April 12-13, 2009. Lenten Season
This was the first ever out of town adventure I had with just my friends. We've been out of town before (to Baguio, Quezon, Rizal, Bolinao) but it's for our college's medical mission and retreats. I have also been to Lucban, Quezon with them, but don't find it that far from home, since I live in Laguna.
This trip's mastermind was Karla. When she told us about Anawangin, I never really knew where that is, or where Zambales is in the Philippine map. I was never a fan of geography. And when I finally got hold of a Philippine map, I realized I need to muster all the courage I have in asking for permission from my family. I have thought long and hard to choose the right words to say. It's not just about strict curfews and prohibitions and rules set at home, it's because I'm not used to going that far. To cut the long story short, I went to my uncle and my brothers, told them about the 2-day, 1-night trip and all went blank. Looking back, I don't believe I asked for permission. I just told them about it, went on my way to prepare my things for the trip, then breathe out with a sigh of relief.
And so, we were set to leave home early morning of April 12. I was with Karla, Che, Mark and Enzo. We took a 4-hour bus trip going to Iba, Zambales at Victory Liner Terminal. The bus left around 4 in the morning and we dropped off in San Antonio at around 9am. We had to buy some water, food for lunch and dinner and the things we forgot to bring. When we were all set for Anawangin Cove, we took a 10-minute tricycle ride to Pundaquit.
You would have to take a 20- to 30-minute boat ride to get to Anawangin Cove from Pundaquit. And there are a lot of resorts there with boat rentals. I think it cost us 1500Php for the two-way ride back then, and we paid additional 150 pesos each for the island hopping. We had to wait 30-45 minutes for our boat. When we arrived at the resort, the boat was currently guiding a group for their island hopping. So we decided to have our lunch there while waiting.
And so, our boat arrived. James "liit" and James "laki" took us to the island, and to the other islands before we went home.
As soon as we set foot on Anawangin Cove, we set up camp. I remember carrying the heaviest tent, ever! It's my uncle's. It's big. The five of us fit in, and we can even stand up inside. It was kind of unfortunate for me though, since Mark and Enzo carried the water and some other bags, so I really had to carry it myself. :(
After we set up camp, we prepared our dinner, took some pictures and took a swim at the beach. After our dinner we set made a camp fire and cooked hotdogs in the fire. We were taught the right way to cook the hotdog. It will get burnt before it gets cooked if you would stick it into the fire. So we put the hotdogs on stick around the fire, and whoala!! it's perfectly made! We were warned beforehand, and have read in previews reviews about the strong current in the beach. But that did not stop Che, Karla and I from swimming in the dark of the night, with the moon as our only light. It was scary! I was scared not of the current, but with my crazy, wandering imaginations of sea monsters and sharks and little creatures like "undins". Haha! But my girlfriends were kinda carefree, and I don't want to be a "kill-joy." So I set aside all my fears and just had fun!
The next morning we woke up early to take a tour on the island, trek the mountain, snorkel and prepare for island hopping. If there's one thing I regret in this trip, it's the group decision not to finish the trek up on top of the mountain and going beyond the streams to see the Tamaraw.
Before our boat arrived, our things were already packed, and we're ready to go. After the Camara and Capones Island stop-overs, we're off back to San Antonio and then home.
Capones Island Lighthouse
Snorkeling at Camara Island
There has been a lot of upgrades in Anawangin since our visit. I've seen pictures of friends who just went there recently, and there were huts and cottages beyond the streams. It's great to see improvements in the island; I just hope they preserve it's beauty.That's us, on our way home. You can say we abused the beach with our sun-kissed skin.
More exploits followed this trip.