Choose your Paradise: Anawangin, Talisayin, Nagsasa or Silanguin

May 16, 2016 Beach Camping

There was a time in my life when a weekend without plans automatically meant camping at Anawangin Cove, a routine so ingrained that we decided to store camping gear with local contacts who eventually became our friends.

My first visit to Anawangin Cove was in 2007, spurred by stories from friends who raved about its ash-gray sand and agoho trees. 

Although not the pristine white sand and pine trees as initially expected, the unique landscape, a product of the 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption, enchanted me.

In those early days, only mountaineers frequented the place, and we would occupy a small portion of the beach, camping around the simple hut of the caretakers. The only amenities available were a comfort room and a water pump, and that was enough for us. 

Over time, I witnessed this once sleepy town transform into a booming tourism destination, thanks to weekend wanderers and the influence of social media.

The place quickly adapted, and beach resorts offering simple amenities sprouted almost overnight, welcoming droves of tourists, especially during the summer. I foresaw this change the moment beach flags were installed.

When tourists arrived, we took it as a cue to explore other coves. The first on our list was Nagsasa Cove, nearly identical to Anawangin but farther and more challenging to reach. Resorts lined the beach here as well, prompting the need to arrange camping spots and boats in advance.

For those seeking a more tranquil beach camping experience, two other options emerged. 

Talisayin Cove, nestled between Anawangin and Nagsasa, offered a quieter and laid-back atmosphere, except during the regular Incantatus music festival. It's advisable to avoid visiting during these events if seclusion is desired, but for those who appreciate good music during a beach escapade, it's worth checking out.

Another option, Silanguin Cove, the farthest from Pundaquit, struck me as the most picturesque and secluded. Occasionally, jet-ski aficionados from Subic added a dash of excitement to this serene haven.

The southern part of Silanguin Cove is particularly rewarding to explore. Our friends, having climbed Cinco Pincos, spotted this area from afar, prompting us to rent a boat to reach it. Walking is also an option for the more adventurous.

Both coves boast the same ashen sand-covered beaches and agoho trees as Anawangin, but there are more places to hang hammocks or place beach mats. Numerous spots offer opportunities to enjoy the sunset alone, read a good book, or take selfies without photo bombers.

Beyond these coves, San Antonio has more to offer, including Capones Island and Agnaem Beach. The journey through these coastal wonders is a testament to the evolving charm and allure of this once-hidden gem on the Philippine coastline.

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