Trip to the Philippines: The Magical Cove
Location of Zambales
Zambales is part of Central Luzon which is located in the northern part of the Philippines. Iba is the capital of the province and depending upon the traffic, it's around 4-5 hours travel from Manila by bus.
Zambales based from the locals is known for their "sweet-ilicious" mangoes.
Going to Anawangin
Our main destination, Anawangin Cove is situated in Brgy. Pundaquit in San Antonio, Zambales.
1. From Pasay terminal, ride a bus (Victory liner) going to Iba.
2. Get off at San Antonio (near 7-Eleven).
3. Ride a tricycle going to Pundaquit.
4. Boat ride (about an hour).
To avoid hassles and save some bucks, boat arrangement should be made ahead (just like what we did). But another convenient option is to avail tour package with food included.
A 'Soul Catching' Place
Just like other beaches, you can see same things except for that 'unusual and magical' feeling the place has to offer. An instant connection with something powerful and overwhelming as well.
Falling asleep in the hammock while being serenaded by the hymn of the breeze and swaying fine trees is indeed a pleasure to embrace. A 100% stress reliever!
Some shots using GE digital camera
Camara and Capones
Aside from Anawangin, two more wonderful islands; Camara and Capones can be seen (included in the island hopping) if the waves are not strong. Those huge rock formations and view at the hilltop can prove nature's prowess. You just need to hike a little but it's worth it once you reach the peak.
Other Things to Know
Tents and small huts are available for a fee, just ask your boatmen or the locals around to guide you. For me, tents are perfect to enjoy the simple life in the cove.
There's no electricity in the place so bring flashlights or lamps (though you can rent as well). Another fun thing to do is to make a bonfire, it is a good source of light and helpful to keep the mosquitoes away. Just be responsible and always keep an eye to avoid fire related incident.
Signal is also not available in the area so better to put your gadgets away for the mean time and have a complete retreat. This is your chance to escape the busy (away from the boss :-)) and stressful life of the city.
Great for Bonfire. The flame is awesome!
You can bring your own tent to save some bucks.
Toilet and Shower
Communal toilets and shower rooms are available with sufficient supply of fresh water. They are clean but don't expect too much, you're not in a hotel.
Hope the locals and officers will preserve the bucolic environment by maintaining the number of existing trees and reject the idea of building hotels and other big structures. Tents and small huts are better in my opinion.
In our part, tourists should also help in maintaining the cleanliness and peacefulness of the place even in small things. Throw your wastes in the designated bins, completely kill the fire of the bonfire before leaving and lastly be polite and respect the locals and the other campers as well.
I fell in love with this awesome place so I will surely return when limitations permit. Anawangin is another place worth to visit so don't forget to include this in your travel checklist.
Have fun and stay safe! :-)
How much is the Anawangin escapade?
Here are the possible expenses (round trip):
- Pasay to Iba, Zambales and going back to Manila: Php510
- Tricycle going and back to Pundaquit: Php100 (divided by 2-3 persons)
- Anawangin overnight fee: Php100
- Boat ride: Php1800 (divided by 9 persons, 3 tents are included with 2 hammocks and 4 gallons of water...haggling skill included)
- Food: 200 per person (you can cook/bring your own food or buy, can be adjusted based on your preferences)