When I think of Zambales, the first thing that comes to my mind is surfing! But upon returning from Anawangin Cove, I discovered more of its awesomeness because of its peaks and islands.
My high school friends and I took the weekend to climb Mt. Pundaquit, beach bum around Anawangin Cove and go island hopping between Capones and Camara Islands!
Scaling Mt. Pundaquit
On Friday midnight we took a Victory Liner bus in Caloocan as chance passengers. While five of us were lucky enough to sit on one bus, three of our friends stood on the other bus the entire ride. It really is best to purchase tickets earlier. We arrived at 3AM at San Antonio, Zambales.
By 5 AM we already ate breakfast and readied ourselves for the 4-hour hike up to Mt. Pundaquit. For this trip, we afforded a PHP 800 package per 8 pax that includes a trek guide, boat transfers, tents, kitchen utensils, ice and water.
Mt. Pundaquit may also be called Mt. Anawangin, which was derived from the Ilokano word “nuang” meaning carabao because these wild beasts used to roam in the slopes. We didn’t see one that day, thankfully.
The challenge of hiking up at Mt. Pundaquit is the abundance of rock quarries that looked like dried up rivers permeating through the path. Halfway through, the challenge shifts to the steep gradual slope that will leave you breathless! Not just with exhaustion but also with the beautiful sight. Seriously, who would feel tired with such view?
We were moving as fast as we can to make it before the sun rises, and by past 7AM we reached the peak overlooking Anawangin Cove at 464 meters above sea level!
Dropping Dead at Anawangin Cove from Mt. Pundaquit
For me, the descent was more difficult because of the sharp and jagged rocks that might cause one to slip, especially on bad weather. It was a long hike down and by the foot of the mountains, we felt we were doomed because we still had to walk through endless sea of rocks again.
Finally, we were rewarded upon the sight of tents, canopy of slim trees and the white sand beach of Anawangin Cove! Needless to say, everybody literally dropped and fell asleep as if upon cue even though our tents have not arrived yet (it was supposed to be taken by boat as we climb).
As soon as the reinforcements arrived, we set up camp and ate lunch. They cooked tinola for us and rice. Again, we fell asleep through the afternoon before beach bumming and exploring the beauty of Anawangin Cove.
No Cellular Signal, but Better Connection
I would say it was one of the best bonding destination considering there was no electricity or cell reception. We only had cameras, good conversations, bonding over food preparation. For dinner we had meat loaf festival. That night, we bought firewood and had a mini s’mores party!
Next week, we will take our Zambales Sea & Summit Adventure to the islands of Capones and Camara.
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