The heat of summer is now on. It is so hot that even a shower would not do. I needed something more – a day at the beach, perhaps. Fortunately, with the recent long weekend holiday, I was able to go home and get myself a quick splash at Dawal Beach Resort, Candelaria, Zambales on 15 April 2017.
My Black Saturday summer adventure was an impromptu getaway. After the Prusisyon ng Santo Bangkay on Good Friday, I and some of my high school classmates spent the evening in the town park. There, I told them of my longing to have a dip, and they had the same sentiment as mine. So, we decided to meet at ten in the morning the following day, and go swimming somewhere in the neighboring town of Candelaria.
The next day was the usual – we were not on schedule. It was already our call time, but we were not yet complete. In the end, we found ourselves on board a Victory Liner bus bound for Manila at past noon.
We got off the bus at Uacon, Candelaria (15 minutes from my town of Santa Cruz, 6-7 hours from Manila). From there, Dawal is just a few steps away. We decided to go there first as there are other resorts within the area. So, if one is jam-packed due to the long weekend holiday, we can easily hop off to the next resort.
When we arrived at the front desk of Dawal, we were informed by the staff that all the cottages have been booked. We were initially told that we can still go to the pool area or the beach front, but there will be no tables or seats for us. We could also opt for a videoke room (Php 200 per hour), or a day tour to Potipot Island, but those were not what we came for. Still, the staff was so accommodating that she tried to double check the resort’s facilities. Luckily, there was a vacancy. Kudos, to the very friendly staff!
We decided to settle down there as we were already drained from the heat. We were charged Php 300 for the area. Each of us also had to pay a separate fee of Php 120 for the pool ticket, and Php 30 for corkage.
After sitting down, we chose to rest for a bit before having our lunch. A few moments later, we saw the guests at the next table prepare their meals. They had so many cooked foods that we became ashamed of ourselves right then and there. Here’s why: we only brought canned goods as our rice toppings. Heck, we were too lazy to grill! Our feeling of embarrassment was probably our punishment.
Nevertheless, we still had peanuts and green mangoes. Yay!
Once we finished our sumptuous lunch, we found ourselves doing nothing. The sun was still so high up for a dip at the pool or the beach. I forgot to bring playing cards. Mobile network signal was so weak at our spot. We had to go near the beach, which was extremely sizzling hot, just to browse our Facebook news feeds. In the end, Miko, Joy and her boyfriend decided to have a short nap; Leny and Dyan chose to watch K-dramas on their phone; while the rest of us just sat there and had a little chit-chat.
Later on, someone came up with the idea of having ice cream. Fortunately, the resort has a restaurant, and we were able to get our ice cream from there.
After the snack, my friends thought of playing table tennis. For a deposit of Php 500, and a charge of Php 30 per hour, we were able to have fun at the ping pong table.
DISCLAIMER: I am not your sporty guy. I had table tennis as my Physical Education class in college, but I only learned how to make a good serve. I suck at returning the ball to my opponent. Nonetheless, I and Miko still won our game. Woohoo!
While we were not playing, Dyan and I began to explore our surroundings, and take some landscape and portrait shots. It is worth noting that my selfies were way better than Dyan’s captures, except for one. I had to make a lot of post processing for the other stills. (Wish you were there, Lei, my awesome photographer friend.)
As the sun began its descent, we decided to use our pool tickets. Luckily, there was an empty table in between two of Dawal’s pool-side rooms. We brought down our valuables there, and went on swimming. Scratch that – I went on pseudo-swimming. Yeah, sorry, I grew up in a coastal town, but I never learned how to swim. Sigh.
Thanks to my IP 68 water resistance-rated Samsung Galaxy S7, we were able to take photos, and even have a boomerang and start a Facebook live feed while in the pool.
After the night has taken over the day, it was time to go. Dawal still had many things to offer though – spa services, other sports and water activities, and a lot more. However, we were not staying overnight, and public transportation is not very convenient in this rural area.
We will probably come back next time, and book ourselves a place for the night for a more fun escapade. Perhaps, we can do it during the Halloween? Until then, I will be missing you, guys! See you soon.
DAWAL is one of the earliest beach resorts in Uacon, Candelaria, Zambales. Unlike other resorts in the area, it offers several accommodation options and amenities, even a day tour to Potipot Island. Hence, one can spend the day along the island’s semi-white shores, and settle for the night in a room at Dawal. For more information, you may visit their website and their Facebook page.
More photos here: