Zambales island hopping, baby

I would think I kick started summer at the same time I kick started the year.  Why, I was a happy camper on New Year’s Day as I had this spontaneous Anawangin Cove adventure with my high school buddies.

Two months later, there was I back in that para-para-paradise for another beach bumming. This time, it was with my college org mates and some other friends and it was a tad more hell of an adventure for we dared stayed the night in an island unreached by electric power, cell coverage, and zombies. As if that wasn’t daredevil enough, we even fared to two other islands as virgin and cryptic, Capones and Nagsasa Cove and boy, did we have a summer time that screamed of pure fun and awe.. wait for it.. someness.

I swear it was that awesome that I’m certain a narrative would fall far too short to paint you a picture of the experience. (Fine, I’m making excuses to my writer’s block. Heh. After all, my BFF J has also written about it which you’ll find here.)

Thus be warned that this post is photo-heavy. And I shall only be making captions here and there rather than a blow-by-blow account.

Day 1

I didn’t pass up the chance to bring the gang to my humble abode. Even as lunch meals were already covered by the tour package we availed (from Zambales Paradise Travel and Tour), my parents still insisted to prepare a banquet for my visitors that the guys almost thought there was some fiesta going on. Bet they loved mom’s dishes because they jokingly suggested to screw island hopping and just pig out at our home instead.

Note how fresh we were here because once we rode the boat, we knew we were in for a rocking ride. You know how sun, water, and sand altogether could account for greasy faces, tousled hair, and soiled feet? That’s what we were up for!

It’s quite the peak season for beach getaways already so Anawangin was packed with more tourists than when I last visited yet it’s not even close to how more commercialized beach destinations are crammed – one of the major reasons I will keep coming back to this little patch of paradise. On some level, it’s my form of escapism from the hustle and bustle that is the city and a reminder that I will forever belong to the sea. (On cue: Part of Your World)

With the sun bright, the sand silvery white and the waters crystal clear, I wanted to cannonball into the sea straight away. But the hiker that Mayie is, she dared us trek the nearest mountainside. Of course, the gutty I am – challenge accepted!

Rocky, muddy, prickly, and steep was the way up. Kelikel had to stop then and again to check his heart while J had got to grab every rock and bush for balance. Well, I didn’t soil my hands at the very least. LOL

We were all panting heavily when we reached semi-peak of the mountain (semi-peak was the farthest we could go as the sun was already about to set and we didn’t want to roll face-down ass-up in the dark). More than being short of breath from half an hour climb, it was the majestic view that took our breaths away.

An unusual sight of pine trees instead of palms streaked between the electric blue coastline and the scenic mountain ranges under glowing orange skies, beat that.

Once the sun had set, we came to realize the odds that were in our favor. Our cottage were we had our tents pitched around was the only one in the island that had electric light (coming from a car battery, what up).  All the other campers were flocked together in their bonfires casting shadows everywhere.

We whiled the starry night away swimming (actually, just rolling in the shallow laughing our guts off to the biting wit of everyone), shooting tequilas, and making fool of ourselves in our drinking games of Pinoy Henyo, Are You Afraid Of The Dark?, and I’ve Never while we’re circled around our bonfire.

Day 2

What better way to start our second day of fun in the sun than with a morning swim? The water’s freezing cold yet we braved it anyway. And whether it was high or low tide that made the ocean floor rocky that morning, we weren’t sure but I wounded my toes when my foot hit a sharp rock edge. Ugh, blood.. And then, ahh, shaaarks! TROLOLOL

I lost count of the mountains we had to cross to get to the next island – Nagsasa. Although the boat travel quite bored us, it was worth it. If Anawangin is already paradise to me, I don’t know what else to call Nagsasa.

Everything about this cove was magnifique – jade-green waters, thick pines, grayish white volcanic sand, and rolling mountains that make perfect for a backdrop I thought we were in Brokeback Mountain. LOL. Our time in Nagsasa, though quite short, was one of running carefree around, treading a still shallow creek then enacting crocodile attack scenes a la Lake Placid and doing failed jump shots.

I was the first to go when it was time for snorkeling. Ha. I’m a brave heart like that. So I was also the first to get stung by the little jelly fishes swimming with us. There wasn’t much to see underwater, no coral gardens of sort, only some fish. Nonetheless, it was so much for my first time to snorkel.

It was a mystery how our energies didn’t seem to deplete for even as we were down to our last stop, we still were all incredibly flighty. We wasted no time once we reached rocky and shelly shorelines. Capones Island is actually a monumental lump of rock formation sitting amidst pristine blue seas – totally a sight to behold. So.. had camera, did camwhore. For crying out loud!

These last shots we pegged as our own version of Temptation Island. Heh.

We thought two days and a night was too short to make the most out of these patches of paradise. We knew we could have swum more, tanned our skin more even, and drunk more sea water. We hadn’t even made our way back to the safety of the mainland yet we already had vague plans of coming back and experiencing all these over again and more.

This was one helluva beach adventure, I effin swear.

(Photos by Romel ☺ I did some editing though.)

♚♚♚

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