A Laidback Campfire Experience at Anawangin Cove
It’s the long weekend and out of the hundreds of places on my list, I chose to visit the beach. Aside from the pristine white sands, this beach is right next to a lush pine forest. Not to mention, the majestic landscape surrounding the place makes your problems seemed so small compared to the beauty of nature.
I got to tell you straight-up; this adventure is not for the soft and mushy type of people. You may need to be rough and rugged to enjoy this trip. For example, electricity can go out anytime, sometimes it doesn’t reach the place at all. There are no hotels on the beach proper. You will need to set up your own tent at the location of your choice. Plus, the bathroom can be quite a challenge. The only convenience you get is 2 containers of safe and purified water which your organizer will provide before letting you go in the forest/beach.
It’s a full camping experience which will be most enjoyed with your favorite people around. Also, things might not go as planned but that’s where the thrill really begins.
Let’s start with a little history.
How Anawangin Came To Be
Anawangin Cove is far from what it is now decades ago – just before Mt. Pinatubo erupted back in 1991. It used to be just a rocky island in Pundaquit, Zambales not really ideal for a tourist spot or a camping site. It was just boulders left and right with less to no vegetation at all. But after the ashes of the eruption settled, the rocky island developed an oceanfront with white sand. Sand that isn’t sand alone but also a mixture of the ashes that came out of the Pinatubo crater. For some reason, it settled into Anawangin that formed a beautiful shoreline and provided good soil for pine trees to grow.
Not a surprise at all, my folks used to say that volcanic soil (left after an eruption) will make for good crops in the future. The catch is who would’ve thought that a beach can be lined with pine trees and not coconut trees just how we see it in postcards?
Now that’s one interesting photo you can send to your family, pine trees lining a coastline – totally authentic.
How To Get There
First of all, find yourself a trustworthy contact in Pundaquit, Zambales. The Anawangin Cove FB page will have a list of registered guides. He will provide you with clean water, tent, logs (for camping), and charcoal (for cooking your food). Once this is settled pre-book your tour with a Travel Agency – this way you get insurance and you will have a huge discount if you come with a group (at least six). Do not camp by yourself, join a group if you are alone.
All of this can be done by checking out Anawangin’s FB page, pretty much everything you need would be there.
How to Enjoy a Day or Two
Make sure you have everything in your list of camping essentials which includes insect repellent lotion, sunblock, swiss knife (for food and other stuff), match, drinking water, light clothes, tent (optional), sleeping bag, wet wipes, and towels. I am suggesting you pack light to enjoy the place better. Shop for food (cooked or uncooked) at San Antonio (SAZ) Market. Buy meat for grilling, spices, and other stuff you may need during the camp.
Things you can do are island hopping (the other small islands are just as amazing without the pine trees), trekking, hiking, kayaking, banana boat ride, snorkeling, and lighting up a big bonfire!
My friends and I chose to spend the night with a few games over some alcohol and danced the night away around a decent bonfire. We all called it a night under the most amazing constellation I saw in my life. There is no electricity so there is less light which enables some of the stars to be visible that are usually not seen in the city. It’s not aurora borealis but it is magical.
Visit the place with a group – you will save a few dollars if you split the fees with your friends. In addition, this place is meant for bonding, relaxation, and lots of swimming. The place is not commercialized yet but it can get crowded during the peak season. Do not forget your insect repellent, it can save you from having a sleepless night due to mosquitos. And always bring with you a big smile, not everything will go as you planned!
Oh, I have to mention – if you are not a camping type of person you can choose to stay at the nearest resort or hotels. But personally, I think you would miss the best part if you do that.