Anawangin Cove

Anawangin Cove (via Mt. Pundaquit)
Major jump-off: Pundaquit, San Antonio, Zambales
LLA (summit): 14 53'59" 129 94'24", 464 MASL
Hours to summit / Days required: 4-5 hours / 1 day
Specs: Major Climb, Difficulty 3/9, Trail class 2

Anawangin in San Antonio, Zambales is fast becoming a popular destination for those seeking a beach to getaway from it all. There aren't too many amenities on this secluded beach. In fact, there are none. It's a favorite of those who want to camp out with nothing but bare essentials. And that's because there are only two ways to get there, by pump boat or via a 5-hour hike up Mt. Pundaquit.

We decided to do the latter, a night hike at that! We left Manila at 11 p.m., We arrived in the town proper of San Antonio, Zambales at around 2 a.m. Our destination was Pundaquit, a barangay several more kilometers down the road by the beach. We finally made it to the jump-off at 3:00 a.m. just in time to start our night trek.

The silhouettes of the mountains showed us why Anawangin is such a popular destination. As the sun slowly rose, a beautifully landscaped environment greeted us. Nature is indeed the best landscaper. We marveled at how the bamboo, the trees and the rocks were artistically arranged creating this surreal scene. By the time we neared the peak, the sun was up. And the heat added to my exhaustion. The view of Anawangin Cove was nothing but fantastic! But instead of going down to the beach, the group decided to go up a few more meters to reach the summit.

Anawangin Cove

At first flat and then moderately steep, the midpoint of the trail is the summit of Mt. Pundaquit. The measured elevation here is 464 MASL. And then the descent goes to the Anawangin side of the mountain. According to the locals, the name Anawangin is derived from the Ilokano word 'nuang' which means carabao. The reason behind this are the wild, sometimes aggressive carabao that roam freely in the slopes. You can arrange sidetrips with your boatman if you want to go island hopping. Nearby are Capones and Camara Islands. Capones Island is known for its centuries-old Spanish lighthouse while Camara Island is a rock climbing destination. Inform your boatman in advance and clear the details with him since there is no cellphone signal coverage in Anawangin.

What to do
Anawangin is definitely Boracay‘s exact opposite in terms of development, but that doesn’t mean you’ll run out of stuff to do during your stay. Here are some suggested activities you could do aside from lying in a hammock by the beach:

1. Climbing
The beach is bound by two cliffs in the north and south. The northern cliff is higher and is not adviseable to trek in since it has loose rocks. The southern cliff is gentler and is easier to climb. You can get a great view of the beach at sunset (just don’t forget to bring flashlights so you could see your way down).
2. Trekking
Behind the evergreen forest is a stream (a dry riverbed in the summer) leading to a large hill. You can trek your way to this hill, just be cautious since there were reports that there are wild animals in this area.

3. Skimboarding
You could bring your skimboard to practice your moves. The beach is great for this activity since it has a fine sand and few rocks



Daytrip: Anawangin Cove + Capones Island

1100 Departure from Manila
0200 ETA San Antonio; proceed to Brgy. Pundaquit
0230 ETA Brgy. Pundaquit; start trek
0630 Arrival at Mt. Anawangin summit
0645 Start descent to Anawangin Cove
0900 ETA Anawangin Cove
1100 Lunch at Anawangin Cove
1200 Take rented boat to Capones Island
1300 Visit lighthouse; take pictures
1400 Head back to Brgy. Pundaquit
1430 ETA Brgy. Pundaquit; return to San Antonio
1600 Dinner at Subic
1630 Head back to Manila
1930 ETA Manila


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