San Felipe, Zambales: Island Rhythms By Indio I

San Felipe Zambales bonfire music liwliwa surf beach

As I recall my nature and music experience in Tiaong Gubat during the 5th Bob Day Roots Festival,the melodic basslines, skanky chops, high-pitched snares, and the ambient of the forest – I thought to myself how awesome it would also be held by the beach, with vibrant sunsets and crashing waves. A month later I found myself packing up for a spontaneous road trip to Sitio Liwliwa in San Felipe, Zambales to kick off our summer and dance to Indio I‘s island rhythms while we’re at it.

Liwliwa Surf Spot

Three years have passed since the last time I set foot on the grey shores of Sitio Liwliwa which was once a secret spot among local surfers. Sharing San Felipe’s secret has opened doors to a whole new surfing and skimboarding community hailing from different parts of the country, and even from across the oceans. That weekend, surfers together with artist and musicians convened in Sitio Liwliwa to celebrate art and music, thus, the Art & Music Festival.


Hosting the event was The Circle Hostel which was also the epicenter of most activities. However, Kila-Bot Sir Ping Spot has always been our go-to place every time we visit San Felipe. Tent pitching is very much welcome here, while for those who prefer a little privacy, native-style cottages are available for rent. It’s cheap, it’s affordable, and it’s perfect for budget travelers and big groups.

The Beach

Enticing blue waters of Liwliwa’s beach was revealed during midday when the sun shines directly on top of our heads. Sweeping its grey sanded shores stretching for kilometers were sets of glassy surfs which peaks at 6 feet high on occasions. Sandy beach breaks makes this surfing paradise ideal for beginners and advanced surfers. Liwliwa’s beach was as lovely as the first time I saw it.

Irie Sunsets

Skies were painted with warm tones of amber and orange as the sun went down. As I made my way back to camp, I saw a bonfire being set up and decided to stick around out of curiosity. The fire was lit warming the night up while Indio I plays an acoustic set as precursor to the night’s main performance. The music, the fire, the beach, and sky – everything seemed surreal. It was just how I imagined.

Indio I

Indio I‘s main event got even better as they played originals like “‘Di Mo Lang Alam” and “Diwata” (two songs that never got off my mp3 player), and covered hits by Bob Marley and Matisyahu to name some. It was indeed an irie night overflowing with positive vibrations in celebration of art and music.

Having small events like Liwliwa’s Art & Music Festival and Tiaong’s Bob Day Roots Festival possess a different vibe in it compared to huge and grand festivals. Maybe it’s the fewer number of attendees which makes an event more intimate, you don’t feel like an outsider, or probably the beauty of the location which serves as the perfect backdrop , but honestly, I don’t know. You could feel the positive vibrations once you’re there.

fishing village liwliwa san felipe beach surf

liwliwa sanfelipe zambales beach blue surf

fishing village liwliwa san felipe beach surf

liwliwa san felipe zambales beach surf boat

surfing liwliwa san felipe zambales beach waves

San Felipe Liwliwa Zambales sunset surf

sunset liwliwa san felipe zambales

bonfire music indio i liwliwa san felipe zambales beach

indio i circle hostel reggae beach san felipe zambales

indio i circle hostel reggae beach san felipe zambales


Cheers to the artists, musicians (Cheers to Indio I, galing niyo), organizers, nature lovers, music lovers, all the attendees, and to our new friends for a wonderful event and an awesome weekend. More power and keep it up. =)

Here are some fast facts that may help you on your trip:

1. If you’re driving to San Felipe, take NLEX-SCTEX bound for SBMA. From SBMA, take the National Highway passing by Subic town proper, the towns of Castillejos, San Marcelino, and San Narciso. After San Narciso town proper, there would be two bridges (as far as I could remember), then there’s Bobulon Elementary School on your left, watch out for the left turn to Liwliwa. Go straight through the dirt road, go straight again, you’ll find the resorts there.

2. If commuting, take Victory Liner bound for Sta. Cruz or Iba, then get off at San Felipe town proper. Take a tricycle, ask them to bring you to Liwliwa near the old pier.

3. Kila-Bot Sir Ping spot and The Circle Hostel are just opposite each other. Click the links for more information.

4. There’s a store/eatery there, I think its Mama Phoebe’s, they have supplies, they serve food, you’ll have everything you need there.

5. Surfboard rentals cost:
P400.00 – half day
P800.00 – whole day.

6. Always be mindful of your trash.

7. More beach spots in Zambales.

8. Please LIKE Biyaherong Barat on Facebook.

9. Follow @BiyaherongBarat on Twitter

10. Follow @biyaherongbarat on Instagram.

11. Happy travels everyone. Always be safe.


28 thoughts on “San Felipe, Zambales: Island Rhythms By Indio I

  1. hi, we are planning to go to Zambales to surf this coming april 2013,probably 3rd week. ano mas marerecommend mo for beginners? Liwliwa or Crystal Beach resort? Thanks!

    • Hi PML,

      Naku yun ang nakalimutan kong isulat. Click mo na lang yung link dun sa Facebook page nila, may mga contact details sila dun.

      Mas ok kung may dala kayong tent. Kung wala may mga kubo kubo naman dun. I’m not sure if they tents for rent.

  2. Pingback: San Felipe, Zambales: 190 KMS To Liwliwa | Biyaherong Barat

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