If you have a limited budget of only 3,000 Pesos / 60 USD and only 3 days to travel where would you go? Do you prefer going to the north or south of Metro Manila?
It’s now summer in the Philippines and everybody wants to go to the beach. I live in the south of Metro Manila and our go-to beach is anywhere along the coast of Batangas or Mindoro. It’s close to Manila and about 2 to 3-hour drive only.
However, if you are living in North/East of Metro Manila perhaps you find Northern beach coast more convenient. I have been to many Batangas beach and very few in the north that’s why I decided to explore Zambales for 3 days.
There are so many travel and tour company and groups all over Facebook and sometimes we just want to book and go, its less hassle of course. but did you know that it’s super easy to travel and explore Northern Luzon if you Do It Yourself your trip? It’s cheaper and more laid back because it’s in your own phase, no call time, no BS.
I decided to explore and relax in Zambales because I rarely travel to North Luzon. You see, I have only been to Subic few times and once in Bataan, 3 to 5 times in Pangasinan, 4x in Baguio, 2x in Bulacan, and 3x in Pampanga.
This time, I decided why not explore Zambales, they have long coast of beaches, less crowd, and close to Manila.
I took a bus from Pasay to San Narciso Zambales. Victory Liner has few bus stations around Metro Manila.
Since I live in Las Pinas, Pasay is the closest station. Pasay to Zambales is about 3 to 4 hours bus drive. If you leave early from Manila, in 3 hours you’ll be in Zambales or maybe even less.
If you like to party and have booze all night then Crystal Beach Resort is your Best option, however if you like my kind of jam, tired of too loud music, too much crowd, and just want to really relax, enjoy the beach with almost to-no crowd coast then I highly suggest booking a room in D’Resort.
If you are coming via commute, just tell the bus conductor to drop you off to San Narciso Municipal Hall. In front, you will see the tricycle station, tell the driver that you are going to D’ Resort. Tricycle fare is 30 Pesos per person.
Its a short distance ride from the municipal hall for about 3 to 5 minutes only.
D’ Resort offers affordable room rates. You can book it for as low as 1,100 Pesos per night, no breakfast. They only offer Cavana/Bahay Kubo rooms, all with air condition and shared bathroom that is just right outside your Cavana door. Cavana family rooms have an en-suite bathroom.
There are Tapsi Houses along Purok 1 to 5. Prices range from 70 to 90 pesos per meal. Along with Municipal Hall, there are few bars, restaurants, and 711.
On my 2nd day, I decided to change scenery and ride a bus going to Subic. I just wait for an air-conditioned bus in front of San Narciso Municipal Hall for about 5 mins.
Bus fare is 75 Pesos and travel time is less than 1 hour.
One of your best option and the cheapest hotel is Sleep and Stay. Opened in September 2018 and still on soft opening. Room prices are from 1,100 to 2,500 Pesos per night. No breakfast because their in-house restaurant is still under construction.
You may opt to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at any nearby cafe or restaurant or even carinderia. Fyi, prices dining in any restaurant here is a bit pricey/same in Manila. If you are in a tight budget, carinderia is your best option.
Right in front of the hotel is the street going to the public beach of Barretto. Also at night, the strip of Barreto is fulk of foreigners (mostly retired US army/navy).
Free to ride the Royal Dutyfree bus to/from. From the parking lot in front of Puregold travel time is only 5mins.
Pasay to San Narciso Bus 313 Pesos
San Narciso to D’ Resort tricycle (vice versa) 30 Pesos per pax x2 = 60 Pesos
San Narciso to Subic (airconditioned bus) 75 Pesos
Subic Hotel to Royal Dutyfree (vice versa) 12 Pesos x2 = 24 and 9 Pesos x2 = 18 Pesos
Subic to Victory Liner terminal 12 Pesos
Subic to Cubao 257 Pesos
Balintawak MRT to Taft MRT 25 Pesos
Lunch 3x (budget meal) 75 x3 = 225 Pesos
Breakfast 2x (budget meal) 75 x2 = 150 Pesos
Dinner 2x (budget meal) 75 x2 = 150 Pesos
Beer for 2 nights 55 x4= 220 Pesos
D’ Resort Zambales 1,100 Pesos /2 (sharing) = 550 Pesos
Sleep and Stay Subic 1,100 Pesos /2 (charing) = 550 Pesos
Pasalubong 400 Pesos
Total = 3,017 Pesos
Hope this helps your summer getaway. Happy traveling!
Lee Rosales is the woman behind the Lifestyle and Travel Blog http://ilovepaars.com and www.mommalee.com . Follow her adventures as a solo parent and a solo female traveler.