05 February 2019

When in Zambales - Weekend Getaway at Homebase Surf Camp, Sitio Liw-liwa

What started out as a weekend getaway for a group of surfers became a home for travelers who wanted a quick escape from the city. Homebase Surf Camp (formerly known as Homebreak Hostel) is the brainchild of seven surfers who are based and working in Manila and wanted a place to stay at during their surfing weekends. One year ago, they rented out a lot and made improvements on it - from pitching tents on an empty lot to filling the spaces with one nipa hut at a time.

Sitio Liw-liwa's Homebase Surf Camp
First order of business - to catch the waves

Surfing is the main language being spoken at Homebase Surf Camp. All of the owners are legit surfers and it is their passion for the sport that brought this humble home together. However, this place also welcomes anyone who wants a chill and relaxed vibe whether a surfer or not.

Small pathway to the beach that excites me every time I pass by
Mornings at Liwliwa are peaceful and calm

Just three hours away from Manila, Liw-liwa is the perfect place to visit for quick weekend getaways. Hours in this peaceful surf town could go slow and it is best to spend those by catching waves or by just chilling by the beach with an ice cold beer. Be sure to get a glimpse of the sunset too cause those from this side of the country are the most beautiful.

I love how accessible the beach is from Homebase Surf Camp. You get to enjoy it after a three minute walk from the hostel. If you want to learn the basics of surfing, you may avail of surfing lessons courtesy of Homebase's resident surfer, Ping. Otherwise, you may avail of their board rentals if you are confident in going out on your own.

Zambales' lahar-stricken sand paved way for these trees to grow
Sunsets by the beach should not be missed!

Accommodations at Homebase Hostel are simple and unpretentious. They offer the most affordable place to stay at in Liw-liwa, especially if you are traveling solo. They currently have a room with four bunk beds (for P350 each bed or P1500 for the entire room good for 5pax), ten hammocks (for P250 pesos per night), and an upper gazebo (for P2500 good for 8pax). They also have tents for rent (for P250 per head) or you may pitch your own (for P150 per head).

Upper gazebo area aka our sleeping quarters
The simplest check-in area
Common area and parking space

Other amenities include a common area which turns into an open mic area every Saturday night. There are also two common bathrooms for guests to use. Don't expect too much when it comes to their restrooms. They're super basic. There's a shower, toilet, faucet, and the typical pail and "tabo" setup in each. You would have to bring your own towel and toiletries. They have continuous water supply but no hot showers.

As for drinking water, they have free purified water. Just bring your own container. Their kitchen is also open for use for only P50 per day. Be sure to clean after yourself because there's no one to do that for you at Homebase.

Some of the hammocks for rent
Lots of space for pitching tents

Whenever I have to stay in a hostel, I usually have low expectations when it comes to comfort. More often than not, sleeping areas are coed, beds are tiny, and there's not much privacy. We stayed at the upper gazebo area and I found my stay to be pretty comfortable. I have no problems sleeping at an open area so I was able to sleep right away. I am not sure how I would survive the hammocks though. We were also provided with fresh sheets and pillow cases upon arriving. Most importantly, there was a mosquito net for each bed. I suggest you still use insect repellent just to be sure. Sockets are limited and quite far from the bed, but it wasn't much of a problem for me.

Beds and nets at the upper gazebo
Fun-filled open mic session every Saturday night

What sets Homebase Surf Camp apart from other places in Sitio Liw-liwa is that they have an open mic session every Saturday night. Two of their partners, Castel and Obie, who happen to sing and play the guitar beautifully, usually begin the session. Open mic nights are best enjoyed by taking part in the fun and sharing your music with everyone, regardless of how musically inclined you are (or not). You may enjoy the music with some ice cold beer offered by the check in area. Otherwise, you may have some of the barbeque and isaw being sold at the entrance of the hostel.  

My Z crew - Kaye, Obie (one of the partners), Louise, and Aldous
Homebase Surf Camp - your weekend getaway at Sitio Liwliwa

I love how simple and peaceful life is at Homebase. I guess this is what I love the most about staying in hostels - the overall chill and friendly vibe that each has. Even Homebase's resident pets, Gudgud and Tootsie, are lovable and friendly!

This experience will continue to amaze me on me how people's collective love for a passion, that is surfing, could turn out into something inclusive and open for everyone who wants to take part in it. To experience a chill weekend getaway on a budget, visit Homebase Surf Camp at Sitio Liw-liwa, San Felipe, Zambales.

For inquiries and reservations, check out their social media sites here:

XO, Mish 


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