quote Finding Isla Agnaem

Isla

Some of the best things happen when we least expect them. Then we realize, things happen for a reason.

This was how we got lost in an island … or better statement would be, this was how we found a beautiful island we never knew existed – Isla Agnaem, Zambales.

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Camara, Capones, and Anawangin: The famous islands of Zambales. Isla Agnaem is not yet in the map but it is just there somewhere. 🙂

Events poured like storm on a rainy season of August.  Beach or any out of the city trip was a consolation.

Supposed Anawangin-Capones-Camara itinerary:

DAY 1

  • 0100 – ETD Manila (pick up point along edsa)
  • 0400 – ETA Pundaquit, San Antonio, Zambales
  • 0500 – ETD Pundaquit
  • 0600 – ETA Anawangin Cove; (pitch camp/ explore Anawangin/
  • 1200 – Lunch
  • 1330 – Free time; beach bumming; explore Anawangin Cove
  • 1800 – Dinner

Day 2

Things to bring Anawangin Nagsasa Cove Campers Checklist

  • Cash – there are no ATMs near the place. All transactions will have to paid with cash.
  • Tent – this is the only form of accommodation in Anawangin. You may choose to sleep outside on a mat but remember that the weather is unpredictable and it gets really cold early in the morning.
  • Spoon/Fork/Plate/Cup – bringing your own plate or buy a paper plate, instead of using plastic ones bought from the grocery store is always best for the environment. Its hard to wash dishes in the beach.
  • Food/Snacks/Water – don’t bring too much or too extravagant food. Remember that the place encourages the simple life. Don’t also bring extra more water if you avail our package because we provide enough mineral water for your group capacity.
  • Portable lamp/Candles – there are lightweight, cheap lamps sold in Ace Hardware/SM Workshop for less that a hundred bucks. Make sure to bring enough batteries as needed. You can bring candles for additional illumination.
  • Portable gas range/Butane – this will make cooking a lot easier. Portable gas ranges sell from PhP600 to PhP1500 in Ace Hardware/SM Workshop depending on the style/model. Butane canisters cost ~PhP70 in any hardware store.
  • Charcoal – in case you want to cook/grill, bring some specially if you don’t have a portable gas range.
  • Blanket – a light one should be sufficient, its for the tent lying surface.
  • Hammock – you may want to bring a hammock for relaxation. There are a lot of trees available for you to tie the hammock on to. There are also peddlers selling hammocks for PhP100-Php300 (depending on the season) with “free-installation”
  • Clothes – make sure you bring enough for your overnight stay. You may also want to bring a jacket during the Amihan season to protect you from the cold.
  • Goggles/Snorkel gear – there are fishes and sea flora but the place is really more of a swimming than a snorkeling place.
  • Sunglasses – the surroundings can get very bright.
  • Camera/Camera accessories – the place is very picturesque. You may want to bring an extra battery because there’s no electricity for charging.
  • MP3 player/Earphones/Portable speakers – play music for extra relaxation.
  • Ziplock bag – To keep you belongings, specially gadgets, dry
  • Toiletries Dishwashing liquid & Sponges – for washing dish or kitchen utensils
  • Canned goods – Backup food is good to have. You may also live on a diet of canned goods in the place.
  • Trash Bag – make sure you bring a big trash bag to prevent litter from taking over the beautiful place. Trash bags can be left with the caretakers before you leave.

If you want it, go for it.  But be ready with some modifications. 

It’s been raining consistently for three days. Being the ringleader of this trip, I still convinced everyone in the group that there was no rain in Zambales, like what the tour operator said. Although I had a gut feel that he (the operator) just wanted to push  because we’ve paid already.  Back up plan was to stay in Crystal Beach Resort in Pundaquit if weather was that bad.

Finding Isla Aganem

Pundaquit is the town where the boats going to the islands are stationed.

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Travel at your own risk. ;P

The rain had stopped but we were advised by the boatmen the Anawangin, Capones, and Camara islands were not reachable because of the bad weather.  The nearest island for hard-headed campers like us was Isla Agnaem.

“Isla Agnaem? Never heard, but we’re here. Push!”

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It was the longest 15-minute boat ride of our lives. The boat was literally riding the waves — in one side, the wave was higher than the boat, on the other side, the waves were too low.  The reassuring look on the face of our boatmen were the only hope we had.

Finding Isla Agnaem

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Then we found ourselves in an island less traveled.  Let this short clip tell all.

And Our Anawangin Trip?

We still pushed Anawangin trip after a few months with another group but we found it quite populated and more developed than we were expecting.  And Isla Agnaem is still not being offered by boatmen and tourist operators until now.

Things happen for a reason. 🙂

Expenses

Package tour (supposed Anawangin-Capones-Camara) including Manila – Zambales – Manila van, boat ride, tent, cooking utensils – P2,500/pax

Food – P500

Total (estimate cost) – P3,000

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