Gusto kong tumambay sa beach!
Ah sa Subic kasi malapit lang.
May beach ba na maganda 'dun?
So I googled Grande Island Resort (check rates) on the internet. I remembered our trip on this little island when I was little. If you're a frequent reader of my blog, you'd probably know right now that my mom and dad both hailed from Zambales and we usually spent holidays in our province so it is my second home (QC as my first).
I checked on their website and inquired for their day trip and when I saw that they were on promo, I immediately reserved for two persons on a Sunday day trip. They didn't require us to deposit or something, we just need to be in the drop-off point 30 to 45 minutes before the departure time which was set at 10:05 a.m. The said promo was everyday except Saturdays.
I checked on some photos and it's still the same. All the blogs I read were full of negative feedbacks. ALL. But that wouldn't stop me for my quick-fix beach for 200 pesos.
Grande Island is a little island right in between Bataan and Zambales. It is a private island resort and it has its own ferry service to and fro the island. We were at the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority at around 9:20 a.m. I know SBMA by heart so getting there was so easy for me.
|boat for bigger volume of passengers|
|the US Warships from the terminal - ain't that close enough?|
The Grande Island Ferry Terminal is located along the Waterfront Road. We were welcomed by the US Warships which were docked at SBMA for the next couple of days. There were many tourists flocking to take a peek of the huge warships. I read from the newspaper that those US warships off loaded some equipment and marines who will participate in the Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) 2012.
We headed to their front office to pay for the day tour and we were given a green day pass tag. We waited for less than a hour on the terminal before we boarded their ferry which felt nostalgic. Maybe because of the old school boat wheel that the captain used.
It was a smooth 20-minute ride to the island. We were told beforehand that we cannot bring in any food because they have a restaurant on the island. But then I tried to sneak in some chichacorn, some chocolates and drinks. Nobody checked our bags so it was a success. I dunno if they were usually like that or it was just an isolated case.
We checked out first the resort's facilities and we saw nothing much. A pool which I doubt is clean. A team-building area. A "restaurant"/conference area. And some water activities. Nothing much. I don't want to even ask for those activities 'coz all I needed was a quiet place to chill.
There were some tourists who were enjoying water games and activities on the other side of the island. They were there for overnight. I was amazed how large the group was. They were close to a hundred so they have to board on the bigger boat. It can't be a family reunion 'coz they weren't wearing a uniform shirt (huh?). It can't be a school outing 'coz they were not that noisy. Maybe they were just there to... rest? I dunno.
The shore was narrow and it can't claim that it has a "Boracay-ish" sand 'coz it's really not (though I've never been to Boracay). It has a typical sand quality of Zambales beaches. And it's a "swimmable" beach as it gets deeper with every inch you take. Very typical in Zambales. My kind of beach.
We chose our spot (I just wanna chill right?) and brought 2 beach daybeds from somewhere under a tree. We veered away from where the people went and settled to the other side of the island. We went to this small tree and enjoyed the view from our spot. It was quiet. It was peaceful. We left our "gadgets" at home so we can't do anything but relax. It was sooo nice. We napped for a few hours and woke up with the same feeling - quiet (better than empty). We then played around the island like kids :)
The 7-hour daydream ended. We were getting ready and asked for shower rooms but they showed us an outdoor shower. We asked for a "real" bathroom. They directed us to the shower and bathroom on the pool area. We were in awe when we saw how filthy the bathroom was and I just settled to the outdoor shower. Eek. Ako na ang hindi naligo, tamang banlaw lang... Tsss...
Grande island is huge and everything I remembered from my childhood trip there were still the same as today. There were no improvements (or any attempt) on its facilities and activities. It was so big that it became its disadvantage - maintenance part.
|our boat (look at the cloud on the left side - it looks like a "C", for Carla :)|
|beach front rooms|
|never tried those|
|buoyed platforms - they were on vests. i went there without one :)|
|what to do?|
|our own spot|
Bye Grande island. You know how I loved the tranquility you brought in me but I wish not to see you soon - maybe if you were bought by Henry Sy or the Ayala's I will think again. It was not you but it's me. Good thing me and my friend enjoyed our kid-like stuff and amused ourselves. Still, thank you.
|you've never been to SBMA if you haven't tried this...|
|spaghetti with meatballs|
|1 pizza - 2 different set of toppings|
Grade Island Resort
Check out Subic City accommodations here