Saturday, September 8, 2012

Exploring the Amazing Anawangin Cove

"Therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

Job 42:6

Pines trees in an island - in the Philippines?

I must see this.

So I did further research about a cove that is called Anawangin. A beach that is just a few hours away from Manila. According to my research, the best time to go there would be on a weekday just before summertime to avoid the crowd.

Perfecto! It was the last week of March. I packed my usual beach essentials, this time with my pillow - you'll know why.

I drove like an F1 racer in my excitement and left Manila around 10:00PM. I drove so fast that I reached San Antonio, Zambales within 3 hours. I know that the small town will be sleeping by the time I got there. So instead of knocking on each door like Joseph the Carpenter to look for an accommodation, I reclined my seat, opened the window a little, placed my pillow above my head and snuggled with Cindy for the night. Yes, with Cindy - my car. I woke up at around 3:30AM with sweat and insect bites. This is not a good idea I thought. I got up, bought coffee and bread at 711, went back to Cindy and ate breakfast with her.

At 4:00AM, I started proceeding to Pundaquit. It was still dark and the place is unfamiliar. I followed my boatman's instruction on how to get there but I took a wrong turn and I got a little lost. I activated my GPS and went around. I passed by the same funeral parlor twice and ended up in a dead end. Scary! So much for trusting my GPS. I went back to where I started, restarted the GPS and texted kuya boatman for more directions. At 5:00, I was already boarding the boat and on my way to Anawangin Cove.

There wasn't a lot of people then on the cove, just a few campers still sleeping and probably drunk from the night before. The sand was off-white and the forest on the beach's backdrop is lusciously green and abundant with pine trees.

A rewarding view after a 10 minute hike.

This is another cove on the right side of Anawangin that is yet to be explored.

An early morning sight on top of Anawangin.

Kuya Joven - my guide savoring his first look of Anawangin Cove from atop.

Beach at the end, river in the middle and pine trees along the island.

Anawangin Cove's beach front.

This is where the beach ends and the hike up the mountain starts.

"The times when you have seen only one set of footprints, is when I carried you."

The river. Lucky for me it hasn't dried up yet.

The only connection from the beach to the forest passing along the river.

A comfortable camper found a spot for camping.

Zohan my dog? If you noticed, the sand here in Anawangin cove is white. The reason behind this is the ashes of Pinatubo eruption that was blown through this way.

"The Lord is my Shepherd" had brought me here to capture the beauty of this cove.

I took a quick dip. The water was surprisingly warm this early morning and it’s not that salty. Yes, I taste tested the water. I didn't stay long at Anawangin Cove. After hiking, dipping and eating pancit canton worth 100 pesos, I went back to Pundaquit. I was already on the road back to Manila around 11:30AM.

What sets Anawangin Cove to other beach destination in our country? That would be the Pine trees that thrive on the island; the water itself and the back-to-basics experience of staying in an island. If you ask me now if I will go back to Anawangin, I'd say yes in one condition, the caretaker of the island retain its beauty and stop dividing the island for profit.