Trekking Mount Anawangin (a.k.a. Mount Pundaquit)
March 27, Friday night at 11:00 pm, the mountaineering group (SMB – Samahan ng Mountaineering Barkadas or Society of Mountaineering Berks) where I belong gathered at Monumento, Caloocan bus station. From here we took a bus and left the station past 12 am. Travel time is more than three (3) hours. We arrived at the front of San Antonio municipality building. Next, we waited half hour for our next ride, a three-wheeled vehicle named as “tricycle”. Then, we traveled again for few minutes until we reached the jump-off area at around 4:30 am. Before we start our trek, we rested for another few minutes. Almost 5:00 a.m., we setup our head lamp, pulled out our trekking pole and started to walk on the trail to Mount Anawangin.
First part of the trail is sandy because the jump-off area or the base of Mount Anawangin is not far from beaches. Then, we passed the rocky and dried river. We are lucky because the season we visited the place was summer – the best season to climb the mountain and enjoy beautiful white sand beaches. It’s still dark when we passed the dried river and we considered it already as a challenge. Just making a note that during rainy season the river we crossed used to have a fast flowing current and it is dangerous to cross the river. It is not advisable to pass this trail during rainy season.
This was the first time I trekked a mountain at an early hour of the morning but darkness did not stop me to push myself to an exciting and challenging trip to the mountain. While following the track of our journey, I was excited because, aside from the footsteps that I heard during the trek, I also heard the sounds of the cricket crackling from the grass that we passed by. Half hour went by and we still have a smooth climb. After 5:30 a.m., the sun starts to rise and gives light to the place where we are. The paths we are following become visible to us. From time to time we pause for few minutes to take rest. During this time, I took opportunities to capture photos of the surrounding of the place. The beauty of Mount Anawangin becomes evident to my eyes.
Pictures I captured while trekking Mount Anawangin
While climbing the mountain, I can see a similar panorama – a mountain ranges look like view but it’s actually part of Mount Anawangin itself. This mountain is not the same as other mountains being covered by lots of trees; it is surfaced with mostly by grass. During the time we trekked the mountain, some part of it just underwent from recent fires which normally happens in mountains to recycle the nutrients it has.
Photos above are scenery in the middle of the mountain before descending
We continue to ascend Mount Anawangin. The mountain has almost 500 masl (meter above sea level) altitude. The group did not tried to go to its peak or summit except for two senior and most experienced members. The rest of the group decided to descend the mountain after taking a short break. While resting near the summit of the mountain, I grab all my chance to take pictures of the place. I was stunned by the beauty of the nature I saw at the top of the mountain. We saw Anawangin beach resort from a far, a small pyramid hill and the gulf like end part of Anawangin coast. The blue skies that surround the beautiful nature made the view even perfect. The exhaustion that we experienced during the climb seems to immediately wipe out because of the fascinating view we discovered. All of us who brought camera took our own pictures and to be honest, I got a lot of shots of amazing view of Anawangin from the top of mountain.
Panoramic views near the summit of Mount Anawangin
Reaching the Wonderful Place
After we saw the attraction of Anawangin beach from a far, all of us in the group were excited to reach the coast. After resting of more than half hour near the summit, the group started to descend the mountain. Our journey while on our way to the coast become easier, maybe because of the excitement we felt. When we reached the ground, we crossed another sandy trail, dried river, a pond and a forest just to reach Anawangin coast.
Descending the mountain has same effect on me similar to ascending it. I experience the mountain itself. And this kind of moment, I appreciate the beauty of the mountain and it cannot be compared by just looking the mountain from far location. I did not take much pictures because my point and shoot digital camera was not with me. One of my co-mountaineers offered me to bring my stuff and my camera was on it. After few hours of descending the mountain, we rested beside the pyramid hill we saw while we are at the top of Mount Anawangin.
I just wanted to share the experience we had when we are passing the dried river. Since the group was quite big, we reached Anawangin beach by batch. I was accompanied by other three female co-mountaineers and there was a time that we thought we were at lost because the leading batch in front of us was gone, because of that we had to adventure the track on our own, which was not really a problem, it was just confusing. The principles of signs help us to get back on the right trail. The first batch arrived at the coast left signs near the trail by using two stones. But I knew it’s not the perfect sign or symbol but it indeed helped us to get our way to the beach.
After dried river, we passed forest and pond. The color of the water in the pond is brown that makes the scenery different but it is nice to look at. We continue the walk until we saw the beach.
Enjoy the Beauty of Anawangin
At last we reached the beautiful and serene coast. The seawater I saw was very calm and I cannot stop myself to appreciate the beauty of nature in front of me. The different degree of color blue from the sea-side and beyond made the beach view amazing. The sea water scenery made Anawangin beach so lovely.
Beautiful Anawangin Coast
Since the group were all tired, we immediately put down our backpacks our tables, then the group in-charged for lunch started their assigned tasks, fortunately I was part of that group. I do not have to tell the details about preparing our lunch stuff but one thing I can say, all of us were happy and had a wonderful time doing our chores because we were aware that we were at one of the best place to unwind and at the same time enjoy the nature.
After lunch, I rested and fall asleep for more than an hour. When I woke up, I decided to walk for while by myself at the beach to explore the place. By the way, all pictures that I got from the beach were captured during this time. I enjoyed the water at the seaside and it is very clear because I was able to see the sands underneath. Because I overwhelmed on its luminosity, I even walked with my barefoot at the sand of the coast and I let the water get into my feet. I enjoyed taking pictures while walking at the side of the beach.
More of Anawangin Beach
Next thing that I did was I went to the rocky part of the beach which located at the left part of the coast facing the sea. From this place I was able to sneak some shots with different angles of the coast including the mountain that we had climbed.
Fantastic sceneries while walking at the side of the beach
After spending some time from rocky part, I stopped at the side of the pond where the water-color is brown. For me the pond views are still perfect for me. Looking beyond the other end of the pond looks like it is a river. The other side of the pond also shows forest like scenery because of trees that surrounds the area.
Some photographic scenery at the side of the pond in Anawangin near the beach
I went back to the camp where my group is staying. After few hours passed again, the group went to the side of the beach by playing the sand, swimming, snorkeling and or just take pictures of the group. Before we ended the day, we watched the sunset while at the side of the beach, we enjoyed the silhouette that my group crafted. And the last but not the least, we enjoyed posing to every corner of the beach and along with the pond.
Amazing Sunset – Perfect for lovers ..c”,)
During the night the next thing happened; we had our dinner and social activities in the evening as part of our recreational activities while at Anawangin.
Next day was Sunday, we had our breakfast and we packed our backpacks for the next adventure. The group wore life jacket as our protection if something happened to us in the middle of the sea. Then, we hit the sea water to visit some islands near Anawangin. We started to travel with our rides called as “Bangka” (a small motor boat) at around 10:00 a.m… While seafaring and doing island sightseeing we experienced the heat of the sun, but we ignored it because we were more excited to the experience we were having at the time.
While on the sea, even I know that I should keep my camera inside my backpack, I could not help myself but to take it out and take pictures while on our way to the first island we are going to visit. I took pictures while leaving Anawangin coast. I took some pictures of unfamiliar islands and the sea itself.
Some photos when leaving Anawangin for ssland hopping
We first stopped at Kamara Island. This is the island where the old lighthouse can be found. After traveling for one hour we reached the island and we took time to enjoy the view from this place. We saw Anawangin in different viewpoint and the nearby views from the location of the old lighthouse. I really like the panoramic views that I witnessed from this place. We spent one hour of rest in the lighthouse.
Some of the captured photos while traveling in the middle of the sea with our ride called “Bangka”
The lighthouse still serves its purpose, but it is very old. The building structure is not in good shape anymore, its roof is totally ruined. The walls unpainted and it looks like no one is maintaining the building anymore. In short no one is using the building itself except the tower part where the lights located.
Inside and Outside of Kamara Island
After Kamara Island, we went to Capones Island for half hour. To our surprise, Capones Island offers a great beach. The sands are white and the place is just beautiful. And because of that, the group decided to spend another 30 minutes to just enjoy the little island. I did snorkeling for a short period of time and I love what I found under the sea, coral reefs with colourful tiny fishes.
Short trip at Capones – great for swimming and snorkeling
I have to admit, after few minutes in Capones Island, the end of our summer adventure ended but we treasured all the memories of the places and the experiences we had if not forever but for a very long time.
Some photos while on our way back to Anawangin at the other side of it. Best place to view Anawangin mountain.