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Zambales Islands Trilogy (Part 1): Anawangin Cove

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On a very hot midsummer, I joined a group of D.I.Y. (Do-it-yourself) travellers that started out as friends from the internet who have the same kind of itchy feet like me.

 

(A do-it-yourself type of travel is a planned trip on your own and it happens without joining any tour organising groups with pre-planned itineraries, hired transport, boatmen, food or accommodation. In a D.I.Y. trip, all the planning and organising is done on your own.)

Friday night of that weekend, we left Manila from a Victory Liner Bus Terminal located in España Road, Manila. We took a bus that was on its way to Dau, went on it for 3 hours and got off at San Antonio, Zambales. Then we got picked up by a boatman’s group of tricycles to take us to Pundaquit fishing port. The sun was not up yet so we waited for it while napping.

Around 5:00 am, residents around Pundaquit fishport started to come out of their homes. Some were going for a walk along the shore, some were fishermen setting up their boats, some were opening their tiny stores and kids were bathing in the water.

Then we put on orange life vests, loaded our stuff and hopped on a fishing boat to get to the first island in our trip, Anawangin Cove.

 

1a

 

The island was peaceful with fresh air and living with fun noises by the travellers who camped there.

The group of islands around Zambales are best to visit in camping style. No resorts and cottages for rent were in sight around the island.

 

2a

After taking a few minutes to settle down on one of the picnic tables, we ate our packed breakfasts and started to walk around the island and along the shore taking pictures.

 

3a

 

There were a couple of little stores on the island for travellers to buy more food in case they didn’t bring enough.

 

We also made friends with a few Aetas walking around selling handicrafts, flutes, noise-making toys, and hunting weapons such as bow and arrows and blow-darts. I got fascinated so I bought a blow-dart set and one of them taught me how to use it.

 

The Aetas are one of the ethnic groups who were the first inhabitants in the Philippines during the Stone Age.

4a

At the further part of the island is a hill that’s free for anyone to climb but it’s gonna take you all day to get to the top.

5a

6a

We needed to leave the island on schedule so we walked to the left part of the beach, went past a few rocks walking in knee-deep water to take a climb on a smaller hill.

As we started to climb the hill, we had fun walking through the rocky water. It was calm and clean.

After 20 minutes of climbing the hill, I took a picture of the very nice view of Anawangin Cove. I’m not a climber but it was worth it.

8a

After that climb, we all re-assembled in front of the beach, hopped back on the boat, and set sail for a couple of hours going to Nagsasa Island.

 

When coming to Anawangin, Nagsasa, Capones and Camara group of islands, it is best to schedule it during summer season in the Philippines. Other seasons bring in big waves in the sea which make it difficult for boatmen to sail through to take travellers to these islands.

 

It is best to join travel groups if it is your first time. I recommend the following groups to be checked if they have schedules and to ask about their latest package rates.

  • Travel Factor (website: travelfactor.org; facebook: www.facebook.com/travelfactorhq; twitter: https://twitter.com/travelfactor)

  • Wowtrippers: (facebook: www.facebook.com/wowtrippers; twitter: https://twitter.com/WOWtrippers; contact person: Janine Manaig – 63 923 7125083)

  • TravelPack: (facebook: https://www.facebook.com/travelpacktravelandtours; contact person: Shella – 63 905 4188258, 63 919 3764775, 63 922 2040122)‎

 

Roundtrip transportation (Manila-Zambales-Manila), tent accommodation, and a couple of meals while on the island are provided by these groups. Trip itinerary and instructions will be provided upon signing up. They tag along anyone in their trips whether it is for solo travelers, partners, groups or they will organise a trip for you if you have formed your own group of at least 10 or 12.

 

 

Author: Carla Pido

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Photo source:

 All photos – courtesy of Carla Pido

 

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