A paradise only a few hours away from Manila.


Archive for November, 2008

Fishing in Zambales

Fishing is a livelihood to a lot of locals in Zambales. The Philippine watercraft, also known as the “banka”, can accommodate two anglers bottom fishing and trolling. Quite slow and narrow compared to fishing boats, so get ready to occasionally get wet during the ride.

Bottom fishing can bring in a variety of snappers, jacks, trevallies and groupers. Trolling on the otherhand can get you the pelagics such as Dorados, Skipjacks, King Mackerels, Wahoos and occasional billfish species.

We recommend the followiing bait/lures and terminal tackle for fishing:

Bottom/Drift Fishing: Water dept in good fishing areas are around 70-80 meters deep so 2-4 oz sinkers or jigs will help you reach the bottom. Size #2 to #6 hooks, 20-40lbs (mono during the day and wire at night) leaders and 12-20lbs main line (best if braid) are ideal. Fresh or live shrimp during the day and fresh squid or small sardines at night.

Trolling: 9cm to 14cm (CD9-CD14) diving lures in dark silver/black (cloudy), shiny blue and green flavors (sunny) has worked best for me. A short wire leader (6-24 inches) is a must on a minimum of 30lbs setup.

San Antonio Public Market

The public market is not actually located in Pundaquit, rather it’s right beside the municipal hall of San Antonio, which is the last town before you reach your destination. It’s best that you buy your goods and water here before heading towards the town of Pundaquit.

The public market’s fresh fish comes from nearby fishing villages and are delivered as early as 6AM. Fish is cheaper here compared to Manila. Yellowfin Tuna meat can go as low as P120 per kilo (great for kilawin and sashimi) during the seasonal catch. Juvenile and other tuna species such as Skipjacks, Bonito and Yellowfin can go as low as P70 per kilo. Dorados, Snappers, Groupers, Shrimps and Squid are frequently available specially during the morning. Continue Reading »

Anawangin Cove Zambales

The Anawangin Cove is by far the most popular destination for campers and beach goers alike. Just the mention of the name Zambales will ring a bell for those who have gone to the cove that a trip to Pundaquit is never complete without feeling Anawangin’s mixture of volcanic ash and white sand beneath your feet.

Anawangin is the nearest cove from the town proper of Pundaquit. It also is currently the most visited and developed amongst its neighboring coves. Owned by a local family who also lives in Pundaquit, they make sure that the place is well maintained  and the shores are regularly cleaned by it’s caretakers.

It is unfortunate that structures such as cement houses or buildings can’t be built behind its shores, due to the fact that seasonal rain and monsoon softens the ground beneath it and waves brought about by the typhoons can easily reach the main campsite. Also, a stream flows from the mountains and through it’s banks during the rainy season.

Anawangin is surrounded by mountains of rocks theoretically known to be formed by ages of volcanic activities in the past. But the most surprising phenomenon which has occured in the past years were the growth of pine trees just behind the banks of the cove. The seeds were brought there by the memorable erruption Mt Pinatubo together with the ash fall.

Entrance to the developed and guarded side of Anawangin is not free. This is the left side when you are facing the cove. The owner has made a business out of it by charging visitors a fee of P50 per head for a day trip and P150 for an overnight stay. This is a small fee to ask for people who wants to stay and make use of their manual freshwater pump (poso or artesian well) and also serves as income for the caretakers.

Anawangin Cove’s from our contributing photographers:

Things to remember:

  • The boatride from the Pundaquit shores to Anawangin will be around 20 to 30 minutes depending on water conditions. Always wear your life vest while you are at sea and remember to put on your sunscreen before going onboard.
  • If you plan to stay longer than 4 hours in the cove, bring extra water and food with you. Swimming, taking photos and even just plain walking along the shores will build you quite an appetite.
  • Campers and visitors should always never leave their trash behind. Plastic bags or wrappers that flow out to sea are mistakenly eaten by sea turtles and other marine life. Bring them back with you to your resort becuase Anawangin does not have the garbage collectors that we have in the Metro.
  • Don’t be stupid. Don’t drink at night and go swimming. A few people have lost their life because they did this. The current can swell differently during night and even during the day, always make sure you know and your friends know where you are.

Capones Island Zambales

Capones Island is one of the main attractions in Pundaquit Zambales. The island is actually a big lump of rock formation with very little soil. Beaches around the island aren’t that homie for the usual tourist mainly because of the sand and rock mixture from the crashing waves of the open ocean.

One of the best things to do on the island, aside from just hanging around and not being able to enjoy the beach, is go up and take a tour of the lighthouse. The lighthouse is at the back of the island when you’re facing the open sea. The steep steps up to the lighthouse is no walk in the park. So be ready and carry only what you need. If you do need to carry a lot of stuff like camera gears, make sure you put them in a sturdy bag with a strong strap and ask your guide (boatman or sometimes another local) to carry them for you.

Boat rides from Pundaquit shores to Capones Island will be about 20 to 30 minutes depending on the weather and water conditions.

Things to remember:

  • Always wear a life vest during boatrides. It may not be the latest fashion but even the most experienced coastguards wear them. Nobody can predict the ocean and wearing them is one of the clear signs you’re a smart traveler and in the worst case scenario, they will save your life.
  • If you don’t have waterproof bags for your gadgets, mobile phones or cameras, bring big ziplock bag or plastic bag with you. They’ll keep your stuff safe and dry. You’ll never know if when and where a big swell/wave or a rain cloud happens to be just passing by.
  • The sun’s rays are magnified a thousand times when they reflect on water. Protect your skin from UV rays and sunburn with at least SPF 30 sunscreen. You can also wear a hooded shirt and a visor/hat during boatrides to protect your scalp.
  • Don’t forget your shades or sunnies. They don’t just make you look good, they’ll also protect your eyes and make you feel comfortable enjoying the view of Pundaquit even if the sun is up with all its glory.
  • If you can bring a magazine or some extra snack with you, the people guarding the lighthouse will surely appreciate your generosity. It is quite lonely staying up at the lighthouse with nobody else to talk to.

Capones Island Zambales photos from our contributing photographers:

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