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