Let me talk about my college friend Mimay. To be honest, it’s weird that I call her a “college friend.” Although we shared the same batch, same college org and even same classes, we weren’t really close in college, looking back. She was busy doing theater while I was busy being emo. It was after graduation that we really became friends. While I was busy avoiding going home — I hated my apartment that time — she was busy stalking a barista at a cafe just around the block. That was when we started hanging out together and got close. A year later, she moved to California for good. Goodbye, cafe buddy.

But last summer, Mimay decided to come home, to the Philippines, with her American boyfriend. As a “welcome back” treat, we planned to spend a weekend out of town with my other college friends. Initially, they wanted Puerto Galera or Batangas, but eventually, we all agreed that Anawangin Cove in Zambales was the best choice since none of us had been there before.

My friends. Puro pa-cute. Haha
My friends. Puro pa-cute. Haha

Into the Woods, Up to the Peak

When we arrived at the crescent-shaped paradise, the first thing we did was pitch our tents. The place was packed! It was a summer weekend and the beach was a bit crowded. There were tents everywhere! We chose a spot somewhere deeper in the forest, close enough (but not that close) to the restrooms, and not very close to the beach. We really enjoyed being surrounded by tall trees.

Just keep climbing!
Just keep climbing!
The camp area of Anawangin
The camp area of Anawangin

After settling down, we decided to walk deeper into the woods. We saw a dried-up riverbed (?) and followed it inland. I don’t know what we were thinking then. We just wanted to explore the woods. At one point, we ditched the river and found ourselves braving the thick bushes and climbing all the way up to the summit of a hill. We did not follow any trail, we just crazily made our own. The view was FANTASTIC.

After enjoying the view for 30 minutes more or less, we all agreed it was time to go down and enjoy the beach. We were also growing worried of Mike, our friend’s American boyfriend as his sunburns were getting worse by the minute.

Swimming!!!

Anawangin Cove
Anawangin Cove

Of course, the main course. We waited until the sun was just about to set when we took a dip! From afar, the water looked gentle but the waves were quite strong at the time. (Or maybe I was just weak.) But it was fun! The water was clear and the sand was off white (I’ll be lying if I tell you it’s Boracay white) but it’s still very pretty! The combination of white sand and crystal clear water with Agoho trees on the background is what makes this place one-of-a-kind!

We stayed soaked in the Anawangin waters for more than 2 hours.

Anawangin Cove: View from the Top

After swimming, the group headed to a hill where tourists seem to be drawn to. Apparently the hill is a fantastic viewpoint as it offers a magnificent view of the entire cove. We followed the other tourists and made our way to the peak! It was a 15-minute hike, at least.

It was not an easy climb but it was definitely easier than our unplanned climb that morning. Nonetheless, the view at the top was oh-so-worth it! And so, as always, camwhored away!

Success!
Success!
View from the top!
View from the top!
Watching the boats pass by
Watching the boats pass by
My friend Frances feeling emo
My friend Frances feeling emo

Going downhill was much more difficult! But it was on our way down when we noticed there was a lake down there.

Anawangin Cove at Night

Although Anawangin is gorgeous in the daylight, it also fosters a rewarding atmosphere at night albeit challenging at first. The biggest challenge, of course, is the lack of electricity in the area. Your flashlight will be your bestfriend. Note that creating bonfires is prohibited!

At night, when the beach is covered in darkness, we chose to lie on the beach and watch the stars. Since there were no artificial lights, the stars were much more visible (and playful) that night. It was a good moment to reflect and think. It was a special opportunity to just relax and get lost in the beauty of the heavens. That night, we shared stories, exchanged secrets and enjoyed one another’s company. It was a night to remember.

ANAWANGIN GUIDE


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Yoshke Dimen

Yoshke Dimen

Storyteller at Yoshke.com
Yoshke is a part-time digital marketing consultant, part-time travel blogger, and full-time dreamer. He has three passions in life: social media, travel, and --- wait for it --- world peace. Yoshke has won 3 PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS and received 9 nominations. Learn more about his personal journeys at Yoshke.com.
Yoshke Dimen

Comments

  1. been there! flashlight, lighter/match and a strong tent, three things u really need! ;) the ambiance is very scenic, especially the lagoon. the trees are so Twilight-ish :D

  2. Pepper Cada says:

    Miss this beautiful place…bonfires are allowed there…we had one during our stay there last sept 15, 2011…

  3. Erik MDolique says:

    I brought 5 flashlights.Its a campers place if your a nature lover! I like this place!

  4. sunog ung ibang part ng bundok dahil sa grass fire.. mabilis masunog un lalo na pag summer.. tirik kasi msyado ung araw :-) napaka relaxing sa islang yan! ^_^

  5. dapat naman po talaga ipag bawal ang bonfire sa mga beach katulad ng anawangin maingatan ma preserve ang natural na ganda at hindi mababoy ng mga taong walang alam ingatan ang kalikasan, kagaya ng mga kabundukan. at dapat pong alam ng mga mountaineers yan..!

  6. Josie Apolonio Taylor says:

    Thanks to your blog, my itchy feet took me to Anawangin Cove last week. I absolutely loved it! Will definitely go back next year. Pls keep finding more out of the way places for us. Love your site :-)

  7. Cherrey says:

    WOW! I can’t even tell that it’s in the Philippines!!! This is amazing!!! Gosh I can’t believe there are still a lot of places to visit in PH!

  8. Totoo po yun. Pero sana ang mga taong nagkacamping dun eh marunong pagalagaan yung place at wag mag-iwan ng basura dahil ang basura po nila ay eventually napupunta sa dagat pag bumabagyo. Sana din po bawasab di ang pag-bonfire sa tabing dagat kasi nakakaitim po ito ng sand… Kung nagagandagan ang mga bisita ng anawangin sana po pagalagaan natin siya. Magdala ng sako sa basura at iuwi sa bayan ang basura upang itapon. Salamat po.

    • The Poor Traveler says:

      HI Jinno! Unfortunately some people are not aware that such rule exists or maybe they are aware but don’t care. However, the caretakers of the cove ask tourists to put it out when they see a bonfire. At least when we were there. There were a number of groups who started bonfires but was asked to kill the fire. :)

  9. Engr Ariel Milano says:

    mejo mkalat n din.. iniiwan kc ang kalat ng mga pumupunta dun

    • The Poor Traveler says:

      Aaaw. I hope people who visit this place become more responsible. :(

  10. Super ok dyan…gud for barkada…d pwde ang maselan dyan,dhil walang hotel,o anu man..just pure nature…og u want to be away from the busy streets..this is the place for u..no electricity..no cellphone signal…

  11. Sieglyn Mellissa Fran says:

    I live at pundakit where you get the boats to take you to annawangin and I can say that khit mraming beses nko nkarating dun, it’s really beautiful and very relaxing environment. Very good for all of you guys who want to forget the busy city! =) my family there owns a few cottages and own few boats and other camping staffs for tourists who want to go to the different islands surrounding the place. :)

    • The Poor Traveler says:

      Wow! Your hometown is blessed with so many breathtaking places! :)

    • Anonymous says:

      magkano po boat rental?how many pax are allowed to ride? where do we leave our own vehicle if we decide to stay overnyt? Is it safe if we stay overnyt? can we cook at the camping area? how about the beach? is it safe if we have our kids with us? How about if there is only 2 of us. Is it possible to share the boat with other visitors so that we can minimize our expenses?

  12. I was serving at Camp O’Donnell Crow Valley Bombing Range Complex when MT. Pinatubo erupted. The devastation she created and how she changed the landscape was amazing. Mother Nature is very resilient and I can’t wait to come back and see the area. Mabuhay Philippines!

  13. Wilberto says:

    hi im wilbert, just want to know how to get there in zambales by vehicle and how much time would i’ll be spending when we travel from pasig to taytay.

    i enjoy watching the photos you have. anyway, is there any other places that we can go in zambales other than beach? thank you very much.

    wilbert

    • The Poor Traveler says:

      Hi Wilberto, Anawangin is 3-4 hours away from Manila.

      Other than the beach, I’m not sure. :( I have yet to explore the rest of Zambales.

  14. Eric says:

    Great review, enticing for those of us looking forward visiting the place.

    Same question as Wimbert above – how long a ride would it take to get there from Manila?

    Where can you leave your vehicle and contract a banca?

    Which month is a good time to go there?

    Thanks and hope you get to become a richer traveler one of these days.

    • The Poor Traveler says:

      Hi Eric!

      How long is the travel time from Manila? If I remember correctly, around 4 hours.

      Where can you leave your vehicle? I have no idea but I bet there are parking lots in Pundaquit. Just not sure about security.

      Which month is the best to go? Dry season. That’s December to May. But April and May, it might be too crowded.

  15. cholay says:

    when ever my friends or relatives invite me to go on a camping, I always make sure that I have a zippo windproof lighter with me. it never fail me and I find it always helpful

  16. Joanna says:

    Hello, I am considering this trip. But I do not have a lot of time. Would this be possible to do in 2D/1N??

  17. Camille says:

    did you leave your things inside the tent when your group decided to climb the hill?

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