Long time dream of visiting the splendid Anawangin Cove & Capones Island in Zambales finally realized out of a drinking spree with girlfriends. It’s everything they said and more. Clean camp site, pristine beach, & glorious sunset.
Meet up was at my place, as always when we travel north. We hit the road before the sun came out and was in Pundaquit by 7am, thanks to the new scenic SCTEX highway (read rant about this beautiful highway) and an F1 racer “solemate” for driver. We brought groceries from Manila but bought the fresh items, block ice, coal from the local market, it’s actually part of the fun.
We found a parking area near the beach of Pundaquit and rented a boat to bring us to Anawangin Island. The rate was P3,000 for both ways. I’m not so sure if it’s too expensive but we were 7, so we got a bigger boat plus we brought like the whole supermarket with us.
The most amazing thing about Anawangin is that you don’t have to climb several mountains or cross 7 seas or spend gazillion to be in paradise. The boat ride was short, so in about 30 minutes you come face to face with the most breathtaking view of mountain, salt & pepper beach (white with sprinkle of black) and the clearest of water.
We were early so we almost had the whole place to choose from. We switched several tables until we decided we got the perfect one. Everyone did their share to set up the camp so in no time the tents were up and soon we were having coffee and breakfast.
Anawangin is an island with no electricity thus no modern amenities. No hotel, no convenience store, no cellular signal, no internet. There are couple of deep wells for washing and improvised toilets. We brought everything from tents to portable stove to water for cooking.
We eat, we nap, we pay respect to the beach, we eat, we drink, bask in the sun, we nap, we drink, trek around the island, we swim. You know what’s the other amazing thing here? Where else do you have 7 urban people hanging out without anyone making a phone call or checking text messages??
Time here passes by so slowly, seriously. We felt like we already did a lot of nothing and yet no time has passed. Later in the afternoon, when the sun isn’t so fierce, we parked ourselves on the beach, swimming, drinking, being silly posing for the camera, and wait for the sunset.
And what a sunset!
We bought firewoods from the island caretakers for bonfire. We also set up a grill for barbecue. After the scrumptious supper, we sat around the bonfire roasted marshmallows and chillax, Ben played his guitar, and Nadine introduced us to the game of Malarkey. It was a very fun game of BS.
Soon one by one people went into the tent to sleep. I continue to lie there staring at the great vastness dusted with gazillion of stars. It was so peaceful and spellbinding. I decided that I will sleep outside with the stars as my blanket.
By 4am I awoke freezing half to death. The fire had died. There were actually 3 of us romantics who slept under the star. I saw Beth had moved and curled beside the now dead bonfire. I went peek in the tents to see if there is space to squeeze in but it was still too dark and I didn’t want to wake anyone so I went back to my sleeping bag. I can’t zip it because Felix was lying on one side. Sweet Marlon came out of the tent to hand me his sweater. I went back to sleep.
The next day everyone was recharged with the long sleep. We thought that we talked into the morning but it was actually before midnight when we all retired. I told you, time doesn’t pass normally there.
We had breakfast, noticed we had way too much food and could do with more water. We cleaned up our mess, packed everything back to the crates, paid the caretakers and boarded our boat who came back for us. We’re on our way to Capones Island, a short stop over to take pictures of the deserted lighthouse. It’s part of our deal with the boat.
To get there (by car):
-2 hours drive from Balintawak to Pundaquit via NLEX, exit at Dau and go into SCTEX (2nd exit). You’ll end up in SBMA. Go in and out at the back and continue north until the busy intersection turn left.
Average speed = 160kph (early in the morning, no patrol yet, he he).
-30 min boat ride from Pundaquit to Anawangin Cove
-30 min boat ride from Anawangin to Capones (deserted light house)
-15 min boa
t ride back to Pundaquit from Capones Is.
To get there (by public transport):
Take Victory Liner bus bound for either Sta. Cruz or Iba in Zambales. Go to the one in Monumento, Kalookan Station as it goes out NLEX direct instead of going around Metro Manila. Aircon bus costs P256. Get off at San Antonio (after about 2.5 hours) and from there you’ll find tricycle that will take you to Barangay Pundaquit. Per tricycle costs P100 and can be shared by 4 people.
Things to bring (our actual list):
Non Food :
Ipod & Speakers
Pots (2) & Pan
Disposable plates, spoons, forks, cups – but consider the environment a bit :)
Lighter / Lighter Fluid – for bonfire
Dish washing Soap/Pad
Chips and junk food
Mineral Water for cooking and drinking
Can buy in the local market:
fresh meat/ seafood
Our Expenses (7 people):
Toll Gate 645
Boat 3000 (to and from)
Parking 150 (overnight)
Bonfire 200 (twigs @ 100/bundle)
Campsite 1000 (150/pax at the nicer camp site, there’s an area @ 50/pax)
**too much food, could survive with lot less.***