Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Anawangin Cove: Where Mountains, Pines and Waves Collide

After five failed starts, the pump boat’s engine finally roared to life. It has been minutes of anxiously floating several meters away from the shores of Pundaquit, San Antonio, Zambales.  Eddie, the boatman then steered his small vessel towards the direction of our destination: the famed and fabled Anawangin Cove.

The waves could be described as slightly strong as we sailed on, no thanks to Typhon Amboo battering the eastern part of the archipelago. Though not directly hit, the Central Luzon Region was still affected with strong winds and intermittent downpour.

Occasionally, splashes of water would get inside the boat.  Eddie skillfully steered in full throttle as we darted past other boats along the way. We bobbed up and down the waves and Malou said it’s like we’re having a banana boat ride.  I firmly grasped the boat's wooden edge while my gaze was glued to the scenic mountains, patches of beaches and cliffs with astounding rock formations constantly battered by the waves. It was actually my first time to see these kinds of sights and I could only describe it as rugged, wild and beautiful. I wasn’t able to take photos along the way since my non-waterproof camera was all wrapped up in plastic and safely tucked inside my backpack. The lack of it, however, gave me more time to focus on and savor the wonderful view.

Less than half-hour into our jaunt, we made a left turn on a cliff-bounded curve. Moments later, we finally docked on the beach cove of Anawangin. Finally, I set foot on this famous getaway I used to read only on travel blogs and magazines. Immediately, I understood what the raves are all about. 

While I have seen several mountains, beaches, pine trees and rivers in separate locations, this is my first time to see them all converged harmoniously in one place. Anawangin Cove lies on the foot of Pundaquit mountain range, with its off-white sands kissed by the waves of South China sea. 

A fresh water stream flows in-between the beach camp site and the pine forest, making Anawangin’s surrounding uniquely otherworldly. Stories have it that Anawangin used to be mostly rocky. When Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991, its ashes dramatically changed the cove’s landscape and produced the fine, sandy beach. It was also believed that the ashes carried the seeds of pine trees (Agoho trees, according to some) which now stood tall near the cove.

 The reddish brown water was probably due to the rain that poured hard earlier that morning

After exploring the camp site and the pine shaded grounds, Malou and I crossed over the knee-deep portion on the beach's edge where the stream water exits and intertwines with the sea. We climbed our way to the rocky cliff and a short uphill hike took us to a vantage point which offers a sweeping view of Anawangin Cove with the barren mountains on its backdrop. On the opposite side is a patch of an untenanted beach, another isolated beauty to behold. The spot we climbed was probably the best place to detach one’s self from the Anawangin crowd.  Here you can have the best beach and mountain views while relishing on the breeze of South China Sea undisturbed.

While our voyage to Anawangin amidst the slightly strong waves was generally not that scary, it was a different story when we sailed back to Pundaquit. The wind blew significantly stronger while the rain poured hard. Somewhere in the middle of the trip, a huge wave tilted our boat sideways and splashed seawater all over. When the boatman said “Maalon na”, I understood what he meant—the waves are seriously huge. As we swayed our way to the bay, prayers to the Almighty and trust in our boatman helped us get through. The life vests strapped to our bodies and the fact that we’re not that far from the shores gave me some sort of assurance that we’re still safe.  My fears slowly fade as the sight of Pundaquit resorts came into view. I heaved a sigh of relief when we finally docked on the beach. It was one hell of a boat ride, scary and exciting at the same time.

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  1. One day mapupuntahan ko rin Kita Anawangin. :) Tagal ko ng gustong pumunta dito Earl. :) Always fail. :) hahahaha. :)

    1. 4 hours lang from Manila Lan. I'm sure makaabot ra ka dri one day. : )

    2. Tara guso ko rin sana makapunta anawangin sabay sabay na XD

  2. we'll be in Nagsasa this praying hard to be blessed with good weather and a tamed sea.

    1. Several boatmen there mentioned that the waves are much calmer in Nagsasa. You will be provided with life vests naman and in case of rough weather, the boatman will know if it is safe to sail or not. Have a safe trip and enjoy!

  3. nice post. habang binabasa ko ung kwento mo. prang andun lng aq. hahaha,. kalurkey naman ang red!!

    1. that's the best comment ever...i'll take that as a compliment.hehehe. thanks riz! : )

  4. well-written Earl! :) my 1st time to see Anawangin in photos like this. d na-bring out ang tunay na kulay at beauty nya because of the storm.

    1. thanks gael! :) this is anawangin amidst the storm.nakakatakot ang alon! hahaha!

  5. I like the photo with foot bridge. Harmony of sand, the bridge itself the trees. :-). Water with color clay red, another face of Anawangin. Like Gail said.

    1. nice interpretation of the photo bon.thanks!


    >>>>P1200/head minimum of 12pax and above..
    >>>>> P1300/head minimum of 10-11pax
    >>>>>P1500/head minimum of 8-9pax
    *Roundtrip AIRCON Van transfer all in
    *boat tour anawangin, capones camara island OR/ snorkeling
    *2 days 1 night stay in anawangin-entrance fee-
    *gogles for snorkeling-cooking utensils
    *cooler na with ice pa
    *Mineral water(2container)
    *Bonfire woods 1seT
    *KITCHEN UTENSILS(kaldero, kaserola etc)

    We also offers boat package only for those commuters or with their own vehicle...

    Package B Rates
    P 500 per head for 10 pax above
    P 550 per head for 8 -9pax
    P650 per head for 6-7pax
    P550 per head for 5 pax
    Inclusions:(Pick up point: Town proper of San Antonio, Zambales)
    *Boat ride to Anawangin (round trip)
    *Island hopping (Capones / Camara Island)
    *Entrance fee / Environmental fee
    *cooking utensils (ihawan, kaldero,kutsilyo,pitsel,etc)
    *cooler WITH ICE pA..

    Additional 400 per head for food (4meals)MIN OF 8PAX
    FOR MORE INFO look for ALAN ARLANTICO: Smart: 09185595597 or 09399398456TM: 09358118095 Sun: 09223753555 please TExt or call for immediate response..

      The following is a list of things that would make your stay in Anawangin smooth, comfortable, and enjoyable. Take note that some of these are optional and it's really up to you if you want to bring them all. Before deciding which are necessary and which are not, always take into consideration that:

      *There are no resorts in Anawangin.
      *There is no electricity in the place.
      *There is no cellphone signal reception in the area.
      *Merchandise sold on the beach are very expensive.

      Anawangin Checklist

      *Cash - As mentioned, there are no ATMs near the place. All transactions will have to paid with cash.

      *Tent - This is the only form of accommodation in Anawangin. You may choose to sleep outside on a mat but remember that the weather is unpredictable and it gets really cold early in the morning.

      *Blanket - A light one should be sufficient.

      *Hammock - You may want to bring a hammock for relaxation. There are a lot of trees available for you to tie the hammock on to. There are also peddlers selling hammocks for PhP200-Php300 (depending on the season) with "free-installation".

      *Clothes - Make sure you bring enough for your overnight stay. You may also want to bring a jacket during the Amihan season to protect you from the cold.

      *Goggles/Snorkel gear - There are fishes and sea flora but the place is really more of a swimming than a snorkeling place.

      *Sunglasses - The surroundings can get very bright.

      *Camera/Camera accessories - The place is very picturesque. You may want to bring an extra battery because there's no electricity for charging.

      *MP3 player/Earphones/Portable speakers - Play music for extra relaxation.
      *Ziplock bag - To keep you belongings, specially gadgets, dry

      *Portable lamp/Candles - There are lightweight, cheap lamps sold in Ace Hardware/SM Workshop for less that a hundred bucks. Make sure to bring enough batteries as needed. You can bring candles for additional illumination.

      *Portable gas range/Butane - This will make cooking a lot easier. Portable gas ranges sell from PhP600 to PhP1500 in Ace Hardware/SM Workshop depending on the style/model. Butane canisters cost ~PhP60 in any hardware store.

      *Charcoal - In case you want to cook/grill, bring some specially if you don't have a portable gas range.

      *Spoon/Fork/Plate/Cup - Bringing your own utensils, plates, and cups instead of using plastic ones bought from the grocery store is always best for the environment.

      *Food/Snacks - Don't bring too much or too extravagant food. Remember that the place encourages the simple life.

      *Canned goods - Backup food is good to have. You may also live on a diet of canned goods in the place.

      *Can opener
      *Dishwashing liquid
      *Trash Bag - Make sure you bring a big trash bag to prevent litter from taking over the beautiful place. Trash bags can be left with the caretakers before you leave.

      There are a lot of items you can borrow from your boatman, especially if you already built a good relationship from multiple visits. Remember that they lend you stuff out of the goodness of their hearts but giving them a well-deserved tip would be much appreciated.

      Things to do in Anawangin Cove or Nagsasa Cove
      1. Camping. Show us what you learned during your Boy Scout/Girl Scout days.

      2. Island Hopping. Aside from Camara and Capones Islands, and Anawangin and Nagsasa Coves, there's Talisayin and Silangin Coves as well.

      3. Skimboarding.

      4. Frisbee. Play frisbee ala-Derek.

      5. Photography. Now's the time to hone your landscape photography skills. And why not bring along your model-friends for portraiture shots.

      6. Trek to Capones Light house. Take the longer route. Seriously.

      7. Trek Mount Pundaquit. Always consider the weather should you decided to do this, guys. Safety should always be a priority.

      8. Swimming. Obviously. :-) or Snorkeling (bring your gear)

      ***4 more info contact us @
      Look4 Jen or Alan Arlantico (Share us your FB comments!!!)

    2. Itinerary sample 1:(Estimated Time Arrival or Departure)
      Day 1:
      0100 – ETD Manila (pick up point along edsa)
      0400 – ETA Pundaquit, San Antonio, Zambales
      0500 – ETD Pundaquit
      0600 – ETA Anawangin Cove; (pitch camp/ explore Anawangin/ ask the caretaker how to reach the river side or the hilltop!)
      1200 – Lunch
      1330 – Free time; beach bumming; explore Anawangin Cove
      1800 – Dinner

      Day 2:
      0700 – Breakfast
      0800 – ETD Anawangin Cove
      0830 – ETA Capones Island
      1000 – ETD Camara Island
      1030 – ETA Pundaquit
      1130 – ETD Pundaquit
      1609– ETA Manila

      Itenerary sample 2!
      Day 1:
      0300– ETD Manila (pick up point to be determined)
      0700 – ETA San Antonio, Zambales Market (buy your food to cook)
      0800 – ETA Pundaquit port
      0830 – ETD Port going Capones or Camara if possible
      1000 – ETD going to Anawangin or Nagsasa
      1030 - ETA Anawangin Cove, (pitch tent, prepare lunch)
      1200 – lunch, overnyt, explore Anawangin till tomorrow (clarify your bangkero about your pickup time)

      Day 2:
      0700 – Breakfast
      0800 – ETD Explore Anawangin Cove (ask the caretaker how to reach the RIVER OR the HILLTOP)
      1200 - ETD Anawangin
      1300– ETD Pundaquit
      170– ETA Manila


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