Road Trip: Anawangin

It’s only been a little more than half of the year, but I know that this has been the year that I got to travel the most. Probably because I’m (subconsciously) making up for the time that I wasn’t able to go out, my trips this year came one after the other.

Lucky for me, that the first official trip I had was in Anawangin.

I’ve always wanted to experience Anawangin. And by experience, I mean get real down and dirty with nature, Bear Grylls-style.

I’ve heard a lot about this place months before I went there. The pristine beauty of the beach, the raw-ness of it, and the total lack of amenities, making it the Boracay anti-thesis which made me want to go there even more.

The pine trees of Anawangin: Parang Twilight

Anawangin is a cove near Pundaquit in Zambales that is a popular destination for adventure seekers, beach bummers, and campers alike. The first thing you would notice about the place is its off-white, fine sand and the lush forest that is said to be formed when Mt. Pinatubo erupted. Behind it is a stream that sort of ‘splits’ the cove and then connects into the sea.

Though lacking in amenities compared to other vacation spots, there are plenty of things to do in Anawangin, especially for those who aren’t afraid to get scruffy. Of course, the travel alone, going to the cove is an adventure in itself. Beach bumming, swimming, and a little bit of hiking can also be done when you’re not cooking food, setting up camp, or cleaning the dishes.

Our group went to the opposite sides of the cove. On one side, we traversed some rugged rocks with the women:

The day after, on the other side of the cove, just to stroke our manly egos, us guys went up a higher cliff and enjoyed the majestic view of the cove.

View from the top

Also, here’s me, with my abs glistening in the sunlight…

There are just a couple of gripes I have about Anawangin. One is, it’s not that deserted as I thought it would be. Which is totally understandable considering it was summer. It’s just I had this big expectation at the beginning that there aren’t that many people. Me and my misguided expectations.

All the pictures you see of Anawangin like a barren paradise? There are dozens of people behind the photographer. Also, it’s kind of slowly turning commercial since there are a couple of stores in the rea now, compared before. Heck, we were able to buy ice from a supposedly “untouched” place. Also, the area is divided now where you can’t just go anywhere in the cove, there are some parts where you have to pay an entrance fee again. Thus, the price of commercialization.

Also, there are a number of pasosyal kids drinking and making noise. Hell, I’m all for alcohol and good times, just have a little respect for other people who are tired of, uhm,  let’s say, climbing a freaking cliff!

These complaints are not that big of a deal, there are now a number of comfort rooms that people can use, also, there is a generator in the said comfort rooms so you won’t have to shit in the dark.

Weighing the good with the bad, going to Anawangin is still an awesome experience. Being close to nature and doing things the hard way kind of makes one value the small stuff like a nice, long, bath without having to pump the water. I’d recommend going to Anawangin for people to enjoy nature, enjoy the experience, and enjoy the adventure.

EDIT: Long, overdue post. Photos by Jasper Adrias. The perks of having a photographer friend. lol.

Road Trip: Anawangin

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