Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Anawangin Cove and Capones Island

A secret no more. This summer, my Facebook account is flooded with notifications of friends posting 'Anawangin Getaway' albums containing 100+ photos each. Even back in 2008 when we first visited the cove, it was already getting crowded during weekends. Now that two years have passed, you may ask, "Is it still worth going to?". Well, I'd say yes.

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Spidermash at Anawangin Cove.

I prefer Anawangin Cove to stay secluded, but I don't want to be selfish. A lot of mountaineers may hate the fact that 'tourists' (even Koreans donning plastic sun visors) have infiltrated the beach, but for me everyone's got the right to witness its allure up close. After all, the influx of sun worshippers has helped the community stay financially afloat especially these hard times.

If you're one of those who have not been there yet, do not be put off by what others say about its crowdedness. You will still definitely find your own tranquil space within the cove. And try to visit on weekdays when there are less throngs of people.

Here's how to get there:

From Manila/Quezon City, board a bus going to Iba or Sta. Cruz, Zambales. Ask the conductor to drop you off San Antonio. From Victory Liner Pasay, the fare is about P220-250. This station though doesn't have trips to Iba and Sta. Cruz as frequent as Caloocan's. So you may also take an Olongapo bound bus, and from there transfer to a bus which goes all the way to Iba and Sta. Cruz. Travel time, 3-4 hours.

Then from San Antonio, a tricycle will take you to Pundaquit for P30.00 each passenger. Along Pundaquit Beach, boats are on queue waiting for their next passengers. A 20-minute ride to Anawangin Cove is about P1,500 (4-5 persons) with the option of visiting one more island, either Camara or Capones. Make sure you arrange your pick up time for the next day (if staying overnight) with the boatman before he leaves the cove for there's no signal there.

There's a P100 camping fee per head. Money goes to the Aeta caretakers (and of course the owners) who maintain the place.

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Capones Island Lighthouse

Bring your own tents if you intend to stay overnight. And since you're camping, remember to bring torches and batteries. I don't think I have to remind you guys about bringing enough food. Filipinos always do. I stress though that your group should bring an ample amount of water for drinking and cooking. There's a manual pump on the cove, but I recommend to use it only for washing utensils and bathing.

The water's ideal for swimming, but be careful not to let yourself drift too far from the shore. Sadly, some people already fell victim to Anawangin's strong undercurrent. You wouldn't want to be part of the uhm, statistics, right?

When you leave the cove, bring your trash with you. Sure you paid P100, but that doesn't give you the right to turn the place into a big rubbish dump. Be a responsible traveller. You've had your fun, now do your part in keeping the place clean.

About that side trip I mentioned earlier, I have never been to Camara Island but I'm confident to say that Capones is more interesting to visit because of its lighthouse. Faro de Punta Capones (Capones Island Lighthouse) started its operation in 1890, and has been used to guide ships for more than a century. Though its frame (and the building beside it) is already old and dilapidating, its light is solar-powered. Pretty cool that it uses new technology but I wonder, does it efficiently work?

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The coast's gorgeous sunset.

The lighthouse is perched on the highest point of the island, a bit of a hike (about 20 minutes) from the shore. Make sure you climb to the top, as it promises a rewarding view. If you're lucky, you'll spot some interesting looking birds swooshing by.

The whole experience will definitely make you fall in love with Zambales. Will probably make you feel selfish about the place too!


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ces said...
July 27, 2010 at 4:38 PM

I must say that I fell in love with Anawangin the first time I saw the cove (view from the top, we hiked it - along with my 2 buds and another 2 "lokal"). The trail I must say, at that time (some time in October), was quite easy, though the downslope area requires agility, or else you'll go tumbling down. Three of us shared the same tent,which is quite "crowded". Breakfast at anawangin was simply the best, we brought a mini-stove (butane) and cooked danggit, "scrambled"/disoriented eggs and steamed rice!!! Hiking the other side of the cove was even more exciting. We left the island by lunch, and headed to capones and camara!! Waves are certainly wild at some points esp. in camara, boats can't go near the shore because of the reefs. We had to paddle the board to the shore (and for someone who doesn't know how to swim, this was an extreme feat!)

Truly, this backpacking trip is very relaxing and enjoyable. "Lokals" were extremely hospitable!

☮Pinay Travel Junkie☮ said...
July 29, 2010 at 8:08 AM

Thanks for sharing your adventure! Unfortunately, we were not able to visit Camara. That paddling thing you did sounds awesome!

Cheers to more trips!

Anonymous said...
March 12, 2011 at 3:52 PM

Hi po sa lahat, This about the new BOAT RATE in PUNDAKIT....Eto po ang bagong ordinansa ng brgy Pundakit para sa mga Bangkero. At pag kami po ay hindi sumunod ay maaari po kaming magmulta o di naman ay tuluyang alisan ng permiso para magbiyahe ng mga bangka....

SMALL BOAT....(max of 4 pax)balikan
Pundakit to CAMARA island = P700
Pundakit to CAPONES = P1,000
Pundakit to Annawangin = P1,000
Pundakit to Talesayen = P1,500
Pundakit to Nagsasa = P1,800
Pundakit to Silanguin = P2,500

Pundakit to CAMARA island = P150/head
Pundakit to CAPONES = P200/head
Pundakit to Annawangin = P200/head
Pundakit to Talesayen = P300/head
Pundakit to Nagsasa = P400/head
Pundakit to Silanguin = P600/head

3 person = P250
4 person = P300
6 person = P500

At kung may gusto pa po kayong malaman o katanungan ay maaari nio po kaming tawagan o itx sa 09172022692 at hanapin po si DINDO or LIEZEL.... salamat po and GOD BLESS....

Anonymous said...
July 4, 2011 at 9:26 PM

Camara island
is the closest island from the shores of Pundaquit Zambales. The island, like its close neighbor Capones, is also a big lump of rock with very little soil. Trees aren?t that many but because of the rock formations and angle of the island, it?s not hard to find shade and scenic spots for a great photo shoot.
Experience the beauty of Zambales and its islands... We take you there by boat and spend a night or two in Anawangin's camping site , gaze thru the beauty of the Nagsasa cove, walk thru Camara island's white sands and visit the lighthouse in's an adventure you won't forget.. So pack up and call us...

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