Ah, the smell of the sea… the waves crashing on the shorelines. So calming and inviting even when you don’t know how to swim, isn’t it?
Beaches never failed to excite me all the time. I have been to Anawangin Cove a few times already since 2011. At that time, the place was still undeveloped and unspoiled. Though, it is undeniably a paradise ‘til now. Back then, there was no electricity or generator being used to light up the place or water pump. There was no sari-sari store where you can buy coffee or food in the island too. Now, there’s one store available that sells basic needs. Also, there is already an extended campsite which can accommodate more campers. The campsite and the beach are crowded on holidays and weekends. Additional shower and comfort rooms for men and women have been built for use. It is pretty much well organized this time as compared to the early years.
Traveling from Manila, I normally ride Victory Bus Liner going to Olongapo from Cubao via SCTEX for P235. From Olongapo Victory Bus Liner terminal, I ride a non-air conditioned bus to Iba or Sta. Ana, Zambales for P40 and get off at San Antonio Proper. If you do not want to transfer buses, call Victory Bus Liner to know exactly when their schedules are for buses traveling to Iba or Sta. Cruz Zambales or check their website. Just ask the bus conductor to drop you off at San Antonio Proper or just tell them that you’re heading to Anawangin Cove.
In San Antonio Proper, there’s another tricycle ride for P35-P40 per passenger each way to reach Pundaquit beach. Before going to Pundaquit, ensure that you have the supplies you need like food, water or even toiletries. There is a 7-eleven store or local sari-sari stores close to where the tricycles park. Not far from 7-eleven, there are stalls where fried and roasted chickens are sold. The store at the beach only sells basic necessities like coffee, biscuits, shampoo, bathing soap, etc. Be prepared because these might not be available if they run out of supplies. But hey! there are ice drop vendors at the beach which will help you quench your thirst in the middle of the scorching heat.
Once you have everything you need, talk to the tricycle driver to make the arrangements of boat rental for you. The boat rental fee is P1500 round trip. If you did not bring a tent with you, the rental fee for a small tent is P100 to P150 but if you need a bigger tent, it should cost you more or double. Remind the boatman when you wanted to come back or be picked up.
At the cove, you can have a walk to the other campsite through a wood bridge. The reason why there is a bridge is because there is a small lake that separates these two campsites. There, you can take selfies and groupies as what everyone loves or just take a walk to enjoy the view and its fresh air.
At night, there’s not much activity you can do. It is advisable to bring a flashlight, power bank and portable speaker so you can also listen to some good music while waiting to fall asleep or even while having some nice conversations with friends or family. A bonfire at night is majestic!
In the morning, I recommend that you climb the hill at the beach. In the last 4 visits I did, I never tried it but when I did the last time – I promise, you will not regret it. The view of the surrounding beaches is stunning. Beautiful it is! You’ve got to try it too.