“I regret I only had so much days that I have to keep chasing destinations and time. I felt I enjoyed the destinations more when I have ample time in the place, rather than visiting them a second time around.”
- Ian “Limbonis” Macalino
Adventures are the best way to learn. Ian was trying to convey that message based on his countless road trips, travels and misadventures – scoring a P14 airfare to Maldives after an airline computer glitch, hitchhiking with total strangers, getting high from Cambodia’s Happy pizza, getting mesmerized with the thousand flying lanterns in Chiang Mai, to volunteering in a hostel in Lombok and simply savouring the freedom of being away from home, while at the same time learning new culture, language, and meeting new friends and kindred souls. He’s fun to talk with; his tales are those you would eagerly want to listen under the stars, around the bonfire with some cold beer.
Backpackers usually have great stories to tell. When he got tired exploring Indochina for three years, he went back home and built his own rustic, provincial hideout in Liwliwa, a beach community in San Felipe, Zambales.
Being a surfing spot, Liwliwa on a weekend is always full of young tourists who either want to learn how to surf or just enjoy the laid-back vibe of the beach. It’s a good alternative to Baler and San Juan, as it is nearer Manila. Hostels, inns and resorts, and beach camps, have mushroomed in the area.
This is an overnight roadtrip with my colleague friends; and we were happy to have find Ian’s beach home - Limbonis Hideout. Though not beach front, Limbonis nicely sits on a lush property beside a river, surrounded by pine trees. Ian named his place after his travel blog, and if I’m not mistaken, based on our conversation, it means “gala” in his native language.
It has three kubo structures – the main Hideout, Ian’s very own space, and the coffee place and kitchen.
The main house has three rooms good for two to four persons. And an attic that could accommodate a dozen. The rooms are very basic with no aircon. Just a bed, and an electric fan. But I love its rustic simplicity. As well as the murals and inspirational quotes that could be found in almost every corner.
And the relaxing view of pine trees from our windows.
Hammocks are perfect for idleness or solitary reading.
A common bathroom and comfort room for all guests.
More quotes outside. I love the one that straightforwardly says “Just go.” Because the world is waiting.
Their little al-fresco café offers a good variety of coffee from around the Philippines, even Sabah and different parts of Southeast Asia.
Upon special request, Ian cooked us Nasi Goreng, his favorite Asian dish. We also asked his staff to cook us fried fish and shrimps, which we bought from the market. Seafood abounds in Liwliwa.
What makes the Hideout an ideal place is its location. It feels secluded even though surrounded by nearby resorts and hostels.
5-minute walk away is the Liwliwa beach, a long strip of greyish sand dotted with bamboo and nipa cottages. It is a famed playground with a very chill vibe, and a perfect skimboarding and surfing spot with consistent surf breaks that are good for beginners and advanced surfers.
Liwliwa is an awesome place, just like its fleeting sunset and dawn. Time is precious, waste it wisely. But never let somebody, waste your time twice.
From Manila, take Iba-bound Victory Liner bus (from Monumento, Cubao or Pasay). Get off at San Felipe public market. From there, ride a tricycle going to Liwliwa.
Purok 12, Sitio Liwliwa, Brgy. Santo Nino
San Felipe, Zambales
Tel. No.: 0949-9775837