I have been wanting to go to Anawangin ever since that Bea-Sam movie And I Love You So, but I have never really planned anything. It was mid-February when I suddenly came to researching about Anawangin when I overheard a conversation about it in the office. After finding out more about the place, I convinced my mother to go! 🙂
Anawangin-Nagsasa-Capones-Camara Islands Contact: Mang Johnny (0920-222-4687)
The day before our trip, I had Carlo sleep over at our house since we had to leave very early. Also, so that we all will get to the bus terminal at the same time.
We woke up at 3 AM since we had to leave by 3:30 AM to get to Victory Liner Pasay. By 4:30 AM, the line to buy tickets to Iba, Zambales was longer than I expected and we were informed that we’ll be leaving for the next trip which was in 5 hours.
I was starting to get pissed but fortunately for us, a group of nine who already had their tickets were still missing a companion, so we got to go instead of them. Yay! 🙂
We arrived at San Antonio, Zambales by 9 AM. Mang Johnny told us to look for Mang Nick and he will bring us to the beach. While waiting, we were talking very loudly about Mang Johnny, when a man approached us and introduced himself as Mang Nick. We boarded two tricycles and we were brought to Mang Johnny’s house. His wife greeted us and on we went to the shoreline. Also, we asked Mang Johnny if we could order our rice from him, so we already had our rice cooked even before we arrived.
Turns out that Mang Johnny won’t be our boatman since he had lots of visitors coming. We had Mang Eddie and Mang Eddie (yes, they shared a name! Hahaha) as our boatmen. We had to rent two boats because the capacity of the boat cannot go beyond five people (inclusive of the boatman). Some groups of people can rent one big boat but you have to travel 5 more kilometers to Pundaquit beach (also in San Antonio).
And.. our first stop was Anawangin Cove. Finally! The Bea-Sam movie was shot here! Hihihi. We only went there to eat lunch and take some pictures. It was only lunch time but the number of campers there made the cove crowded. The only thing I hated about Anawangin was the manang (caretaker?) who kept on making people move. We were already starting to eat when she forced us to move on to another table which was formerly occupied by another group who moved to another table and so on, you get the picture. So annoying.
Anawangin Cove had a lagoon/lake (they call it lagoon, but I’m sticking to the thing I learned in elementary where bodies of water enclosed in lands are lakes. But then again, Sibika was my weakest subject. Hahaha!). You could wade in it but we used the bridge to cross the lagoon to the other side. Hence, I don’t know how deep it is.
I was happily taking photos with my brand new Canon IXUS 1000 HS when BOOM! it fell. Ugh. This photo was right before my camera slipped my hands and fell into the sand. I wasn’t able to use it for the rest of the trip. Thankfully, though, with the use of a concealer brush, I got to make it work again at home. But I still am getting it internally cleaned in just to be sure. Sand got inside so I can’t open the lens. Everything else was functioning but the lens cover. I had my dad buy it in Singapore so I have to get it repaired in Singapore. I will miss you, still unnamed camera.
Due to my camera malfunction, I was in a bad mood during the boat ride to Nagsasa Cove. Thank goodness that the picturesque view got to uplift my spirit and my excitement was back. Yay! I loved the view. The beach was at the mountain’s foot and the sea was crystal clear. The seabed wasn’t rocky and to top it off, you could go very far from the shoreline because the water wasn’t deep. I’m not good with explanations, but even kids can swim far from the shoreline. That’s how shallow the water is.
Mang Johnny met us in Nagsasa and that time, he gave us wood for the bonfire. He also told us how the island wasn’t even around until Mt. Pinatubo erupted and the ash falls paved way to Nagsasa beach. Yes, the stand we were standing on, sleeping on etc. came from a volcano. Also, people were in awe how pine trees suddenly sprouted from the sand. Instead of normal trees, the beach was full of pine trees. The weird thing too is whenever someone tries to plant a pine tree on the beach, it doesn’t grow unlike the pine trees already there. Nature’s mysteries.
We went on to explore the island more, and the view of the lagoon/lake (sorry!) with the mountains is breathtaking. Postcard material, I tell you. I kind of forgot I’m still in the Philippines. There were rock formations near the shoreline and you may cross to that portion through the sea. However, utmost care should be taken while stepping on the rocks since I felt like slipping and hitting my head while doing so. Hahaha!
The island didn’t have any electricity nor signal, so when night time came, we had to rush eating dinner as it will be dark soon. We started a bonfire, roasted marshmallows and they had a few shots of alcohol. I found it hard to sleep inside a tent (it was my first time to go camping) so C and I talked the night away (actually, I made him my pillow and slept on his arm the whole time).
We sat on the beach facing the lagoon and the mountains and then waited for the sunrise. Oh God. I wish my eyes could take a picture. It was awesome.
We started the day early and then traveled to Capones Island. To get to the lighthouse, you have to go trekking. Gah. It was scorching. It wasn’t that steep compared to the hike we had in Sagada but still, I was physically challenged.
When we reached the lighthouse, we had to wait for our turn to climb. And for good reasons. To get to the top of the lighthouse, you have to climb a rusty spiral staircase without rails to hold on to which actually shakes. It wasn’t even the scary part. You have to climb more ladders to get to the top. Trust me, though. The view is worth it. I’d love to have that view outside my bedroom window, although I’d hate having to climb that high to sleep. Hahaha!
After Capones Island, we were too tired to get off at Camara Island since it’s just a white beach. We went back to San Antonio and Mang Johnny’s wife let us use their bathroom so we could take a bath and change. She also gave us ice cold water. 🙂
We went back to the city hall and looked for a canteen. We found one, ate lunch and then waited for a bus to Manila. Sadly, the first bus that came was to Caloocan but we had no choice since so many people are waiting and we had the chance to board the bus first.
Forgive me for all my typo and grammar errors, rushed blogging because I have a birthday party to attend. 🙂
Bus fare (Pasay-San Antonio) – Php 2200 || Php 275/person
Tricycle (City Hall-Mang Johnny’s) – Php 160 || Php 20/person
Boat Rental (for all the islands) – Php 4000 || Php 2000/boat (4 person/boat) || Php 500/person
Rice – Php 100 (2 kilos)
Icecream – Php 160 || Php 20/person
Anawangin Cove Day Tour Maintenance Fee – Php 400 || Php 50/person
Nagsasa Cove Overnight Maintenance Fee – Php 800 || Php 100/person
Tricycle (Mang Johnny’s-City Hall) – Php 160 || Php 20/person
Lunch – Php 500
Bus Fare (Pasay-Caloocan) – Php 2080 || Php 260/person
Total Cost: Php 10560 (minus our viands and transportation to and from the bus terminals)
Cost per person: Php 1320 (minus our viands and transportation to and from the bus terminals)