Peace, love, and sand between my toes

20 April 2014

My friends and I grossly underestimated the number of people hoping for an exodus from the city for the long break that our supposed five-hour travel time to our destination was met with a lot of difficulties. Eventually, after almost nine hours on the road, we got to The Circle Hostel in Sitio Liwliwa, Zambales and it was amazing.

Truth be told, I've never heard of The Circle Hostel before. According to their website, their goal is "to create affordable lodging and create a positive and friendly community atmosphere amongst travelers." They also want to be "a sanctuary for the artsy and the adventurous where people can express themselves freely among each other and on our walls." My friend Ed who went there last year said the place is very relaxed and laidback, and based on the photos I imagined it has a very Jason Mraz-ish vibe to it.

I was right. Stepping in to The Circle Hostel was like stepping in to a Jason Mraz video where everything is light and breezy and wonderful.

For P350 a night, we stayed on the bunk beds. We were a little late in reserving so all the bottom bunks were already taken and we had to stay at the topmost bunks. It was a little challenging to climb all the way up especially if you're holding something but we easily got the hang of it.

Each bunk has its own mosquito net and curtains for privacy. Guests are given fresh linens, blankets, and pillow cases upon checking in.
I am showing you a photo of my toes so you can see how high up we were.
Locker area
You also have the options of staying in tents or renting a hammock. Hammocks are cheaper at P250 a night but I can just imagine how painful your back will be in the morning.
Shower area
Store within the hostel that also offers surfboard and padlock rentals

See those artworks and murals? They were all painted by guests! Everyone is welcome to borrow paint and brushes and paint away.

Whenever it was still too hot out to go to the beach, we either stayed in the hammocks or went up the common room. (Doesn't that just remind you of Harry Potter?)

The common room houses bean bags, a speaker, musical instruments, and more importantly, these:

Outlets for charging your gadgets!
I think it was very clever of the owners of The Circle Hostel not to put outlets in the bunk beds and put everything in the common room instead as a gentle nudge for everyone to meet there and "connect" while waiting for their gadgets to charge. :)

I never realized the extent of my dependence to a reliable Internet connection until I was forced to live without it for three days (no wifi, very weak data connection). I mean, without the security blanket offered by Facebook and Twitter whenever boredom strikes, what else was I supposed to do?

Turns out, there was a LOT. I could write, I could sing, I could read, I could swim, I could stroll by the beach, I could gaze up at the stars, I could talk to people. I'm not gonna lie, it felt very disconcerting at first and I had a massive case of the FOMO, but on the second day I became a lot more comfortable about it. Relished the thought of not having to check what everyone's up to or if any work emails are coming in, even. Thanks to my friends Ed and JV's outgoing personalities, we met a lot of new friends!

Halo-halo with Salve
Joy, Inad, Ed, and JV
Beachin' with Carlota
Categories and dares
Ed and Sasha, the wanna-be snowman

From The Circle Hostel, it's just a three-minute stroll to the beach strip. As expected, we spent our afternoons there until the sun set, and went back in the evenings to watch the stars.

I had a mini crush on one of the guys in the group behind me but I never had the courage to say hi and now I am regretting it a lot.

I just want to go on more adventures, be around good energy, connect with people, learn new things, grow, and I'm thankful I have friends who share these adventures with me.

We didn't realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun. Thanks for another memorable weekend, Ed and JV!
I'm glad Ed's friend recommended this place to him. The Circle Beach Hostel was an awesome host and I will definitely come back! I wish there were more showers and toilets though but yeah, I will definitely be back!

"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world."
- Desiderata, Max Ehrmann
I am back in busy and fast-paced Manila but I don't mind as I feel refreshed and rejuvenated. My heart is grateful. Cheers to more adventures!


  1. Naiintriga ako, sinong guy yun? Ang dami naman nasa likod! ha ha... Nice concept of the place and your swimsuits are all pretty! :)

  2. Hah! I've been waiting for this post. >_< Sounds like you had a lot of fun and it totally sounds like my idea of [relaxing] vacation! I've been actually curious about The Circle Hostel... now after reading this maybe I should go this summer! That super high bunk would scare me though... So I guess I better reserve early lol

    Also, you rock your striped swimsuit, Krissy!

  3. Haha! The second guy from the right. He has long hair and he's super cute! I still feel sad I didn't introduce myself to him. :(

    Very unique concept, indeed! And yihee, thanks! :D

  4. Very relaxing talaga, I'm sure you will love it there! :) I admit I panicked a bit at first because time felt reeeeeally slow and I was scared I'd run out of things to do haha. Me and my silly problems. >_<

    Hee, thanks! :)

  5. never heard of this sitio liwliwa before but it looks ok based on your photos. ok, because admit it or not we prefer the white sand beaches, right? hahaha. but who cares, you had an awesome beach getaway (which made me feeling a little jealous, to be honest, because i was just at home during the holiday), shows in your pix that you had a blast with your fun-loving friends. and kudos to you too, for sleeping on the topmost bunk.. you are absolutely adventurous and koboy. :)

  6. Nice! I've stayed in The Circle Hostel in La Union and it was as cool as you can imagine. All the beds were booked so we got the hammocks which were pretty awesome, too. Highly recommended! :)

    Happy Easter, Krissy!

  7. Haha! I remember what my friend said about how it's a "climber" beach, because it looks white in the morning then turns gray as the day wears on. :D

    Staying at home is not that bad, at least you were able to rest ;) And giiiirl, you went to Japan! I should be jealous of you!

    And yes, I did have lots of fun! It was a very memorable trip. Thank you. :)

  8. They say the La Union "branch" is bigger! Hoping to visit there, too. :) Glad your back didn't hurt from sleeping in the hammock! Thanks, Leah! Happy Easter! :)

  9. Readin this now :) <3

  10. Yiiiii I'm sure you had a great time at The Circle Hostel, sis! Wish I can go with you next time :)


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