Anawangin, Zambales: the serene weekend beach getaway from the Metro
By Nadj Villaver, Negosentro.com |
Want to get a quick spree from hustle bustle of city life? There’s a perfect weekend beach getaway for you. Don’t worry! You don’t need to book a flight. Just three to four hours from Metro Manila ,you’ll reach Anawangin Cove. Located in San Antonio, Zambales, this crescent-shaped cove is the most accessible from the village of Pundaquit, the jumpoff point to the ashen beaches of the town. Anawangin cove offers a weekend escapade for all types of nature lovers – beach-goers, hikers, or adventurers.
How to get there:
It usually takes a 3-hour land travel from Manila going to San Antonio. For those taking the public transportation, the easiest route will be taking the bus bound to Iba and get off at San Antonio Public Market. But since buses going to Iba are limited, travelers can ride the bus going to Olongapo City, and then board another bus to San Antonio. From San Antonio town proper, tricycles are available throughout the day to take travelers to the village of Pundaquit. Don’t worry; the village is just 10-15 minutes away from the town proper.
From the village of Pundaquit, Anawangin Cove is accessible by boat or by foot. If you can’t wait to go to the pristine beach, take the 30-minute boat ride to reach the island faster. As you navigate from Pundaquit’s coastline, relish the clear blue waters and the view of striking mountains that shortly end in massive sea cliffs. But if you’re the adventure-type of traveler, trekking is a good option. You could hike over Mt. going to the cove, which usually lasts 4-5 hours.
“A phoenix reborn from the ashes”
Imagine walking barefoot in white sand mixed with volcanic ash or dipping in turquoise waters while gawking at the tall evergreen trees surrounding the shore?
The moment you arrive at the island, be smitten with the powdery white sand beach and tall evergreen trees rising from the shoreline that spreads out into the forest. But be more amazed with story how this unspoiled beauty surfaced.
Some people said that the coastline of San Antonio used to be rocky. However, after the cataclysmic eruption of Mt. Pinatubo way back in 1991, the nearby islands were dumped with volcanic ashes making it completely unrecognizable. Years later, the lands that were covered by Mt. Pinatubo’s ash fall became extremely fertile. Perhaps, this could be the reason how the Agoho trees started to grow, creating an evergreen forest of what seems like pine trees.
A pristine paradise
Aside from appreciating the beauty of nature, you can get complete tranquility on the cove with a twist of adventure. There’s no mobile phone signal in the entire cove, giving you a perfect time to relax and forget the demanding life back in the Metro.
The crystal clear waters will definitely entice you to dip at the water the entire day. But the Anawangin cover has more to offer. Behind the pine trees sprawls a river that contributes to the stillness of the place. You can also trek the hill that will give a magnificent view of the entire cove.
Camping is the name game in Anawangin. But the experience of beach camping is perhaps what attracts travelers. If you don’t have your own tent, there are available tents for rent within the camp sites. Cap off your weekend adventure by chilling on the shore, gazing at the stars and feeling the cool sea breeze.
Sprawling River behind camp sites
If you still have enough time, you can also try island hopping in Camara Island and Capones Island. And if you’ve fallen in love with Anawangin Cove, you’ll surely love the other nearby coves.
Manila to San Antonio, Zambales: 3-4 hours (bus/private vehicle)
San Antonio Town Proper to Brgy. Pundaquit: 10-15 minutes (tricycle/private vehicle)
Option 1: boat ride from Brgy. Pundaquit to Anawangin Cove: 30 minutes
Option 2: trekking from Brgy. Pundaquit to Anawangin Cove: 5 hours
Transportation Bus Fare (Manila to San Antonio, Zambales) Php 235.00 – Php 275.00
Tricycle Fare (San Antonio Town Proper to Brgy. Pundaquit) Php 30.00
Boat Rental (maximum of 10 persons) Php 1,000 – Php 1,500
Overnight Camping Fee Php 100
What to pack:
- beach wear
- wide brim-hat & sunglasses
- insect repellent
- sleeping bag (for additional comfort)
- flashlights (no electricity in the cove)
- first aid kit / medicines
- camera with enough battery & memory cards
- waterproof pouch and bag to store valuables and plastic bags to protect gadgets from water splash during the boat ride
- comfortable shoes (for trekking)
- Food and drinking water
- To enjoy island hopping, schedule it before going to Anawangin Cove. Most islands are rocky and surrounded by coral reefs, boats can get near the islands especially when there are huge waves. So travelers are recommended to get down from the boat and swim/walk going to the island.
- There’s a river behind the camping sites where you can experience the traditional river bathe – which you won’t experience in the Metro nowadays.
- If you plan to cook/grill, bring charcoal and gas because there’s no available cooking equipment in the island.
- Bring enough food and drinking water. There’s a small sari-sari store in the island but items are a bit pricy.
- That’s why, bring extra budget!