Resorts in Iba, Zambales


Coming from Anawangin in Pundaquit, San Antonio, I passed by Iba, reputed to be the resort town of Zambales. I checked out several resorts, thinking I could stay in one for the night, before heading to Pangasinan, my next destination.

And truly, there are a lot of resorts. One right after the other. I decided to visit some.

BAKASYUNAN Resort and Convention Center is huge, probably the largest in Iba. Room rates start at P1,500 for 2 persons, with dormitories accommodating 15 persons for only P7,000 per night. There are beach front accommodations that are the first to be booked – – a beachfront room for 6 costs P4,500.


these beach front rooms are the most popular



but I like these a/c nipa huts better



the tree house goes for P2,500 for 2


When I visited, there were several groups of guests in different nooks of the resort, practising what seems to be their performance for the night, apparently all attending a seminar or a convention of sorts.

Bakasyunan is at Sitio Lawak, Barangay Amungan. Contact person is Grace Bacarro at 047-8113234 or mobile number 0919 6760445. Website :

My personal favorite is PALMERA GARDEN. It is smaller, and cozier. The Bahay Kubo restaurant is popular even among the locals. There is also a restaurant right on the beach, called PARA SA ATIN.


photo from their brochure (lost my battery when I wnated to take photos, yikes !)


Rooms are at P2,200 per night for 2 persons, while aircon beach cottages are priced higher at P2,350.

Contact PALMERA GARDEN at 047-8112109 or via mobile numbers 09174641377 and 0919 8502549. Visit their website:

I also drove into HERRA’s  but found the place to be rather too ordinary, and is the resting point of salesmen who are able to park their trucks or vans in its huge property. Rooms go for P1,500 per night.


P1,500 per night


I was told Tammy’s is popular. Drove to this section and found out it was at a near dead-end and it was rather difficult to maneuver form there. This is a building, although the restaurant that overlooks the shore is interesting.




Right next to Tammy’s is LINDAMAR BY THE SEA. The place offers nice and cheap accommodations, but does not have a restaurant. An aircon room for 3 persons is only P1,200 per night.  LINDAMAR can be booked by email:, or by phone 0908 3681004, 024332155.

The Lighthouse at Capones



from a distance


the lighthouse, as viewed from the boat

It is the reason you would want to go to Capones Island, off Pundaquit, in San Antonio, Zambales. Capones? The island of the castrated?

The boat ride will cost visitors P1,300 if coming from the high-end resort called Punta de Uian. But boatmen in Pundaquit proper will charge only P800 for the trip.

The boat took off from Patio Royal Resort, steered by boatman Joven Orcino. We first went around the nearby Camara Island, and then circumnavigated (feeling like Magellan?) the island of Capones, deciding where we could get off to explore the island. We went to the back, which happens to be the front view of the light house, facing the China Sea. We couldn’t land there – – the water was rough. We went around again and decided to approach the island from the other side. No wharf, we just steered the boat to a small clearing amidst rocks. The boat was so unsteady I had to hand over my belt bag and camera to the more agile boatman, lest I trip and get the camera wet.


where we took off for a trek




looking down the rocky shore

From that clearing, we ascended a path that is sometimes rocky, sometimes muddy,  covered with trees and shrubs. I had to be careful, we could fall off the ravine. At some point, we had to pass thru a fallen tree. It wasn’t a very long hike, but it was a rather difficult one for those not used to walking in the bush.







a fallen tree on the trail

The reward for the “hardship” was well worth it. The light house stood proud, but the caretaker’s place, and what probably were “offices” in the old days were nothing but ruins. Eerie. And yet, one can imagine how it must have looked like in its glory days. Today, it would make a good setting for a horror movie.



looking through the window, from the ruins



Beautiful !



Yet, the view is magnificent. A clear view of the ocean, accented by foliage from the island. Climbing the tower is another eerie experience. The spiral staircase, while looking sturdy, seemed to dance and gives one a feeling it could collapse anytime. I just thought that if it did, its very shape will prevent it from falling, it will just lie on the small space where it stands.


spiral staircase made of solid cast iron, but the swaying motion gives one the feeling it could disengage anytime


After the spiral staircase came two ladders that seemed to be in perfect vertical angle. This gets visitors to the viewing deck level. But the gate was closed, and the only way to view the horizon was to go up a third, and more difficult-to-manage vertical ladder. From there, one will feel like he owns the oceans.


the view from the very top


There are no facilities in the island. I would not even encourage camping overnight, unless you bring everything, including water to drink. I am not even sure if it is allowed. No matter, just being there for a few hours is worth the cost and the effort. I wouldn’t mind visiting again.


an image etched in my mind


Visitors can choose to stay overnight in the various resorts in Pundaquit, or in Anawangin Cove. I have covered these possible accommodations in a previous blog on Anawangin.