It’s been a while since I wrote my last blog. I got busy due to my new hobby, creating video content and vlogging, and I would definitely appreciate it if you also support my vlogs! You can watch my videos on my Youtube Channel: https://youtube.com/channel/UCNNUo-fzE0dKkeo4lcFsccA.
How are my readers doing? Things might be hard and rough but I hope you can find time to do the things you love amidst a busy schedule. You can try traveling, connecting with nature, or for the time being, you can read this blog and have a glimpse of my freelancing life. As a freelancer, I can work anytime and anywhere—basically meeting ends while doing recreations. It has been both an escape and healing for me to seize every moment in every place I stay. When life gives you endless waves, you must always learn to surf and appreciate its beauty. Like what I did when we had a company meeting in Zambales: working in stress-free resorts while enjoying a summer-feels outing!
I often visualize myself enjoying the thrilling adventures of Zambales every time I see pictures of it online. And one of the best ways to truly experience the breathtaking beaches and resorts there, indeed, is on your own two feet. As one of the most popular and affordable destinations for family and company outing near Manila, Zambales had the power to rejuvenate souls and calm hearts.
DAY 1: GET ACQUAINTED WITH ZAMBALES
Our three-day itinerary begins with a long drive—almost 4 hours from Manila to Youhan Beach Resort. You might encounter heavy traffic and stop-overs during your travel, but the panoramic views of nature can divert your attention and make you less worried about the travel time. It has been a necessity to take snapping photos of everything, especially during a long trip. I have a habit of taking pictures and videos of every moment that are worth remembering. Compiling all of them in a folder has been a must-done so I can have the chance to look back someday and remember the familiar feeling a certain destination made me feel.
YOUHAN AND ARIRANG BEACH RESORTS
After the long drive, we immediately checked into our respective hotel rooms. The normal drill upon arrival is to organize things and go to designated room assignments. Our freelancing team stayed in Arirang Beach Resort, while our clients stayed in Youhan Beach Resort. The two afore-mentioned resorts just stood next to each other. Both offered great accommodation and services that make visitors satisfied. We had our lunch at Youhan, where we had a taste of what the province proudly calls its own. They offered a variety of cuisines that made our stay colorful. Not to mention that I am really particular in choosing savory foods that melt in my mouth. Make your stay even more nostalgic by trying their cuisines to satisfy your appetite.
After spending our first lunch break at the resort, we had our strategy meeting with our Indonesian clients in the Function Hall. It is located on the 2nd floor of the hotel building. We had a fruitful and productive discussion with them. Five hours of meeting highlights the day. It ended at 7 in the evening so that we could have our dinner. Our first-day stay in Youhan and Arirang was filled with productivity and getting acquainted with our destination. With just a day in Zambales, any traveler can certainly experience the best the province has to offer. Your desire to unveil what waits for the next days can fuel your excitement, and you will find yourself resting after a tiring day. Of course, you have to save your energy for tomorrow’s adventure!
DAY 2: WORK, LEISURE, AND ISLAND HOPPING
While you could sleep longer depending on your preferred rest time, given that the start of work is 9 in the morning, I recommend waking up early to catch a glimpse of the blissed sunrise. As a routine, I took a snap of how beautiful the sun rises while waving hello to the world. The best morning stroll is to walk along the seaside and listen to the sound of waves hitting the shore. You can watch your feet being touched by the calming waves, and you will have a moment of reflection about how life had been confusing yet mesmerizing at the same time.
During our early strolling, we had the chance to interview a fisherman and learn from their living. They wake up before sunrise, work hard with their boats and nets, and provide something for their family. I knew it wasn’t easy. Accordingly, there are times when they only catch a minimal number of fish because of weather conditions and certain factors. I can’t help but admire their determination and passion even more. I salute how they work hard to satisfy their daily living. Interacting with them is one of the memorable events I will treasure for life.
After embracing the seaside’s awe-inspiring view, we returned to the resort for our breakfast. You will notice a road construction in front of the resorts. As an observant and innately curious person, I couldn’t stop myself from noticing every detail around me. The mere scene of that construction could possibly mean that there will be more developments happening around the place. I am looking forward to going back to the same resort someday and seeing what changes and improvements it has undergone. We continued our strategy meeting with our Indonesian clients after enjoying the breakfast.
Once you’ve had your fill of Youhan, relax in a boat and get ready for an island-hopping around Capones Island! Our freelancing life might be challenging, but Zambales gave us the chance to work while enjoying every moment without the need to feel guilty. You should develop a habit of doing the things you love while continuously meeting ends to satisfy your needs.
By 1 pm, our team traveled for 30 minutes to reach the paradisal island that awaits. The first things that you would notice when you get there are the white sand scattered around the iconic island, the bright blue water, and the giant rock that must have been there for a long period of time. The waves were rough and violent. If you are not a strong swimmer, it would be best if you will just stay at the seashore and appreciate the untamed sight in front of you. The island is also known as the Grand Capon and is located adjacent to the South China Sea. If you are looking for a perfect place ideal for your team-building activities, company outing, and overnight camp, this island is the best destination for you!
After spending some time at Capones Island, we headed back to Youhan to continue healing our hearts and simply soak in the ambiance of its pool. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been to a lot of pools before but this one won me over! It was not just about the cozy vibes, but the people I stayed with made everything more unforgettable. I would remember how affordable and budget-friendly the resort was, casually going beyond our expectations, and still providing venues where we can play games. Even the pool area was a great place for team-building activities. Seriously, it is always okay to relax on a vacation, even while working, once in a while!
DAY 3: HEADING BACK HOME
I think it is pretty common for travelers to think that they do not have enough time to visit Zambales, especially since three days seem to be a short trip. Before leaving, we took pictures of almost every scenic view that catches our eyes. I could take pictures as many as I could and never feel the urge to permanently delete those. Of course, photos have the power to retell stories and bring evocative flashbacks of the things that heal our hearts during rough times. One last glance at the dazzling sunrise and I felt ready to carry the baggage I got from the gateway: the things I packed, of course, and the memories of solace I would bring home.
VASCO’S BAR AND GRILL
Your gateway would not be complete without loading your stomach and savoring the last taste of the province. Before traveling back to Manila for another 4 hours, I recommend visiting Vasco’s Bar and Grill to experience home-like dining. The cuisines were palatable and appetizing. They serve foods that are undeniably mouth-watering and could satisfy your cravings. Everyone would notice how Instagram-worthy everything in that restaurant could be, starting from the platings, interior designs, and even your backgrounds. I swear, it could unleash the inner model within you!
REMINISCING THE PAST: BATAAN DEATH MARCH
On our way back home, while cheerfully talking about our three-day experience, we, unfortunately, lost track in Bataan. I remembered how I slightly panicked, but I eventually felt at ease and just chose to just “go with the flow.” Instead of worrying, we had the opportunity to pass through the historical markers of Death March—an event that depicts the bravery and sacrifices of Filipino soldiers with their Americal counterparts during World War 2. Filipinos and American troops in Bataan were forced to take a 65-mile march to prison cramps. Thousands of people were brutally abused and died due to dehydration, starvation, and violence. If you’re a fan of history books, you would probably know what happened during the 1942 Death March. If not, start reading historical stories and learn how courageous our heroes were for sacrificing their lives for us. I mean, learning history might be boring for some, but it shows a huge part of our Filipino identity and how we survived during the tough times.
I never thought being lost on your way home could ignite my admiration for our heroes and how our country was historically scarred to achieve what we really wanted—to be free and to continue being free.
After a three-day trip filled with productive learning, company activities, freelancing life, iconic beaches, extraordinary experiences, and even an unexpected visit to a historical landmark, I learned how to be extra gentle with myself. You can sit in front of your desks for hours, work hard to meet ends, and combat the pressure people repeatedly throw at you. But believe me, you can always enjoy each moment that comes your way even though you have a busy life. All you have to do is believe in yourself, discover ways to unwind and find time to relax amidst the tasks loaded on your plate.
If you are looking for the best place for company outing where you can work while doing recreations, Zambales is the best place for you! Aside from the fact that is just near Manila, it offers affordable resorts where you could have your team-building and fun activities. Discover more exciting destinations in Zambales, Philippines, and let your soul rejuvenates from the beauty lurking within the province.