2008 July 20 Crystal Beach Resort, San Narciso, Zambales

After several attempts at marshalling people for weekend surfing, Michelle and I finally decided to just push through with or without the others :P And right after Jem and Grace’s wedding, push through we did. As usual, we went to Crystal Beach, rented boards, and enlisted Bobot to assist us. We surfed for only about an hour and the waves were rather inconsistent. Still, it was lots of fun especially since we weren’t able to surf the last time we visited Crystal Beach.

If there’s a will, there’s a way.

2008 June 7 to 8 Crystal Beach Resort, San Narciso, Zambales

Finally, the long-awaited return to Crystal Beach for more surfing.

We took the newly opened Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX). I’ll have to say that it beats NLEX hands down. It has NLEX’s nice asphalt surface PLUS Star Tollway’s low traffic. It seemed to be a very good place to open up your throttle and see what your driving machine is capable of. And open the throttle I did. Hell, everyone did. Khae, who was driving a gen 8 H car, was going at 160kph and I was doing the same (to keep up, y’know). Most everyone else were just a little bit slower and two bikers even went by at around 180kph. I noticed that the car was still moving along smoothly, no shakiness as when I tried 160kph at Star Tollway. Nice surface indeed.

At the resort, we had ready our board shorts, rash guards, and sunblock. There was only one problem: the surf was FLAT! For the two days! With surfing out of the question, it became just your regular beach outing of swimming, chilling, and kayaking.

It was my first time kayaking but I think I was able to get the hang of it. Michelle and I paddled beyond the far end of Crystal Beach to check out a big cluster of pine. We beached the kayaks then ran across the very hot sand to the pines. We stayed for a bit under the shade of the pines to rest. We then walked and ran back to the kayaks and paddled back to Crystal Beach. It was a total of only about a kilometer but our arms and backs were aching already! Seems to be good upper body work out.

2008 April 26 to 27 Crystal Beach Resort, San Narciso, Zambales

Finally got to try out surfing. And I think I like it!

A few weeks ago, when Crissy’s 29th (friends!) birthday was still coming up, I suggested that she celebrate it over the weekend closest to her birthday. And since I have been wanting to surf since last year, I also suggested surfing as part of the activities ;) She agreed saying Jim is also interested in surfing. So yesterday, we went with a bunch of friends and officemates, to Crystal Beach Resort in San Narciso, Zambales.

Crystal Beach Resort is a pretty big and spacious resort. They have a wide soft sand beachfront and the water is clean and quite shallow for quite a distance from the shoreline. Cogon-roofed huts of various sizes and purpose are line along the shore or interspersed between rows of pine trees. There is a liberal amount of concrete use but otherwise the whole place has a rustic feel to it. The only thing that spoils the atmosphere is the presence of videoke machines. I guess there’s just no getting away from these infernal machines anywhere in the country.

When we arrived, the waves were not strong enough so those who us who weren’t sleeping bummed around the beach. We finally started surfing late afternoon when the waves became stronger. We started on the sand with surfing theory then it was off to the water where the instructors taught us how to actually apply it. Of course, all that flew into the wind as we repeatedly mounted our boards, paddled to speed up (assisted by a push from the instructors), popped up, and wiped out.

After about thirty minutes of this, our skins were red and raw from all the chafing against the surf boards. It was then that, in a moment of enlightenment, I realized what a rash guard is for :P All the pain, however, is forgotten when you are able to catch a wave and ride it (not that I caught many, I think I really only caught two). Pure exhilaration!

Can’t wait till the next time.

2008 March 19 to 22 Pagudpud Road Trip

Just got back from Pagudpud aka The Boracay of the North. It’s an unfair comparison, really. Sure both have white sands, both have great water, and both are overrated beach destinations. But Pagudpud is much less congested. That alone makes it way better in my book.

It’s a trip that Bing and I have been planning for a long time. We actually planned to do it summer of 2007 but the plans fell through and Bing and I ended up at Putipot with Erwin. That was also one great trip but still not the same. So we kept the fire burning and now we’ve finally done it!

As usual, the hardest part is gathering up committed people interested in going. After considerable effort, we were able to gather nine: Rein, Jessie, Bing, and I together with Len, her friend Maye, Paul, Ann, and Val. But Len, Maye, and Jessie backed out close to the trip date. Good thing Roly stepped in and joined at the last minute. And so with seven people, off we went.

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