Ahmad Sampang ibnu Hajiri, MD

A Personal blog by a Tausug medical student (now a doctor!) from Sulu and the stories that inspired him.
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My Anawangin Adventure 1/3

By  AhmadMD _     January 10, 2016    Labels:, 
I have always wanted to go to Anawangin in Zambales. I have heard about the “hidden” paradise in the middle of mountain ranges, about the pine trees that grow on ashen-grey sands, the wonderful sunsets as the beach is directly facing the West Philippine Sea, and of course the crystal clear waters of Anawangin cove. And so, when such a golden opportunity of going there with fellow backpackers during my free weekend, I did not hesitate to grab it and go explore the wonders of Anawangin for myself. I even decided to cancel it hours before the trip! But I was glad I didn’t, Alhamdulillah! This is my account of that adventure. This is my Anawangin Adventure.

The Team
The team composed of eight adventurous backpackers coming from different walks of life living around Metro Manila. We met at this online group (meetup.com) where like-minded people meet and plan things out. This is not the first time that this group had organized a group trip around the country, but this is actually my first time to join them. So I was half excited and half anxious. I actually don’t know anyone from them!

But Alhamdulillah, I was indeed glad to be with these awesome guys. They are all professionals from their own fields. Plus they didn’t bring any pork nor liquors during the trip (yeay! No awkward moments of saying ‘No, sorry I can’t eat/drink that.”) And what I like best? The intelligent (and mostly funny) discussions we have once in a while.

Itinerary and Expenses
Here’s the group’s actual itinerary and our expenses per head:

Day 1:
·         4:00AM Group met at Victory Liner Bus Terminal-Cubao
·         5:00 The group left Cubao Terminal to San Antonio,
·         9:00 The group arrived to Olongapo City, they took their breakfast here.
·         9:45 I arrived at Olongapo City and met the rest of the team
·         9:45 We left Olongapo Bus terminal to San Antonio, Zambales
·         11:00 Arrived at San Antonio Public Market, met with ate Shella (tour guide and host)
·         11-12:30 rest at Ate Shella’s house, preparations, Lunch
·         1:15PM The group was divided into two: the Trekking Group A and the Boat Group B.
·         1:30 Trek team started trekking together with the tour guide.
·         2:00 Boat team: Boatride to Anawangin cove
·         2:30 Boat team arrived at Anawangin cove
·      2:30 to 4:30 Boat team: Clean-up of cottage, assemble tent, photos, rest (discussions) it was just too hot to swim, Zhuhur and Asr Prayer
·         Around 3:00PM Trek team arrived at Summit
·         4:30 Boat team started hiking uphill for a view of the cove and the sunset
·         5:00 Trek team arrived at Anawangin Cove, swim at the beach
·         5-6PM Sunset viewing, photos
·         6:15PM Boat and Trek team meet at cottage, cooked dinner
·         6:30 to 7:15 Dinner, bonfire, Maghrib and Isha Prayer
·         7:30 Night Swim at the beach
·         8-9:30 Chats, games, snacks, stargazing
·         10PM Lights off
·         10-12MN late sleepers like me are still awake haha

Day 2:
·         4:00AM Early birds’ waking up, Fajr Prayer
·         5-6:00 Explore rock formations, early morning swim while waiting for breakfast
·         7:00 Breakfast, swim
·         8:00 Trek Team went uphill as well for better view of the cove, photos
·         9:00 Swim while waiting for boat,
·         10:00 Boat arrives, pack-up, clean camping site
·         10:15 Left Anawangin cove to Capones island by boat
·         10:40 Arrived at Capones Island. Take a swim in the beautiful beach!!!
·         11:00 Left Capones island
·         11:40 Arrived at Ate Shella’s house in Pundaquit
·         12NN to 1:00 Bath, toilet break, rest, Zhuhur and Asr Prayer
·         1:00PM Lunch San Antonio Public Market
·         2:00 Left San Antonio Market to Olongapo Bus Terminal
·         2:30 Left Olongapo Bus terminal to Pasay (a lot of bus stops along the way)
·         7:00 Arrived at Pasay, Manila then separated destinations going back home.

The sunset scenes in Anawangin Cove are definitely among the best views any photo-enthusiast could ever wish for. (Photo by Jhoanna B.

My Expenses
Php per head
Taxi: Pedro Gil, Manila to Victory Liner Terminal,  Cubao
Bus: Cubao to San Antonio, Zambales
Tricycle: San Antonio Market to Brgy Pundaquit
Boat Rental (for 2 days, to Anawangin, Capones island and back to Pundaquit)
3 Meals in Pundaquit and Anawangin (lunch, dinner and breakfast), Php100 per meal payment for the cook
Tricycle: Pundaquit to San Antonio
Lunch at San Antonio
Bus: San Antonio to Olongapo Bus Terminal
Olangapo to Pasay
My Total Expenses

key chain souvenir (3 pcs)
Tour Guide fee for Trekking to Anawangin
Anawangin embroidered Tshirt
Cottage overnight fee, Php120/night
depends on number
Use of toilet in Pundaquit


The Funny Bus Encounter
As you may have read in my itinerary, our plans did not go as what was planned beforehand. We were supposed to meet at around 4Am at Victoria liners in Cubao so that we could catch up the 5AM trip to Zambales. Everybody was already there save for one person who woke up late: Me. Haha. But wait, here’s what’s funny: I told them to go ahead with the trip and that I might not join anymore (I was the last one remaining and the first trip was in 10 minutes!). But then I decided to follow them even though I was already an hour late, and to everyone’s surprise: we all rode the same bus to San Antonio! Haha. Here’s what actually happened:

·         4:00AM The team met at Victory Liner Bus Terminal-Cubao, waited for other team-mates to arrive; first trip leaves at 5AM.
·         4:30AM I woke up. Sooo late. Haha! I apologized deeply for what happened and told them to go on ahead without me. It was already too late. But then I decided to go on with the trip. Alone. I decided to take the risk: I’ll find my way there when I get there.
·         5:00 The group left Cubao Terminal to San Antonio, Zambales; I was on my way to Cubao yet.
·      5:40 I arrived in Victoria Liner Bus terminal, bought a ticket for Zambales. The next trip was 7AM but I took the 6AM bus to Olangapo instead. I was told to transfer to another bus going to Iba, Zambales because the bus I rode will stop at Olongapo only.
·         Around 9:00 AM the group arrived at Olongapo City, they took their breakfast here.
·         9:45 I arrived at Olongapo City and immediately transferred to another bus going to Iba, Zambales. I was the last passenger to ride. Fortunately, it was THE SAME bus where my team was in!!! (A fortunate accident or destiny? haha)

And I even had a funny conversation with one of my team-mates (who at that time didn’t recognize me. We only know each other online remember?). Here’s our funny conversation:

Seat Mate: (After hearing that we have the same destination): Brad, Alam mo ilang oras biyahe papuntang San Antonio? (Bro, do you know how long the trip to San Antonio would take? 
Me: Uhm, di ko rin alam eh. (Uhm, I actually don’t know.) *laughs*
SM: (noticed my backpack): aakyat ka din ba? Sa cove? (Are you climbing as well? To the cove?
  Me: Oo. (yes)
SM: Mag-isa ka lang? Astig ah. (And you’re going alone? Awesome.)
Me: Naku hindi hehe, actually may mga kasama ako, kaso naiwan ako. (Actually no, hehe, I am joining a team, but I was left behind.)
SM: Anung grupo ba to, online? (What group is this, online?)
Me: Oo online. Yung ano *failed to mention the right group haha*)
SM: I see. Magkano ba budget niyo? (How much is your team’s budget for this?)
Me: Ah, ano, Php 1,500 per person. (Php 1,500 per person)
SM: Ah talaga? pareho lang tayo ah! (Really? We have the same budget as well!)
SM: kasama na breakfast at dinner dun? Pati tent? (That already include your breakfast and dinner? Even the tent?)
Me: Ang totoo, di ko alam details eh hehe, magtatanong pa ako pagdating dun. (Actually, I don’t really know the details. I will ask them when I get there) During those moments, I was already considering the idea of asking this guy’s team to include me in their trip. After all we were going to the same place anyway.
SM: Wait lang, sabi mo naiwan ka, san ba kayo dapat magmimeet? (Wait, you said you were left behind. Where were you supposed to meet?)
Me: Sa Cubao sana. Kaso late ako nagising eh ahaha. (In Cubao supposedly, but I woke up late haha)
SM: Putik, ikaw ata kasama namin na naiwan! Anung name mo? (Fudge, I think you are the one we left behind! What’s your name again?)
Me: *mentions name*
SM: (turns at the people seated at the back while pointing at me) Mga tol, andito na 8th member natin! Haha! (Guys, we finally have our 8th member right here! Haha!)
Everyone: really? Haha! *awkward laughter*

WOULD YOU EVEN BELIEVE THAT!!!! Haha I can’t even believe it! LOL! I even considered joining their team if I can’t find my team in Pundaquit! Only to find out that I was already talking to my own team mate! Haha! Such miracles actually happen huh? Ma shaa Allah!

This is the same bus that brought us together. We happened to see it again before going back to Manila.

This post is went too long than expective so I’m going to cut it into parts. But here's a teaser for what you are about to see (^_^):

Anawangin, Part 2 of 3: From Pundaquit to Anawangin Cove

Anawangin, Part 3 of 3: Capones Island!

Salam Kasilasa!
Ahmad Hajiri

About AhmadMD _

Ahmad is a young Tausug Physician now serving as one of the Doctor to the Barrios (DTTB). He is a free spirit. He loves coffee. And fish.

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just saying. -Dr. Ahmad