How Our Trip to Anawangin Cove Made our Summer 2013 Truly Great

Sometimes work can consume our time and thoughts so much that we forget there is life outside it. To relieve ourselves of the stress-induced work environment, rest and relaxation is always a great idea. That’s how most of us felt when our small group went for a summer outing to Anawangin Cove.

There were about nine of us when we left Clark, Pampanga early one morning bound for San Antonio, Zambales. We knew the trip was going to take about two hours so we planned to start at five in the morning. But our sleep-deprived colleagues overslept and so we were only able to begin our travel at around six.
We arranged for a van for transportation. With the size of our group, we thought a mini-van was perfect for our needs. It saved us the trouble of knowing how to get there. We also thought that if we were the one to drive, we'd get tired and enjoy the trip less. Overall, we thought it would save us money so we were lucky to find this van you can see in the photo above. It's brand-spanking new according to the owner. We were the first client to use it.

As we made our way to San Antonio, we wondered aloud how little we’ve traveled inside the country. Most of us have been sent overseas to work in distant locations but nearby provinces can look totally new and unfamiliar. It was a realization that opportunities like this one to go out of town is a rare occasion that we should all be thankful for.
After more than an hour of travel by land, we reached our take-off point at Pandaquit for another 30-minute stretch of sea travel using a motorboat. It was nothing fancy. The boat was like every other locally-made vessel owned and operated by a boatman who we had made the arrangement with. He provided us with life-vests just to be safe in case we capsize. The whole trip would not be too far from the shore so it was relatively safe. The sea was calm and did not pose any danger to us.
Anwangin Cove, we found when we arrived, was probably not the best beach in the Philippines. It’s quite small and doesn’t have the usual business establishments to support tourism. But it’s special in its own right. There were quite a few things we really liked about it aside from the pretty nice sea shore.
  • It’s isolated – aside from the fact that you had to ride a boat to get there, there’s no cellphone signal whatsoever. If you want to be totally cut-off from the world of work, you cannot get any better than this.
  • It’s not too crowded with people – sure there were many visitors some of whom were camping out for the night. But still the area is large enough to accommodate the number of people visiting. 
  • Amazing pine trees – the numerous pine trees just behind the shore makes one feel very close to nature. It’s a welcome change if you’re used to a city environment and wish something different and relaxing.
  • Mountain ranges all around – if you have more time here in Anawangin, this may be a good place to trek. For us, the mountains showcased the intersection of land and sea at its best.
This summer getaway was even made better with our food. We got it right when we decided to bring our own grill. We roasted some pork barbecue, stuffed tilapia, eggplant and squid. (We bought the squid at Pundaquit right before we boarded our boat to Anawangin Cove). We also brought with us cooked rice, adobo, salted eggs and some packaged snacks. For our drinks, besides water we had sodas and some alcoholic beverages.
We realized early on that our food was more than enough for us. So we ate as often as our stomachs would allow. For a while, we intentionally forgot about our diets. This does not happen every day. We thought we can lose the extra weight at a later time.
We also met some enterprising Aetas who were very eager to sell us their crafts. Seeing them at Anawangin Cove was not really surprising. We see Aetas selling every day in many areas in Clark. They are a hardworking group of people. It’s just unfortunate that opportunities have not caught up with them. They continue to live poor and really have to break their backs to make a living.
Although we didn’t buy their merchandise for various reasons, we offered them food instead. They were shy to accept at first but I guess their hunger was not easy to overcome. We felt great about sharing our food with them. More so when they expressed their gratitude to us. We figured that their sacrifices to earn a living for their families were difficult enough. The least we can do was acknowledge that and show some expression of our goodwill.
Our trip home was uneventful. We were bone tired and couldn’t wait to get home to rest. As we made our way back, two things remained in my mind. The first was how Anawangin Cove made our summer a really fun one. The second one was how we might top that next year. It’s a challenge I know we would be more than willing to face. So let’s get it on!

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