Can you believe that for Php 1500 you could actually visit 3 islands in the Philippines?
Summer of 2014, we were looking for a getaway place that is not far from the Metro but still would accommodate our budget of P1500 per person. We were choosing between Burot Beach in Batangas or Nagsasa Cove in Zambales — we chose the latter.
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
1. Number of people.
How many will be joining this trip? You have to consider that more heads mean less money to shell out.
In our case, we are a group of 12.
2. Do a research of the place.
Read blogs of people who had been to the place. Where did they stay, what are their feedback, what are the things that you should bring.
We found out that Nagsasa Cove doesn’t have electricity. No rooms are available. And is 20 – 30 minutes away from the town, by boat. That gives us the idea that we have to bring our own tents (or rent there) and bring enough food that would get us through the night. Also, through research we learned that there are different campsites located in Nagsasa Cove. The most recommended (based on the blogs that we’ve read) was The Beach Place.
3. Make necessary reservation. Contact people.
Get contact information of the place and your transportation going to the place. Decide as to how are you going to get there — public transportation or hiring a private vehicle?
Since we are a big group, we decided to hire a van so that we can all be comfortable during the trip. Good thing, one of our friends have a van for hire that we took advantage of. Though the van was rented without a driver, it was a good deal at P4000. And we just had our boys take turns on the driving. We also contacted The Beach Place, our chosen campsite for the Nagsasa Cove trip.
The Beach Place
Contact Person: Elaine
Contact Number: 0916-653-2281
The Beach Place offers different packages for the trip.
- Big Group Package A: P600/pax
Inclusive: Round trip boat fare, Overnight entrance fee, Picnic Hut Rental, 5 Gallon Drinking Water, Wood for Bonfire, Use of Cooking Pots, Pans, Hammock.
- Big Group Package B: P700/pax
Inclusive: Big Group Package A + Tent OR Island Hopping (Anawangin and Capones)
- Big Group Package C: P800/pax
Inclusive: Big Group Package A + Tent + Island Hopping (Anawangin and Capones)
If you don’t want to avail of the package, the individual rates are:
- Round-trip boat fare = P400/pax
- Overnight Beach Entrance = P100/pax
- Cottage rental = P100/pax
4. Plan the things to bring and food to buy
To minimize the cost, talk among your group if there are things that they can bring instead of buying it.
In our case, we have friends who have tents. We were able to bring 3 tents, which can accommodate 4 people per tent, so no need for us to rent. Then, we assigned people what to bring. Each should have a flashlight. Electric fan operated by battery is optional, but a fan and insect repellant are a must. There are also assigned to bring other panluto such as pang-ihaw. And there’s someone assigned to bring a water cooler for the drinks. Of course, pillows and blanket are necessary too. And medicines should not be forgotten.
With the food, we headed to the grocery store the night prior to the trip to buy our food. We made a meal plan for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
First, we bought butane/gas (not provided by The Beach Place). Then for our lunch (once we get to the place), we decided to have it prepared the night before the trip. We chose Chicken Adobo because it won’t spoil easily. It saved us the time and energy compared if we will cook lunch as soon as we get to the place. For dinner, we bought pork barbeque sticks and liempo that we grilled. We also bought marshmallow and chocolate syrup, since our friend knows how to do Smores — there goes our dessert. Marshmallows were also used during the bonfire. Of course, we expected to drink by night time. We bought 4 or 5 liquor. Then for the following morning, we bought hotdog, maling, eggs for breakfast. Of course, we bought extra gallons of water, softdrinks, ice cubes (which we bought along the way), paper cups, plates and spoon and fork.
5. Do the math
Compute your expected cost for the transportation, food and package.
Allotted amount for van + toll fee + gas = 500.00
Travel package we availed: Big Group Package B = 700.00
Allotted amount for food = 300.00
*It is also advisable to set aside contingent funds in the event that you come across an emergency or an unexpected situation. Like in our experience, we accidentally took the wrong exit in SLEX, that we had to shell out around 20 – 30 pesos each.*
There! So for P1500/pax we were able to drive to Zambales and back to Manila. We were able to visit Nagsasa Cove, Anawangin and Capones island. And we got to spend a night away from the hustle bustle of Metro Manila and enjoy the summer!
Who said you have to spend a lot to travel? With an effort to plan and do your research, you’ll be able to pay a little and experience more.
Here’s our mandatory jumpshot! Cheers for getting to Zamables with a P1500 budget!