Weekend Getaway: Older & Hopefully Wiser

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April 17th 2010
Published: April 21st 2010
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Right after work, me and two of my co-workers went straight to the bus station to catch the last coach scheduled for Iba Zambales (San Antonio), just to find out that it was all fully booked and that even the last bus for the alternative route had already left. We've planned for (my) Birthday/Camping trip months back so not proceeding with what was planned wasn’t an option. We decided to take our luck as chance passengers and got lucky, only that we had to stand for almost the entire three hours overnight trip to San Antonio. Our contact even seemed to have forgotten about us and made us wait for an hour at the side of the road. He finally came after lots of texts and bugging and also after getting a 'who are you?' reply from him, we were like 'what?!!!'

We had forty winks at one of the bamboo cottages in the resort owned by our contact Kuya Mike before finally heading to Anawangin Cove at around six in the morning.

After seeing the beaches of Kota Kinabalu, Boracay, and Palawan, I thought it would be even harder for me to get impressed with beaches or anything similar. Beside the unimpressive start of the trip, I was also totally exhausted from training for the charity marathon I signed up on, was zoning out a lot, and could hardly keep my eyes open.

Don't good things come when you least expect them? As soon as our small motor boat set off, the view started to look different. The rock mountains surrounding the shore of the coastal Barrio of Pundaquit did caught our attention beforehand, but they appeared even more beautiful as our boat moved closer.

Anawangin Cove can be reached through approximately thirty minutes boat ride or through a six hours trek along the Pundaquit Range. From our boat, the surrounding mountains started to get us enthralled, the sight woke me up! The mountains looked like they were covered with a massive brown, amber, and copper carpet with patches of green. The lovely colors were probably due to the cruel summer heat. The rock formations reminded me of Palawan but I couldn't really compare the two as Pundaquit offered a different kind of picturesque rocky shore.

We instantly noticed the beautifully patterned Whistling Pines (locally known as Agoho) thriving on most part of the cove when we arrived. These they say, have naturally grown after the Mt. Pinatubo eruption back in 1991. Also behind the beach and the pine forest is a river which is momentarily shallow due to the dry season.

Our boatman Kuya Jessie helped us set up our tents at an initially uncrowded cove until later in the afternoon when campers after campers started to arrive and soon there were tents from one end of the bay to the other, indeed it's the peak of the summer. The place is without electricity so we had to be very moderate with using our electrical gadgets and there's no telephone signal as well so no birthday messages/calls for me which made it the quietest birthday ever.

There is a red-soiled hill at the side of the cove which we thought was a really good spot for watching the sunset. It was a bit steep and unsafe but the hike was definitely worth it. From the top, we had a better view of the whole camping area, the cove, the river, and the rest of its scenic surroundings. Everything turned even more golden as the sun grew bigger, changing color from yellow, to orange, to red. I am not certain if I have not just been attentive enough but I don't remember seeing sunset as beautiful as the one that day.

Our newly purchased flashlights have proved themselves helpful during the nighttime but with quite a number of tents around, going to and from the toilet which is at the endmost part of the camping area was somewhat a challenge on a pitch-dark night. Setting up a bonfire was also not allowed so our mallows and hotdogs were cooked over a tiny tiny bonfire. We could hear the sound of the wind on the pines which made us anticipate a brush of cool air inside our tent but no, the night stayed warm. The ground was hard too, but sleeping wasn’t much of a problem for an especially tired body, only if there wasn’t a group of campers who were partying like they were the only ones around.

We set off to the nearby Capones Island the next day which is about thirty minutes boat ride from Anawangin Cove for a short trip to the 1800s Spanish Lighthouse. The lighthouse itself isn’t very spectacular but the wonderful panorama from the top is something to behold. We had an option to walk from the lighthouse to the other side of the island which would likely take a few hours but we didn’t have the luxury of time because we needed to catch the afternoon bus back to the city(Ugh!).

Peace and Quiet. A great day it was, for a birthday.

Additional photos below
Photos: 21, Displayed: 21



Anawangin Cove
Happy CampersHappy Campers
Happy Campers

Anawangin Cove, Pundaquit Zambales
Massive RocksMassive Rocks
Massive Rocks

Capones Island

... on the way to the lighthouse
On the way to the lighthouseOn the way to the lighthouse
On the way to the lighthouse

... stunning view after another
The old lighthouseThe old lighthouse
The old lighthouse

Capones Island

21st April 2010

Happy Birthday!
great blog and lovely photos too
21st April 2010

stunning snaps
TinNie, these photos are truly wonderful! and a belated happy b'day :-)
22nd April 2010

happy campers, we are!
i really had a great time spending the weekend with you guys! let's do this again! whooohoo!
22nd April 2010

What a beautiful place...
and great photos and thoughtful blog - Happy Birthday :)
23rd April 2010

great photos looks like a lovely place
24th April 2010

great photos !
Hi Tinnie, First of all, HAPPY b day ! :) Glad that someone finally blogged about Anawangin here..and looking at the pictures, it is LOVELY ! I am planning to go by September ( i still have to decide between Anawangin or Nagsasa), .. and have plans to do it by trekking. Any ideas on a contact person for that kind of things? :) Thanks !
24th April 2010

Great photos and very nice place, we have also mountainous region Gudauri in Georgia with beautiful nature and fauna.
25th April 2010

Thank you for the Birthday Greetings :) It was a lovely place indeed. We are wondering how the place would look like during the rainy season when everything is green; we intend to be back again ~~
1st May 2010

hi there
Been "on leave" from TB, and just sneak in from time to time. Glad to find your blog, Tinnie. Wonderful blog, and happy birthday! I can tell your photos have vastly improved! New camera? Or have you actually taken lessons in photography? Really, really good. Cheers!
7th May 2010

happy birthday!
Happy Birthday co-traveller! More travels to come! That Janet girl and Dell boy (the last pic) make a very good couple.
14th June 2011
Anawangin Cove

nice shot mam..
very informative blogs...

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