I was barely awake midnight of Thursday when I packed few clothes for a day trip to Zambales. I was tired but I can never say ‘no’ to my friends. After all we hardly see each other after graduating high school and I haven’t bonded with them for a long time. Besides, I can’t resist going to the beach no matter how tired I am. The waves are calling me..I just couldn’t decline. Haha!
3:00 A.M, we were off the road to start our one-day trip to San Antonio, Zambales. No plans, just us and a small white car to bring us somewhere. We arrived at Clark, Pampanga around five in the morning to pick another friend up to join us. At least, someone who is a little more ready than us that he was able to bring a blanket. Haha! Going to San Antonio was a smooth drive that I was able to take a long nap. Maybe too long that I woke up with a sign that we’re already in San Marcelino; a few miles away San Antonio. We almost took the wrong road, good for us the Waze application works so accurately, it helped a lot and we didn’t end up wasting our time asking for the right direction. Few minutes past 7 in the morning, we reached Pundaquit, the drop off point for private vehicles where we parked our car safely for a fee.
Upon arriving at Pundaquit, I immediately bargained with few boatmen to avail the lowest price possible for a day-tour island hopping. After kindly bargaining with 4 bangkeros, we met Mang Ariel along the streets waiting for tourists to arrive. He offered us the lowest price we could get that day which costed P2500 for a whole-day boat service to 3 islands. Not bad, right? Besides, we don’t have plenty of time to look for the cheapest boat service in Pundaquit. His boat was big and spacious and he provided us safety vests. Plus, he is very kind and friendly.
It was a calm, relaxing boat ride going to our first island destination. The sun was up but the wind was cold that made it a perfect morning to get our journey started.
Capones Island. It was a short trip from Pundaquit to Capones. The island looked so breathtaking even from afar. When we got to the island, I already knew it wasn’t a good day to swim though because the waves were too big, it was even a struggle to get off the boat because of the waves. We also attempted to visit the lighthouse but Mang Ariel said it isn’t safe and it’s not possible for them to drop us on that part of the island because the waves were too strong.
On the positive note, big waves made the view picturesque and even more beautiful. Rock formations on this place are amazing! There are huge rocks near its shore that has flat surfaces which are perfect for picture taking.
I really enjoyed it when giant waves hit the rocks and create splashes! Haha! We didn’t swim but we ended up soaking wet. The island’s not perfect of course, its off white, semi-fine sand has small to medium sized stones that could be irritating and painful to step on. Some are even sharp and pointy, but there are also spots where you could walk barefooted and still feel comfortable.
My experience in Capones was very memorable. I am a fan of undeveloped places and this island is one of those. Hopefully, on my next visit to Capones I’ll be able to swim on it’s clear, cold water. It took us about an hour and a half to take pictures, wander and walk around Capones before we decided to move on our island hopping.
Anawangin Cove. I have been reading and hearing about Anawangin a lot during summer seasons. It is one of the more known beaches near manila making it a hot spot tourist destination during the holy week. I had high expectations because of the hype and all but I was slightly disappointed upon arriving at around 10:40AM. The beach was fine, it was okay and it seemed good for those escaping the city to unwind. However, there was nothing special, well at least for me. The water is not as clear (still looks clean though), and the sand is fine but felt too hot to walk on without footwear.
The good and what I liked about the place is the shallow lake facing the beach with tall Pine trees across it that creates relaxing shades where campers build their tents.
Since this trip was again..unplanned, we weren’t able to bring food and so we resorted to the Sari-sari store in Anawangin which sells fried liempo and chicken for 80 pesos. Additional 20php for a cup of rice. I know.. it’s overpriced. But I was still thankful that we had something to eat that afternoon. We almost emptied our plates though even if the food was not that good. And guess what? We do not have drinking water. Haha! Up to this point I do not know how we survived that day so unprepared. Hahaha! Aya and Elay left for a few minutes and went back with two bottles of cold, clean, fresh, and glorious water which saved our day. Whew! Full and hydrated, I laid a blanket on the hot sand and took some zzz’s before going on to the last island of our tour. Left Anawangin around 1:30pm but I felt the need to take a dip before leaving the cove so I jumped off the boat to take a short swim. Haha!
Nagsasa Cove. Farthest among the three, it took us another hour from Anawangin to get to Nagsasa Cove. The sun was all up and blazing when we arrived. We took shelter on a small nipa hut to settle and leave our bags. After a short rest, we all had ourselves ready to swim and enjoy Nagsasa’s calm beach out of our remaining time on the island.
The beach was perfect for swimming. The gray-ish ashy sand is really soft and fine, it felt good on the feet. The water was unbelievably crystal clear and clean. What I really loved is that there are no rocks, sea grass, corals, whatsoever on the sea’s surface; just soft, grayish, super fine sand. The water is also shallow and I needed to swim a number of meters to reach the part where I can fully submerge my body up to my neck. That makes it a friendly place for children to swim and play around. The water’s calm and the waves are weak before they can even reach the shore.
We spent most of our time dipped in its cold water. Nagsasa Cove is definitely a must-visit for beach bums.
Unplanned & spontaneous–sometimes all you need is a holiday and your friends to bring with you on a journey. Zambales; one of the nearest “to-go” places for beach goers didn’t disappoint me. A memorable beach hopping experience because every boat ride was worth it. A day full of beautiful places, beautiful friends, and beautiful memories. I’ll be back in Zambales! 😁
My Budget Summary:
- Boat service of Mang Ariel – P2500/6 Persons = P420.00 Approx.
- Pundaquit Parking Fee- P100/6 = P17.00 Approx.
- Anawangin Cove Day Tour Entrance fee with open table- P50/head
- Lunch at Anawangin- P120(Liempo and 2 cups rice)/2 person sharing= P60.00
- Nagsasa Cove Day Tour Entrance fee with open cottage- P50/head
- Buko Popsicle sold in Nagsasa – P20.00
- Stop Over Breakfast and Snacks – P150.00
- Drive through Dinner- P102.00
- Jeep from trinoma to UST- P15.00
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