As someone who considers La Union as her second home, Zambales is definitely a breath of fresh air. It’s like a break from all of the weekend chaos in “Elyu”. No crazy parties every night, no long lines at restaurant counters, and no fighting over waves. The best part? This beach isn’t too far away from Manila.
Home Base Surf Camp is a humble hostel owned by seven friends who were brought together by the waves. One of the owners, Ms. Obie Mercado, shares that they used to pitch tents and hammocks at the very first camp site in Zambales called Kilabot Sirping Spot until one of their friends decided to rent out some land to put up his own place for the weekend.
A great idea then sprouted from one of their post-surf drinking sessions: to put up a hostel. They started with just their tents and only asked the neighbors if they could use their toilets and showers until they started building the structure.
Apart from the waves and their drinking sessions, music also brought them all together. Because of this, one of their friends, Castel, started an open mic session every Saturday that a lot of people, especially locals, look forward to. During this event, everyone’s welcome to play, sing, dance, and drink with whoever they want to. It’s an event where everyone can just be free to let loose and be who they want to be.
The morning after we arrived at Home Base, Castel toured us around the area since we would be staying there for a couple of days. They showed us where to eat, where to hang out, where the mobile internet signal was, and where to surf. As the sun went down, we started enjoying Castel’s music and people started joining us.
On this trip, I learned how important simplicity is – something that Home Base actively promotes. Apart from that, they also help out locals by giving them jobs. Ping, the hostel manager, is the brother of Kilabot’s Sirping Spot’s owner. He’s one of the first few who surfed in Liwliwa. Now, he’s a surf instructor and a board shaper. Another one is Stef, also a local of Liwliwa, who helps with their day-to-day tasks at the hostel.
If you ever plan to visit Liwliwa, Zambales, you may contact Home Base Hostel for reservations and experience the beauty of life’s simplicity.
Home Base Surf Camp
Liwliwa, San Felipe, Zambales