I had my terrible experience, which later on turned out as laughing-stock of my friends when I first visited Anawangin Cove on June 21, 2009.
My friends and I fearlessly navigated the sea of Zambales during rainy season; thus, making its water murky and treacherous. Unrelenting sea waves almost swallowed our small boats when we were sailing across its angry sea. Seriously, it was like a roller coaster ride in the water. It was also the first time my friends saw me in great tremor because upon stepping at the coast of Anawangin, I just stayed in one corner not wanting to leave the area until the water calm down. I even suggested trekking the mountain instead of sailing the sea (later on, I realized that it was a crazy idea because it’s more dangerous to do such). After a series of prayers, my friends were able to convince me to go ahead and sail across the next island. Apparently, I did not enjoy the whole trip in Anawangin Cove and Capones Island. Fear was dominant. I didn’t just fear for my life. I can swim. I worried more for the lives of my friends in case unfortunate incident happened because I invited them to visit Zambales. Anyway, I already scrapped that experience. My friends should do the same.
That experience gave me more reason to visit Anawangin again during dry season. Gladly, I made it for the second time last week. And yes, it was love at second sight.
Anawangin Cove lies in San Antonio, Zambales. It’s a 30-45-minute boat ride from the shores of Pundaquit. It is a beach enclosed by mountains. The existence of pine trees does not only add beauty to the place but makes the cove more rustic and enigmatic.
I decided to spend the whole afternoon in Anawangin after having a brief stay at Camara and Capones Islands throughout the morning. It was totally different from the first time I saw it. Murky water during wet season turned into glowing bright-green and blue. The entire sea was calm and appeared to be very accommodating to the tourists. Visiting it in March was a perfect timing because most travelers start exploring Anawangin in April—the official vacation month of students. Deviating from the peak season gave me more time to enjoy the serenity of the place and devour its gratis charm.
Behind the pine trees reclines a river that contributes to the stillness of the place. It stretches along the whole curve of Anawangin. However, there’s no portion where the sea and river intertwine. The beach offers its fine gray sand. Unlike other islands in Zambales, though it’s not white, Anawangin has the perfect beach sand. There’s no rough part and it’s powdery gray. There, you can play around and do other beach activities such as ball games. Seriously, aside from volley ball, I saw people playing badminton. The salt water is very ideal for swimming, nevertheless, it also has erratic parts.
There’s no concrete infrastructure in Anawangin which for me is better in order to preserve the uniqueness of the place. Looking for shades is not a problem since pine trees are very abundant everywhere. This is also the reason why campers prefer to stay here over night.
Beach goers are certainly looking for a perfect getaway this summer. Include Anawangin Cove in your list as early as now. Go ahead. Be astounded. I’m sure you will appreciate it and maybe, also fall in love instantly at first sight.
IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER:
Make sure to make reservations before your trip. It will save you time, money and energy. I attached the details of my contact person below.
1) Anawangin is divided into several resorts. I recommend you stay in Mansayon Beach Resort. Entrance fee for day trip is P50 and P100 for overnight stay. So far, it’s the best resort in the area. Though all resorts are almost the same, Mansayon has the best location. Wooden tables and benches are also provided for free.
2) If you don’t have a tent, there are tents for rent in a store managed by Ligaya Mansayon or in some resorts located in Pundaquit. If you already have a contact person, I suggest that you ask him to reserve tent/s for you. Do not expect for the availability of Aling Ligaya’s tents.
3) You will be able to use your phone only to take pictures or play music. There’s no cellular signal in the area. If you’re not with your special someone, forget him/her first. It’s the best time for you to enjoy your freedom. (Haha!)
4) Save your battery. There’s no electricity in Anawangin. Most campers bring battery-operated lamp. Some bring super kalan or battery-operated stove so they could cook. There are firewoods being sold in the area for P120 per bulk.
5) Bring enough foods and water if you’ll stay overnight. The water from water pump in Anawangin is not potable. If possible, do not buy foods in any stores in Anawangin to protect your pocket from harm. Prices of the goods are soaring than convenient stores. Example: 1.5-liter soft drink- P80, litro pack juice- P20, ice-P20, shampoo-P10. It’s always double the price of retail stores. Although I understand the store owners because the beach is isolated, still, for me, THE PRICE IS NOT RIGHT. (Can Kris Aquino do something about this? Hahaha.. Kidding)
6) There are comfort rooms in the area. No shower. Learn to fetch water from the pump. Deal with it and stop complaining.
7) Don’t swim at night especially when you’re drunk. Again, no electricity. It’s hard to see people in the sea.
8) There’s no corkage fee.
9) Bring plastic bag and dispose your waste properly. Every visitor shall observe cleanliness in Anawangin.
Here’s the best deal I found:
Contact person: ALVIN BONAN
He’s also an owner of a small resort in Pundaquit.
Amenities: If you want to stay in Pundaquit, there are cottages available for P400-600. It’s a small Nipa hut, with bamboo bed (papag) and table inside. Shower rooms will be renovated next week, according to the owner. It was suggested by yours truly. Two video-oke machines are also provided.
Contact numbers: 0928-779-9849 and 0917-993-5166
TENTS: 2pax- P250, 4pax- P400
BOATS: (Round trip) From Pundaquit to
Anawangin Cove- P200-250/ pax
Capones Island- P200-250/ pax
Camara Island- P200-250/ pax
Nagsasa Cove- P300-350/pax
Smallest boat can carry 4-5 pax. Largest or the ferry boat can carry a minimum of 20 pax. Kuya Alvin can also provide a service (tricycle) to pick you at San Antonio Market.
Prices are always negotiable so please learn how to negotiate. You can get the best deal if you choose to go to two or more islands.
HOW TO GET TO ANAWANGIN COVE
Using a public transport
1- Ride a bus bound to Iba, Zambales or Sta. Cruz, Zambales. There are Victory terminals in Caloocan (Monumento), Cubao, Sampaloc and Pasay.
2- Get off at San Antonio Market.
3- From there, ride or rent a tricycle to Pundaquit.
4- From Pundaquit, rent a boat to bring you to Anawangin.
Approximate travel time is 4 hrs from Manila to San Antonio through public transport. But it would only take you 3-3 ½ hrs if you have a private vehicle. Of course, it varies on the time of your travel.
(Date of travel: March 19, 2011)