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Beach Camping at Anawangin Cove, ZambalesApril 12, 2008

Beach Camping at Anawangin Cove, Zambales

Home Sweet Home...and the Laundry Line
After Coron, I was already flat busted broke...time to head back to Manila and think of another racket to fund the next trip. I'd been gone a little over a month having made my way to Iloilo, Guimaras, Davao, Samal, Cebu, Boracay and Coron. The funny thing is, as beautiful as Sagada is, I didn't miss home. Home was where I hung my laundry line at the end of the day. I think I could have gone on for another month without missing anything I left behind. If there was anything I missed at all, it was my regular workout, my yoga, and my writing.

The Unexpected Invite
I've barely unpacked my gear when I got another invite from the good peeps I climbed Mt. Apo with, to beach camp in Anawangin Cove, Zambales. I could have said I was tired or broke, but as what the adage says, "if you want out, you find an excuse" and "if you want in, you'll find a way". I found a the tune of a small loan. I was putting my gear back into my pack and was ready to go.

Victory Lines Caloocan
At the bus station, I was on a long line for non-ticket holders. There was a guard who was keeping watch. Then 2 girls jumped the line, put on their cutsie look and charmed the guard into letting them in the bus. The flattered guard was more than willing to oblige and let them through. It was so blatant everyone on the line saw it happened, but none complained...they just whispered expletives amongst themselves. I guess I had to be the one to do the unpleasant task of yelling at the guard and threaten to file a complaint against him if he lets the girls in. The guard placated me by ushering me in for a guaranteed seat, but nonetheless let the girls cut the line. This kind of crass behaivior simply reminded me of the Arroyo administration that would blatantly rob the public blind because they know it's a non-complaining public (there are a handful of course, but not a critical mass). Yeah, corruption of values start up and gravity does the work.

The Cove
We got off at San Antonio, Zambales, then took the tricycle to Pundaquit Beach. We then hired a pumpboat to take us to Beach Camping at Anawangin Cove, Zambales. The cove has a fairly decent stretch with fine white sand and little crabs running around. You could venture far out before it gets deep. Except for a make-shift hay comfort rooms and a well water, there is virtually no infrastructure - no Boracay-type resort lodging of any kind...just a flat expanse of shaded ground for beach camping. And that's really the beauty of Anawangin - shaded beach camping in an isolated cove.

Land Route
It is possible to reach Anawangin by land from Pundaquit. You need a guide who'll charge either P800 for the group (2 ways), or P50 pax - it depends on who you talk to. The hike takes about 3 hours. It sounds fun to hike it to the cove, and take the boat on the return. Or, if budget is an issue and you have a GPS, hire the guide one way only and rely on your way-points on the return.

Cove Denizens
As beach camps would have it, the regular denizens are campers, hikers, mountaineers, and generally the outdoor type. They're young, they're cool and the general feel is that of the cut-off the same cloth vibe. This is something reminiscent of Canibad Beach in Samal Island, Mindanao.

After Coron, I had to lower my standards a bit when it comes to skin diving. Nonetheless, a dive is dive and I'd still walk a mile for a good dive. There wasn't much in the way of reef or drop-offs in Anawangin, but on both rocky ends of the beach, there are rocks that are home to a limited variety of fishes. There's nothing mind-blowing about it, but it's still a good thing to have (than nothing).

Short Hill Climb
On the left end of the beach, there's actually a trail that takes you up a hill. The cove and sunset view from up there is fantastic. Additionally, there's a lone overgrown bonsai tree as big as tall as a grown up guy - you won't miss it. Also, you'd see what lies on the other side of the cove - namely, another cove but neither groomed nor developed.

Ending Thoughts
If you're looking for a chill weekend beach getaway not too far from Manila, check this place out. Given the good word spreading on the e-forums about this cool place (guilty! as per this blog) people are crowding in. Bring your tent, drinking water, and a fat big smile.

--- TheLoneRider

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Reader Comments:

(May 9, 2008) river and beach awesome :)

Dennis Lopez
(May 9, 2008) ahh. anawangin. this is where my 3rd life started. hehehe

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