Anawangin Cove in Zambales

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back to basics at Anawangin

Anawangin Beach Cove

I went to Zambales primarily to go to Anawangin , not wanting to be the last to see this beach which some have labeled as one of the top 5 in Luzon. To nature lovers, it just might be the number 1 beach destination. A friend who saw my post on facebook, after reading my description, commented that it seems like Bora in the 70s. My guess is that it will stay the same for many more years. But get there fast, before commerce sets in.

a friend said it is like Boracay in the 70s - - - untouched

a white-sand beach with a forest of pine trees

Anawangin is back-to-basics. Isolated. No electricity.No cell phone signal. No room accommodations, no restaurants, no bars, no shops. Bring your tents, food, water, and other provisions.

For an entrance fee of P100 per person, campers can stay overnight, pitch their tents, use the picnic tables around, use the improvised showers (water from artesian well), and the toilet facilities. Other things you might forget may be available in the sari-sari store, the owner of which can even cook the meat and fish you bring to the cove, for a small fee.

picnic tables under pine trees - - you'd think Cam John Hay in Baguio has moved to the beach

get water from this artesian well - - for your bath and when you use the toilet

Aling Ligaya can cook for you, or sell you noodles, sardines, and drinks from her sarisari store

Anawangin is unique. It is the only beach area I ever went to with a thick cover of  tall pine trees. Imagine a beach cove on top of the mountains in Benguet.  The powdery off-white sand is said to be lahar, from the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. The pine trees (like the agujo in Baguio) are said to have grown in the area directly as a result of volcanic waste flowing into the cove, bringing with it fallen pine trees and pine tree seeds.

The cliffs are gentle enough and seem to be calling trekkers. The hill at the back also offers trekking opportunities, but locals never fail to caution adventure travelers about wild animals that roam the mountains. The lagoon is refreshing, shaded by the pine trees.

so inviting to trekkers - - but some have been reported missing when they ventured deep into the forest

some campers use the lagoon to freshen up after swimming

The water is fine, but there have been reports of strong undercurrents. Best to stay near the shore, and always swim in groups or with a buddy.

To truly enjoy the natural beauty of Anawangin, avoid the months of April and may when campers fill up every little space. I went there with no other visitors on the island, and felt like I owned the place.

Pundaquit, San Antonio, Zambales

the town of san Antonio, about an hour from Subic

Yes, Anawangin is THE destination in Pundaquit, which now seems to be THE destination in all of Zambales. Travel time from Manila is approximately 5 hours, passing thru NLEX-SCTEX and SBMA. San Antonio is just past San Marcelino. Victory Liner goes to Iba, so you can ask to be dropped off in San Antonio. Tricycles can take visitors from the town proper to Pundaquit. Those traveling with their own vehicles can park in Pundaquit, and arrangements can be made by the boatman.

Boat hire is P1,000 to the cove, including being fetched the next day for your return trip to Pundaquit proper.  You may also do a tour of Capones Island, pass by Camara Island on the way to Anawangin for only P1,000. Passenger load is 4 to a boat. I personally recommend Joven Orcino who can be contacted thru his mobile numbers 09193215252, and 09159599595 or thru Royal Patio Beach Resort (see details below)

Boatman Joven Orcino charged me only P1,000 for an island hop tha Punta de Uian charges at P3,500. Lost his number, but he texted me recently. Call him at 09193215252 or 09159599595

Accommodations

For those who want to visit Anawangin but not camp there, accommodations can be booked in Pundaquit.

The top hotel is Punta de Uian, a huge resort-hotel complex done in a Balinese theme.Room rates start at P4,160, with the penthouse at P15,000, with huge discounts during off-peak months. The resort has a spa, a swimming pool, a restaurant, and offers recreation facilities like ATVs, kayaks, jet skis, and snorkeling. Island hopping can be arranged, although the prices of boat rides from Pundaquit proper are much cheaper.

17 hectare property done in a Balinese theme

my Garden View room, facing the garden and the ocean

the spa

deck chairs on the beach

Contact Punta de Uian at 0918 8008426. Website: http://www.puntadeuian.net

A more simple accommodation can be booked at Royal Patio Beach Resort. Airconditioned rooms start at P2,400 with a family room (3 queen sized beds) at p7,000. There is a bar and restaurant, pool table, videoke, kayaks, and boats for island hopping.

stay in nice nipa/bamboo huts, or

in aircon rooms

Contact Patio Inn at 0916 4271561 or 0917 5101488. Website: http://www.patioinnhotels.com

There are other inexpensive accommodations, like native bamboo cottages by the beach, like those at Sun & Surf.

a small nipa/bamboo hut with a foam mattress for two, no toilet

The place is like an informal resort, with the owners operating a sari-sari store at the corner. No toilet facilities in the bamboo hut, but a common facility is located at the end of the property. Each bamboo hut costs P1,000 for an overnight stay. Contact Oliver Padua at 09217696663.

Right beside Punta de Uian are two inexpensive accommodations. One is called Aplaya Inn, accessed from a road at the dead-end of Punta de Uian. You will think the road stops at the far end of Punta de Uian, but there is a small perpendicular road that is not visible to the driver unless you know that that small road exists. Rooms are from P1,000 to P2,000.

In front of Aplaya Inn, also accessed from the same “invisible” dead-end road is a private property where 2 aircon rooms can be rented. This is a better option because the property is on a beach front, and is run by an amiable caretaker named Joel “Awing” Reolizo (phone: 09194432915),

modest accommodations, with aircon

shares the same Punta de Uian beach front

He says that when a group rents the 2 rooms, they don’t mind how many people actually occupy the place, making the place virtually exclusive. Other members of the group can also pitch tents. Food can be arranged, with Joel’s wife doing the cooking at a P150 cooking charge. Guests need only to buy from their store what they want cooked: half a kilo of pork is P100, half a kilo of bangus is P65. Nice place for a bonfire at night.

Beyond Pundaquit

Boat trips can be arranged for a tour of Capones Island, with its magnificent light house, and the nearby Camara Island. I am writing about Capones separately.

15 thoughts on “Anawangin Cove in Zambales

  1. Anawagin Cove will not remain untouched for long, not with your article and the lovely pictures.

    Did you tell Aling Ligaya and the boatman that they could be famous one day and people might be going there looking for them by name?

    Last year we went to Subic and a remote resort in Zambales, oh how I miss the Philippines!

    Great job, thanks for sharing Boy P!

    • I had it, and I actually promised him I will post his number in my blog. but my phone drowned in the washing machine and I lost all contact numbers. Please call Royal Patio and they could give you his number. The resort’s contact detail is in my blog.

      • Just updated my post, and his numbers are there now. He texted me to say someone contacted him. He had my number, but I lost his. See his numbers together with his photo.

    • Thank you for your note. I call them “pine trees” because that is how everybody calls them. But I do know they are the agujo kind. Interestingly, even the storekeeper in Anawangin also call them pine trees. In fact, I have three agujos in my own Tagaytay backyard, together with several arocarias and a few Baguio pine, all of which are called by friends as “pine trees”.

  2. hi there,i would like to recommend kuya jay-r as your boatman in anawangin.he has a bigboat that can load up to 12 pax and others are good for 20 and 40 pax.boat rate are much cheaper on bigboats specially when you are 10 or more.you can also make arrangements to his wife regarding lending of cooking utensils and borrowing of hammock or even cooking your foods to them.they will not charge you much just the charcoal they will use in cooking.it’s just probably 20-30pesos…you can contact kuya jay-r agasa at 09173809104.he will be pleased serving you and make your trip a memorable one..

    • Thanks, I will try to look him up on my next trip before I actually endorse him. I recommend only those I have personally met and found to be honest and friendly. I guess you foud jay-r to be so, and maybe my readers can also check him out. Thanks for this message.

  3. gud day. i had read your answer in my yahoo question regarding the iglesia ni risto church. do you happen to happen what is their schedule of mass there? we are considering that before we finally decide to pay a visit in anawangin cove. thanks

    • The info came from Joven Pundaquit, my recommended boatman. He is so helpful, and if you call him, he will probably find out for you. His contact details are in my Anawangin post.

  4. Well I’m about to go there this Feb. And I just saw 450/head via internet (atleast 10 pax). Well it’s a pretty good deal for it includes the following:

    – tour guide
    – spacious tents
    – cooking utensils
    – roundtrip (private boat)
    – island hopping
    – charcoal
    – bonfire
    – mineral water (2 gallons)
    – trekking
    – entrance and environmental fees
    – a big cooler
    – life jacket

    SEE? It’s practically EXCELLENT! 🙂 See for yourself.
    Here are the numbers I’ve researched:
    09163262612 – Lizelle
    09099666885 – Anna

  5. AMAZING PUNDAQUIT BOAT TOURS:

    Experience the beauty of Zambales and its islands… We take you there by boat and spend a night or two in Anawangin’s camping site , gaze thru the beauty of the Nagsasa cove, walk thru Camara island’s white sands and visit the lighthouse in Capones..it’s an adventure you won’t forget..

    VISIT OUR FB ACCT: anawangin-amazing pundakit boat tour

    for other concern text me or call at 09198437370 & 09274173875 look for Anthony…for further discount feel free to call us…

  6. Can’t seem to find good accommodations near Pundaquit Cove. Uian is overrated. Been there about 4 years ago and it was a big disappointment (poor customer service). Can anybody recommend any alternative?

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