion of the place, our group, which spent about four hours traveling in a mini coach (commuters can go to any Victory Liner station and ride an Iba-bound bus, get off in San Narciso, and take a trike going to the resort), still found ways to make the trip worth it. Check our meanderings captured here on cam by Camz Co:
The surf experience was one for the books. Particularly because the storm allowed for colossal waves, which intensified excitement rather than fear in our group of novice surfers. The sea was intimidating, but our surf coaches made sure we only rode in safe areas. They knew what they were doing. After all, this is Quiksilver Surf School we’re talking about, one of the leading surfing schools in the country.
Then there’s The Kampsite, an eco-adventure camp that welcomes activities for team building, company getaways, or just the casual rendezvous of friends who want to hang out and kill time swaying on swings crafted from recycled tires. The spot is replete with pine trees, which makes it refreshing to the senses.
Scrumptious servings—fish fillet with tausi, lechon kawali, leche flan, and other Filipino homestyle dishes—can be had in Domingo’s Grille and Restaurant, an in-house eatery, before finally resigning to the resort’s rustic rooms, which were equipped with air-conditioning, cable TV, and bathrooms with heated showers and bidets.
Aside from Crystal Beach, there are other stunning locations in Zambales worth checking out. In fact, Victory Liner’s ongoing campaign dubbed #VentureForthToTheNorth brings the entire province to the fore. The campaign, bannered by Victory Liner’s brand ambassador, erstwhile “Born to be Wild” host Kiko Rustia, aims to encourage tourists to explore the beauty of the Northern Philippines.
Right before departing Crystal Beach, the sun peeked through the billowing clouds. I was quick to frame the moment and was left with this confirmation as a souvenir: the place’s pulchritude is crystal-clear.