Catching the Last Wave of Summer in Anawanginn
The heavy downpour the night before almost made us cancel our trip to Anawangin. But, the thrill to visit the cove and take beautiful photos kept me, my wife and my friends to remain positive. Rain or shine, we made a decision to push through with our planned adventure.
Lucky us, the sun was rising the next day. My wife woke up early to prepare our baon while I went out to buy a pair of tires for our car so we wouldn't meet any hitches during the trip. All gears ready, we left our house in QC at 10:45am. We first bought some stuff at the supermarket before we proceeded to Shell station at NLEX to meet our other friends who would join us in this trip. Expecting to reach Anawangin before sunset so we could still take some photographs, we skipped taking lunch at Shell and decided to just take it on our way to Zambales.
Save for two stops at SCTEX to cool down my overheating old car and another stop at SBMA-Petron for a quick lunch which was not really quick at all, we had a very smooth trip to San Antonio.
Going to Pundakit is easy. Upon reaching San Antonio town proper (landmark is the municipal hall), we just approached some locals to ask which way we could take to go to Pundakit. The people in Pundakit were very friendly and used to providing quick and precise directions to tourists like us.
We reached pundakit at 4pm, an hour late from our target arrival. There, we approached another local who volunteered to guide us find a boat and parking for our cars.
The negotiation with the owner of the parking lot and the boatmen was haggle free as they were charging relatively reasonable prices for their services. All in all, we only paid P200 for the overnight parking (still cheaper of course than parking your car overnight in Manila) and 2800 pesos (they quoted originally 3000) for the rental of two boats (400 pesos for each one of us) that included an island hopping tour until 12:00pm the next day. After waiting for a few minutes and taking one group photo souvenir, we put on our life vests and went to our respective boats.
The water was relatively calm during our boat ride that lasted for some 20 minutes. While traversing our way to the cove, beautiful cliffs and rock formation welcomed us. I also saw some beautiful birds gliding in the air providing a good blend with the breathtaking view. At that moment, I was tempted to grab my camera, but when I realized that I secured it in a water proof bag, I just enjoyed that view of the horizon where the sky meets the sea
Finally we reached Anawangin at 4;45pm. We paid P100 pesos each for entrance and we were guided until we found a good place to pitch our tents.
At 5:30PM, our real adventure began as shown in the photos below:
Other than the enjoying and photographing the beautiful sunset, we also had a wonderful night at the cove. The absence of electricity was really appropriate for campers to enjoy the calmness and stillness of the place. Armed only with small torches, we allowed the night to give a good tone of darkness that made our ghost stories and our own version of light painting photo workshop more thrilling and exciting. We all called it a night before midnight so we can wake up early and take some early morning photos.
By the time we were all inside our tents, I realized the importance of bringing an mp4 which I could have used to neutralize the different tunes of snoring (what I experienced is similar to the sound of FORMULA 1)coming from either my friends or other campers in the area. But generally I still manage to get a good sleep.
The chirping of birds woke us up at 5:30am and after the usual morning ceremonies, we got hold of our cameras again and continued exploring the areas to take as many photos as we could. The morning shoot was followed by a simple breakfast at around 7am. We were planning to leave and start our island hopping at 8pm but the sight of the beautiful river with a mix of sea and mountain water was very tempting which pulled us all to take a plunge and swim --- a decision that we will never regret as we all felt energized after that good bath.
Before the high tide totally submerged the bridge that served as our only way to the beach area, we left the camp site to explore the majestic lighthouse at the Capones island. Originally, we planned to visit two islands but decided to drop the other one (camara island) so we could have all the luxury of time to explore Capones and take many photos of its beautiful lighthouse.
Except for the hope to be in the Island on an early morning or sunset (golden time for photographers), our visit to Capones put me on another vantage point to enjoy capturing a rare beauty of my province. I was born in Zambales and grew up in this laidback province. But in the last 40 years of my life, all I know about my province's pride is its delicious mango. I never realize that there is such a place like Anawangin and Capones, which are real paradise and comparable to other beautiful places in the Philippines like Palawan, Coron, Bohol, among others.
My 20-hour adventure in Anawangin (and capones of course) had enabled me to find the "big" wave that I was looking for before summer of this year ends. It was short but full of wonderful moments with my wife and my friends.
I hope my co-Zambalenos will continue to take care of my newly discovered paradise in a sustainable manner as I will definitely visit it again soon.
So, if you're looking for a cheap but amazing way to spend your precious weekend, Anawangin Cove in San Antonio Zambales is a great place to visit. You'll definitely not regret spending a few hundred bucks for an experience that's full of excitement, great ambiance and wonderful time with your friends and loved ones.