Zambales is the second largest province in Central Luzon. It is known because of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone that hosts various attractions which include casinos, beach resorts, recreational parks, and other historical sites. Not known to many, the province of Zambales keeps secrets of timeless beauty reflected on its stunning islands, beaches, and coves.
These hidden jewels of Zambales are long stretches of off-white sand beaches enclosed by the towering mountains of the province. They are characterized by aquamarine waters, crystal-clear lagoons, symmetrical pine trees that line up by the shores, and rocky islets that offer refreshing and spectacular view. If you want to relax and take a break on a majestic place, but do not want to go far from Metro Manila, these are the best places to be.
|Anawangin beachfront captured by Jobert Abiva|
This place is a long stretch of off-white sand beach that offers breath-taking views of rolling mountains, azure sky, and aquamarine vast water of the West Philippine Sea. The pine trees that frame the beautiful beach is an amazing sight to behold. There is a lagoon perfectly situated at the back of the sandy beach that separates a cluster of pine trees forming a forest. Anawangin has become a favorite camping ground for locals and tourists alike because of its luscious surrounding and very relaxing atmosphere.
|The long stretch of powdery off-white sand beach of Nagsasa Cove. Photo by: Jim Byran Ilarde|
This cove is twice the size of Anawangin, but a little farther from San Antonio, the jump-off point. It has a wide shaded area which is excellent for camping, off-white sand beach, impressive line of symmetrical pine trees behind the banks, and clear lagoon where anyone can take a refreshing dip. The clear water that reflects the color of the sky also shows off a number of fishes swimming freely on both ends of the cove. The labyrinth of waterfalls in the area can be a great alternative for a refreshing bath. Like Anawangin, Nagsasa also attracts more and more visitors each year.
Also nestled along the coastline of Zambales is this pristine cove where one can be treated to a very relaxing vacation. Talisayin is situated between Anawangin and Nagsasa, but compared to the two coves, it has a more relaxed and quiet environment. Pine trees cover the greater dimension of the off-white sand beach and at the back is a picturesque lake embraced by pine trees. At the edge of the mountain range that secure the cove is a concrete steps that leads to the grotto. If you want to further appreciate the alluring panoramic view of the cove from above, go up the grotto as it also serves as a view deck. There are no resorts in the area, but there are nipa huts which are used as vacation havens. I think this cove is privately owned as there is a big house built just near the shore of whom the locals say belong to “someone.”
|The rustic beauty of Silanguin Cove|
Silanguin is the farthest and the least known among the coves, but it is the largest. It has an overwhelmingly exquisite beauty that bloomed further because of the serene environment. If you want a beautiful rustic place with an air of natural tranquillity, this place is the best alternative. Beyond the lagoon and series of pine trees, you will see a river that is meticulously framed by hills and mountains.
The century-old lighthouse. Photo by: Jobert Abiva
This island with big rock formations and boulders is just a twenty minute boat ride from Anawangin cove. It does not have the picturesque line of pine trees and lagoons, but it has a magical beauty of its own. In this island you will find the century old Spanish lighthouse known as Faro de Punta Capones or the Capones Lighthouse. The view from the lighthouse is really spectacular. Going to Capones Island and climbing the lighthouse should be part of your bucket list when visiting Zambales as it offers a 360-degree amazing view of the island. At the eastern side of the island you will see a crescent-shaped beach where you can enjoy swimming and snorkelling.
|The beautiful blue sky and the white sand of Camara Island. Photo by: Jobert Abiva|
Adjacent to Capones Island are two large rock islets connected by a white sand bar that disappears during high tide. This place is called Camara, a small island where rocks are scattered far and wide.
The jump-off point of all these beautiful locations is the fishing village in Brgy. Pundaquit, San Antonio, Zambales. From there you can charter a boat that can bring you to any or all of the places provided. If you are adventurous enough, you can hike and traverse the mountains to reach the cove that you prefer and breathe in the splendid view from above.
With the string of options, you can definitely find in Zambales the most relaxing and perfect getaway near Metro Manila. One request I have for the readers is to keep these places clean so their beauty remains for generations to come.
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