It was summer 2015, and my girlfriend and I decided to take a relaxing time at the beach. We found a voucher on Metrodeal.com, for a trip for 2 days and 1 night to Anawangin Cove in Zambales. The voucher includes a side trip to Capones Island, breakfast(Day 2), lunch, dinner, water, boat transfers, and tent rental. The agency that was offering the voucher also offers an upgrade, instead of just Anawangin Cove and Capones Island, they offered a night in Nagsasa Cove with Capones and Anawangin side trips. We took the upgrade. The voucher costs 888 pesos per head plus 200 each for the upgrade. The tour was organized by MJDC Travel and Services.
Anawangin Cove was popular at that time because it offers a camping experience. There are no hotels, instead, they offer staying in a tent for accommodation. Nagsasa Cove is the same but less crowded and it is farther. Capones Island is an island near Pundaquit. There is a lighthouse built there during the 1800s, which you can visit and climb.
The call time instructed by the agency is 8:00 AM-9:00 AM in San Antonio, Zambales. We rode a Victory Liner Bus going to Iba at around 3:00 AM. The trip is about 5-6 hours. After meeting the guide in front of the municipal hall of San Antonio, we rode a tricycle going to Pundaquit where we will meet up with the others and ride the boat.
Our trip started by going to Capones Island first. There are no ports here and the beach is rocky so the boat dropped us a few feet away. We got down the boat dipping our feet in the water and balancing ourselves on the rocks. The island is elevated and has rock formations and cliffs. Before reaching the lighthouse you’ll climb a trail and a stairway. There are not many trees on the island so most of the trek is under the heat of the sun.
The lighthouse is abandoned. The quarters beside the tower were left deteriorating but the tower was maintained and renovated as it is still being used today. As we tour the building, we felt its history. I suddenly asked myself, “For more than a hundred years what could have happened here? What was the caretaker thinking about being isolated on an island?”
Anyway, since no one will answer my question :P, we continued climbing the tower and saw the whole view of the island. The tower was shaky because of the strong wind present there. I climbed the roof of the lighthouse, challenging myself to face fear. It was worth it, the same view but with an adrenaline rush. 😛
Aside from the lighthouse, the cliffs of Capones captured our eyes. Just a few steps from the lighthouse, the cliff offers us a view of the blue sea and the rock formations on the island.
We were astounded by the beauty of the Island, we returned to the boat a little late. We forgot to check the time. Our companions were waiting for 30 minutes or so. Sorry about that. 😛
From Capones Island we proceeded to Anawangin Cove. The guide gave us time to explore the area. It was noon when we arrived. The summer heat was welcoming us, so we decided to just rest for now and appreciate the nature around us. The beach has an ash gray sand brought by Mt. Pinatubo’s volcanic ashes when it erupted in 1991. The place was destroyed before but now it is a place full of life. Trees started to grow, aquatic lifeforms can be seen in the sea. The beach is ALIVE.
Under the trees, tents were pitched beside each other. People resting inside their tents, some were eating on the bamboo tables, some were cooking their food on a campfire and some were jamming to the tunes of their music. Hammocks are being sold by the locals here so you can take a nap under the trees, breathe the fresh air and appreciate the view.
After a few minutes at Anawangin Cove, the boat then transferred us now to Nagsasa Cove. The ride took more than an hour. As our boat surfed the sea, the view of the mountains and rock formations surprised us. It’s like being in a fantasy world where structures like these exist. It felt surreal. At that time, I told myself, I want to see more of these, majestic places that I have only seen on TV but not in real life.
We arrived at Nagsasa at 2:00 PM. The resort provided us with a tent and prepared our lunch. The tent can accommodate 2-3 people. We were planning to pitch our tent near the sea but there are others before us who did it first.
We were very excited to swim. After resting for a while, we ate our lunch, started to change, and left our things inside the tent. For safety precautions, we locked the entrance to the tent. 😉
The water was clear and after a few hours, we can now see the sun setting on the horizon. Darkness came but the beauty was still there. Millions of stars were above us. We’ve had a spectacular show provided by nature.
The next day, we woke up early despite the lack of sleep. After eating our breakfast, we explored the area. We went to the leftmost part of the beach. Mountains surround Nagsasa. According to the locals, you can hire a guide that will lead you up to the mountain beside us. There were no guides present and we were excited to hike, so we just proceeded on climbing it.
The trail started steep but as we go higher it became easier. The view was breathtaking. You have the sea, the mountains, and the beach forming the cove. We were very grateful to see that view. It reminded us that there are still places like these besides the chaos in the city.
We returned back to our tent to leave our phones behind and start swimming again. The sea was clearer and we can see jellyfish swimming with us. What?! They are not fatal but we still tried to get away from their path. Our instinct prevailed, “if there’s a jellyfish near us”. Run!! or rather, swim away faster! 😛
This was our second time going out of town together. Capones, Anawangin, and Nagsasa Cove will always be a memorable one for us. Our adventure together on their sand, earth, and water.
As our trip came to an end, I spent the remaining time swimming alone, as my girlfriend returned to our tent. I looked up and saw a bird gliding through the wind. I told myself, “I want this– nature, traveling, and adventure. We’ll do this again… for sure.”
Departure from Victory Liner, Caloocan
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Call time at Barangay San Antonio, Municipal Hall
Tricycle to Pundaquit
9:15 AM – 9:30 AM
Preparation for boat transfer
10:15 AM – 11:30 AM
12:10 PM – 12:45 AM
Arrival at Nagsasa Cove
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Explore the area
Trek to a nearby mountain
8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Explore the area again
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Wash-up/Preparation for return to Pundaquit
Departure going to Pundaquit
Bus Back to Manila
- San Antonio, Zambales, Philippines
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- Throw your trash properly. We saw some trash floating in the sea. Please, let’s take care of nature. If this continues, we won’t be able to see a beautiful paradise like this again.
- Tents are the only available accommodation for rent.
- Restrooms are available for washing up and changing clothes.
- Bring some dry bag or plastic bag to enclose your gadgets while on the boat ride.