It’s quite a shame that some of my friends have been to the gem of a beach called Anawangin Cove ahead of me. Having been here with the hubby over the weekend, I can only be thankful that I didn’t pass up the chance to go here. (Waste no time, if you must. My friend J predicts that in two years, Anawangin will no longer be the off-the-beaten track destination that it is now. The tourists will come in droves, and then it will be another Boracay or Puerto Galera. Hope not.)
One big attraction of Anawangin is that it is so cheap and easy to go here, being only three hours or so from Manila via the spanking new stretch of a super-highway called SCTEX. If you choose not to camp out, accommodations will only set you off by an average of a thousand pesos per night and a boat trip around the islands is only P1,500 or so.
On the way to Anawangin, the Zambales mountain ranges were, in themselves, a revelation: they were simply magnificent and breathtaking.
The landscape was dotted by unique rock formations and deep blue waters which have made this part of town a popular spot for surfing and diving.
How to go to Anawangin Cove: one can do so either by a long five-hour trek through the Pundaquit range, or by a thirty-minute boat ride from our jump-off point, Barangay Pundaquit in the town of San Antonio, Zambales. We choose the former, and catch our breaths upon landing in a fine stretch of white sand that is the cove itself.
One argument against the beach’s overcommercialization: it was very clean and well-maintained… to think that the place wasn’t government property at all. Anawangin was equipped with only the basics, like a deep well for drawing water and a makeshift toilet. Yet, its roughness hasn’t desisted people from camping all night here. I also had fun savoring Aling Meding’s halo-halo for thirty pesos only 😀 I don’t know how she preserves her ice with no electricity in the middle of nowhere, but she gets by.
Notice the tall pine trees in the picture: they are what makes this place unique. What also makes Anawangin extraordinary is that the the stretch of sand divides the vast sea, and the lake with the pine forest. Call it “having the best of both worlds.”
Traveller’s rating: Beautiful and easily accessible, the areas in and around Anawangin Cove is surely a must-visit when you’re in Luzon, Philippines.
(Text and photos are all rights reserved: annalyn.net)