Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Zambales: A Grey Sky Morning in Pundaquit

The array of brightly colored boats docked on the beach of Pundaquit provided a perfect contrast to the gloomy skies above. As the slight drizzle threatened to become a downpour, Marvin, a local boatman invited me to hop on one of the larger vessels and take shelter on its makeshift plastic roofing. From my accent, he immediately recognized me as a “bisaya” and told me that his wife is from Aklan. Despite the rough waves, I could see a few boats with tourists on board, already departing for a hop to neighboring islands and coves. Pundaquit Beach, nestled in the town of San Antonio, Zambales, is popular for being the jump-off point to the islands of Capones and Camara as well as the famed coves of Anawangin and Nagsasa.

On this particular morning, however, I discovered that Pundaquit Beach is more than just a gateway to famous getaways. It is, in fact, an interesting destination in itself. The long stretch of gray sand beach faces the South China Sea and is bounded by rolling hills and scenic mountains on one end. Marvin pointed out a waterway in one side of the mountains where water would cascade down during heavy rains, thereby creating an instant waterfall. The islands of Capones and Camara are clearly seen from a distance and, with favorable weather, both can be easily reached in less than 30 minutes. 

 Capones Island

The two islands of Camara, connected by a sandbar in-between

Save for a few twigs and leaves here and there, the beach is impressively clean. Despite the strong waves and the continuing rain, not a few people are swimming while others are simply having fun in the sands. Aside from beach bummers and island hoppers, the place is also frequented by surfers since there are times when the waves could get really big.

Fishing and tourism are the two major livelihood in Pundaquit. According to Marvin, before Anawangin became famous, only a few small boats operate in the community. When more and more people began to frequent the cove, bigger boats were built to accommodate larger groups. A number of resorts and restaurants also mushroomed to cater to tourists who opt to stay in Pundaquit for a night or two.

Majority of folks here are Ilocanos. One thing I observed while hanging out in the beach was that whenever a boat arrives or departs, the boatmen on standby would rush and help each other in pushing and dragging it to or from the beach . To get a feel of this practice, I joined them thrice and found out that though it was not an easy task, it was sure fun sharing the load. Bayanihan spirit, I found out, is very much alive and thrives well in this side of Zambales.


  1. ohh holy! what a beauty! I love your anangawin post too. <3

    1. thanks wander shugah! suroy mo dri, i'm sure you will be amazed!

  2. Earl, kahit anung klaseng beach, pag BEACHES love ko tlga! :) cant wait na mag Zambales ako! galeng!

    1. Pareho ta lan. We're both certified sons of the beach!

  3. Isa ang Zambales sa mga favorite namin for a quick weekend getaway... :)

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