My favorite part of Crystal Beach in San Narciso, Zambales is the part where you go through a thicket of pine trees, bend low as you wade through the needles that gently slap your face, follow the light at the end of the furry tunnel and emerge in a cozy hang-out labeled Mingle in the Jungle. Mingle in the Pine Forest doesn’t sound as good, so jungle it is. Two hammocks among the pine trees wait for you not to mention a set of sungka invites plus music from guests who just grilled their dinner. A few steps away is the beach with perfectly angled lounge chairs for chatting the night away. We could stay here forever but we had a bonfire roast (hotdogs, smores, marshmallows) planned.
Crystal Beach had another surprise waiting for us: they set up a movie screen on the beach with low tables and banig and they showed back to back two animated features: Home and A Bug’s Life. What are the chances that they chose these on the night our children’s camp was there? On a usual night, it would be surfer type movies. They know how to please their guests. I remember talking to the owner’s daughter some months back and she said how her dad blended in with the staff because he would pick up trash and wanted people to have doses of thoughtful service.
We stayed, nay cheated a bit in their glamping tents — tents where you can fully stand up and that come equipped with electric fan, light and outlet to plug your gadgets. On nearby trees, swings hang made of tires and plastic blue barrels for barreling through the air finding your balance. Wide open sandy space beckons you to play frisbee and volleyball. I’m glad Camile convinced me to hold the much-awaited laser tag at the obstacle course. I pictured in my mind that the kids will run a race through the half-burried tires and climbing net but instead, they played the classic camp favorite. Sometimes, maybe most of the time, reality presents us something more interesting than what we imagined.