Photos by Robert Quebral
Anawangin Cove is a 25-minute boat ride from Pundaquit beach in Zambales, a province some 4 hours’ car drive from Manila. It is naturally protected from rough waters by gently-sloping hills on both sides. Because of this, the waters are warm and relatively gentle; the salt does not sting as much here. It is a kid-friendly beach in that it is not biglang-lalim. Go for an early morning swim with your toddler before the tide comes in.
The shoreline is in my estimation about one and a half kilometers long from end to end; there are lanky pine trees close to the shore. One wonders how the pine trees got here. According to our bangkero, the area started teeming with pine trees after nearby Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991. Prior to that time, the beach was just sand all the way.
So – a naturally-protected beach; with naturally-occurring pine trees along its shores. Amazing isn’t it? A fascinating Natural Wonder that needs to be protected for all time.
Anawangin Cove is still relatively clean and peaceful. Thankfully there are no karaokes in sight, and no cemented monstrosities like malls and resorts there as of yet. If one wishes to stay in Anawangin, one only need bring a tent and set up camp among the pine trees. There is a public toilet in the area, and nipa huts selling food, beverage and camping essentials like portable stoves and lights. There are sundry fees to be paid by daytrippers and overnighters alike, so do check online before heading out here. Boat ride fare right now is at P200 per head.
We hope that the local government in Zambales and its citizens will continue to protect this beach. My husband and I are proposing that the beach be off limits to everyone for a certain period every year, to give it time to heal and renew itself. During our visit here, we saw some litter along the beach, but I am guessing this is flotsam from commercial beaches nearby. Still, we hope that Zambales will save this beautiful place from all types of garbage, human or otherwise.
ANAWANGIN COVE, ZAMBALES (as of May 2016)
Affordability: √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ (8/10 checks)
Convenience: √ √ √ √ √ √ (6/10 checks)
Cleanliness: √ √ √ √ √ √ (6/10 checks)
Kid-friendliness: √ √ √ √ √ √ (6/10 checks)
Peacefulness: √ √ √ √ √ √ √ (7/10 checks)