Sunday, after church, a friend of mine suggested to go somewhere outside of Manila. For some reasons, I agreed. Well, at first we can not decide where to go. I love mountains and i was about to suggest to do hiking but considering their age and physical capabilities, it wasn’t a good idea at all.
So we went to Creamhub Milkshakes and Smoothie Bar in Sampaloc to have some steaks, burgers, and milkshakes. Then I remembered Anawangin cove. Some of my former officemates went there already and I am really curious about it. And yeah, you guessed it right, we decided to go there.
It was funny to think that we didn’t plan to go there. It was like going to the mall right after we agreed. I don’t have any idea what to bring. I also did not research about the place. It was like, i’ll go there to discover it myself, which is fun by the way. 🙂
So the day came. It was Tuesday morning, and our meeting place was at PHILCOA. We used my friend’s car. We were only three with just clothes in our bags and a few food. We don’t consume that much so what we had was just right for us, but we realised it was too much for us considering our appetite.
We hit the road and started the adventure. I wasn’t that excited because of the stories I heard that Anawangin is not ideal for snorkelling. But, I became more curious about the place.
We’re not in a hurry so we just took our time enjoying the mountains and the trees that we see along the road. While driving, my other friend realised that he forgot to bring slippers. Haha! We’re going to the beach dude, you really need that if you don’t want sand inside your shoes. We stopped in Subic to have lunch and to buy slippers. I forgot the name of the mall. If I’m not mistaken it was Harbor Point or Harbor Square (I am not really sure though).
From Subic, it took us another one hour to Pundaquit. Pundaquit serves as the wharf of the place. We left our car in a parking lot and took a boat. From Pundaquit to Anawangin Cove, it was roughly 30 minute boat ride. It was January so I am expecting big waves, and yep, the waves were big indeed but it was manageable. Our boatman knew the trick.
From afar, as we were entering the cove, I saw something unique at the shore. It was covered by pine trees. I found it interesting, why pine trees instead of mangroves? The answer? I really don’t know.
We hit the sand and unloaded our things. I couldn’t remember my first impression. But what i remember was that, I like the place because it was peaceful and quiet. Then we realised that we were the only quests at that time. It was like we have reserved the whole cove haha. 😛
The feeling was surreal. It was very quiet that I could hear my heartbeat. I could also hear the birds chirping and other insects as well. I enjoyed looking up because of the unique leaves of the pine trees. The sun beams entered the canopy and I felt like I am part of a movie in Hollywood. It was very scenic.
I am into hiking so Im looking for a mountain to climb. Even a hill will do. I just wanted to go onto heights. Of course I saw trail signs on a hill but we couldn’t find the beginning. We explored the place from our campsite to the outskirts. It was really interesting why the pine trees are there. I was really puzzled.
From the far left of our camp, we found the opening of a river. It was huge and also from the position where we were at, I couldn’t still believe that I am in the Philippines. It was like Im part of the Twilight movie or the Hunger Games haha. But definitely I am in the Philippines because I saw a carabao inside the tree line. 😛 We continued to look for the beginning of the trail. We actually got lost finding it. Haha! Then we went back to the delta and saw a stair-like stone with sand on it. Why would there be sand? And I looked up, then taadaah! That was the start of the trail. Feels like Indiana Jones huh. 🙂
We started climbing and I got exciting. Finally I’d be climbing to watch the sunset. But it turned out that the trail wasn’t friendly for beginners and it wasn’t also a good idea to do it during sunsets because it won’t be easy to climb down if you couldn’t see the trail. Maybe if you are with your hiking buddies with experience in climbing, that would be fun. 🙂 In my case, I am the only one who’s into hiking so my two friends do not have experience at all. It was their first time, I assumed. So we didn’t climbed that much because I was thinking of our safety. Stayed for while and took some photos of the cove and climbed down afterwards. Definitely I’d be back to climb the peak of that hill.
Tip: It is a good idea to explore the place in pairs. Just in case something happens, the other one could ask for help. There’s no electricity and no signal in Anawangin so communication using cellphones would not be of great help. They’d be useless anyway so forget using it for texting. You can use it for taking photos or videos instead.
Anyway, going back, we decided to swim while waiting for the sunset. Of course I love sunsets so I took my gear, set it up and took photos and videos of it while swimming. 🙂
Time lapse is new to me so I prepared my camera and let it took some shots and prepared my phone for time lapse. But there was a little problem. I don’t have a tripod or a monopod for it but of course I just have to make things happen. I made a mound and put my phone on top of it. Put some sand to serve as the lock and wallah! There you have it. Instant time lapse mound! haha
I enjoyed watching the sunset. Well, I really love sunset but there were only few places where I have watched it without obstruction. The first was in a ship. The second was also in a ship. The third was in Roxas boulevard. And at last, the fourth was in Anawangin. I must say, one of the best. 🙂
We stayed on the shore even after the sunset and waited for the stars to come out. Nothing special, we just want to stay there. Little by little, few sparkling dots appeared above us. Having no electricity helped us to see clearly the beauty of the night. And FYI, there were shooting stars appeared as well. 🙂
And yeah, I think that’s the best part. NO SIGNAL for cellphones and NO ELECTRICITY. You have this feeling of peace inside when you’re there. Only the stars, the trees and the moon. The best for soul searching I must say. But still, the mystery of the pine trees wasn’t solved yet so I have to find for answers. 😛 haha
The night was great. No strong wind. But I could still feel the cold. It wasn’t that cold compared to Mt. Pulag that’s why I had the chance to sleep outside the tent while starring the stars above the canopy. I made the table as my bed and stayed for a while. 🙂 Im not sure how long I was asleep. And I forgot to take a shot. Maybe because I was lazy that time. 😛
I woke up early to watch out for the sun to rise. But it was too late. I went to the river instead. The feeling of being not in the Philippines was so strong. I was really convinced that I was part of the movie. 🙂
As I was observing the wildlife around me, I put my camera on a rock and filmed the river. I was enjoying the fresh air then I heard a gunshot. Im sure I wouldn’t be hurt but just to be safe, I picked my camera and left. Now another mystery opened up. Why would there be gunshots? :p
Here’s a video of that morning.
I went back to the camp and explored the other parts of the river. While exploring with my friends, we found out that the reason why there are pine trees in Anawangin is because of Mt. Pinatubo. When it erupted, along with the ashes, seeds of pine trees were in it. After that destructive ash, a new life was formed. Another reason why there are no corals in the swimming area, high volume of ash covered the original seabed killing the existing marine life. That is why the sand is greyish and blackish in color. In some parts it’s purely black.
The mystery of the gunshot was also solved when our boatman told us that there are wildlife present on the hills. Wild carabaos, wild boars, and even deers are present. Maybe the gunshot I heard was from a hunter hunting something.
It was time leave but we want to stay for a little longer. I enjoyed the quietness of the place. Next time, I would love to try hiking to get to Anawangin. 🙂 Five hours from Pundaquit to the cove.
It is highly recommended that if you’re going to Anawangin and you’re expecting it to be exactly what I am describing here, you should go there during weekdays. I heard stories from the caretaker of the cove that during weekends, there are drunk guys in the camp thus making too much noise.
WHAT to Expect:
1. nice shore
2. shallow waters ideal for swimming
3. pine forest
4. cool river with pine trees on the bank
5. nice view of the night sky (if there’s no light coming from the lamps)
6. nice view from the hill
7. CR provided
8. it has a water tank so faucets are installed
9. cool breeze
10. quiet place (during weekdays)
11. amazing sunset
12. bonfire is prohibited (so no bonfire)
13. nice people (caretakers)
14. food are expensive in the cove
What to Bring:
5. flashlight, lamps, etc. (totally the place is dark at night. We’re just lucky because when we were there, the moon was shining)
6. sun block (even though I’m not using it)
7. camera (if you are into photography)
8. slippers! haha 🙂 (the sand is very loose so definitely it will get inside your shoes)
9. beddings, blankets, sleeping bags
10. jackets (during the night)
12. insect repellent
13. water! you have no source of drinking water in the cove. unless you boil the water from the river
14. first aid (just in case)
1. explore the place
2. always go in pairs (if ever something happens, your buddy can ask for help)
3. go there during weekdays ( the place is very quiet and peaceful)
4. never climb the hill alone ( communication is very hard so you have to be careful)
ALL PHOTOS IN THIS BLOG ENTRY ARE OWNED BY TRAVELINGTSINELAS, SHOULD YOU WISH TO USE IT, PLEASE LET ME KNOW AND DON’T FORGET TO PUT CREDIT TO THIS BLOG. IF YOU WISH TO BUY SOME OF THE SHOTS, FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME. THANK YOU!
Thank you to the following for helping me out and providing some of my traveling needs. 🙂
’til next adventure! See you all!