I made the trip again with my officemates at work. This was our team offsite. A great opportunity to discuss a number of work-related matters in a very far-removed office setting. What makes this trip also interesting is that this takes place on a weekday… which contributes to some rather interesting observations of Anawangin Cove.
Part of the agenda is supposed to be a quick trip to Capones Island, specifically to see he lighthouse. Those who have followed my adventures are aware of my love affair with lighthouses.
View Anawangin Cove, Zambales in a larger map
We left Quezon City at around 7:00am. For “technical reasons” we could not leave earlier. We comfortably went through EDSA-NLEX-SCTEX-Subic heading towards the town of San Antonio with occasional stops to eat, buy food, and of course relieve ourselves. We arrived at Pundaquit at around 11:00am. A little later than planned, but then again, we did make a few stops.
As this was my first time to be in Pundaquit during a weekday, it was rather eerie. It was very quite and almost devoid of people. I guess the little town is alive on weekends due to the nature of the fact that tourism is one of its major sources on income (aside from fishing). At the parking lot, I made arrangements for a boat to take us around.
Pundaquit Website: http://www.pundaquit.com/
I first negotioated to go to Capones Island and then to Nagsasa Cove… Anawangin was not the initial destination. However the distance of Nagsasa was an issue. Meanwhile I was warned that due to the waves, landing on Capones Island near the light house might be a challenge.
Our bangkero (boat man) soon arrived and guided us to the beach proper where he got the boat ready. If you look in the picture below… Capones Island is the island on the far left of the photo.
We were soon en route to Capones.
The trip to the island took around 15 min. The waves were mildly rough.
On the tail end of the island, there was a group frolicking on the sand…
We proceeded to the farther end of the island.
As we got to the end, I could just see the lighthouse protruding upward.
Unfortunately, the beach area where would dock is quite rocky and that the bankeros refused to attempt it as it would damage and potentially destroy the boat. If you look very closely, you would see the stairs below leading up to the lighthouse. This is the most direct route. If we were to land elsewhere, they tell me it would be around an hour hike up to the light house.
Anyway, I was not going to ponder to much on this, I quickly told the bankeros to proceed to Anawangin Cove.
When we got to Anawangin Cove, I noticed a lof of differences/improvements since I was here in January. In fact if you read my previous post on this, I noted that there was a lot of things that were different from what posted on previous travel blogs.
First of all, there is now a fee of P50 per person who are there for the day. P100 for those who stay overnight. I was even issued a receipt by the caretaker, a Mang Manny. The receipt states “Wild Life and Nature Organization Inc.” Interesting.
I got to talk to talk to Mang Many a bit and he did tell me of the few improvements.
First off, there are more picnic tables set up.
This was interesting, and I did notice that the tables were actually “new”. The last time I was here, I noticed that the tables were falling apart or were quite flimsy.
Do you remember my post about the cemented Comfort Room? Well, these are also a tad different. The toilets have been taken out and covered over. What remains is a drain hole in the corner. These rooms, according to Mang Manny have been turned into changing rooms / shower rooms. So where are the toilets?
Mang Manny pointed over to the far end, near the base of the mountainside. You can sea Sawali wall. When I walked over, I was quite surprised to see a new development. I guess this is best considering the growing popularity of the place.
First you will notice 4 sawali shower rooms. Next to them…
7 Toilets in a cemented structure. Flushing oc course is still via the buhos method. You will notice the fawcets and pails.
Across the toilets… 15 changing rooms.
All in all you have a nice, clean area for campers and visitors to shower, change, and do their “thing.”
Thinking about it, I guess it’s an interesting improvement. Though of course, what used to be blogged in numerous travel blogs circa 2007 or so is that Anawangin Cove was a truly virgin area with almost nothing there. While a little bothersome, the facilities I have seen are definitely and interesting necessity if they want to attract more visitors here.
The place still had its sari-sari stores. Two of them were closed due to the low weekday traffic. But Mang Manny said that they did have soft drinks (no ice though) and basic necessities of soap, shampoo, and off at their store.
A little disconcerting was this structure which almost gave foreboding glimpses into a possible Boracay-like future…
I guess the money does go towards improvements and upkeep of the place. One subtle thing I noticed was that the sand was well “raked.” This is when someone evens out the foot prints in the sand with a rake. It also cleans up little bits of trash. This was of course a good sign. Later on I noticed that there were those that loaded “trash” on the boats.. plastic bags of plastic. This was quite a pleasant sight. Certainly better than what I had noted at Hinulugang Taktak in Antipolo.
The place was great nonetheless. This being a weekday meant that the place was virtually empty. When we got there, there was a big group pitching a tent. And another small group on the farther end. Later on there were two other boats that arrived. I have seen pictures of those that have recently been there on a weekend and it is just packed with people.
Today… it was, for a moment, the quiet little paradise.
One of the closed sari-sari stores.
And now, the required group pictures…
It was of course not all rest and relaxation. We were able to discuss a number of work related issues that needed to be resolved. This of course in between watching some scantily clad women frolicking in the background.
By around 2:30pm, it was now time pack up and start on out trip back to Manila with a planned stop in Subic for a hot meal.
Anawangin Cove is still certainly a great designation for beach goers who want to get away from the usual crowded beaches of Batangas. Or for the hikers and campers who want to spend the night in a clean and maintained camping ground.