Zambales is an undeveloped rural province, known for its succulent mangoes, which is still largely undiscovered by foreign tourists. It is, however, worth a stop for its scenic beaches, good surfing and relaxing resorts. For a break from beaches you can head inland to Lake Mapanuepe, formed after Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991.
Travel along the coast is straightforward, with a large number of buses running along the main road. Victory Liner has services straight up the coast from Manila, stopping at major towns like Iba and Santa Cruz but able to drop you between if you request it. There are also dozens of local buses and jeepneys, so it’s easy to make short trips from one place to the next.