El Nido, Palawan : How To Enjoy The Paradise In Less Than 24 Hours?

Is it really possible to enjoy the paradise in less than 24 hours?! Watch out! My El Nido adventure is coming out soon…

Let me give you some preview. 😀

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Anawangin-Capones Backpacking

*I wrote half of this blog in Anawangin.

While writing this, I can hear loud voices of children, men and women shouting in the background. They’re probably composed of 25-30 people including children. Seems like a family reunion. They arrived at about 8PM. They are setting up their huge tent and their loud generator. People usually seek for secluded beaches to camp out to achieve at least a peaceful night away from the city noise but unfortunately, these people are ruining it for campers like us.

I was supposed to meet my friends whom I have never seen after college and have missed me since I have been traveling lately. We were supposed to have dinner on Saturday. It was cancelled but I was so perky and wanderlust just attacked once again so I went on this trip even if they canceled on me. I urgently searched for possible destinations. Marinduque, Mindoro and Potipot was on top of my list. I have been hesitant with Marinduque since getting there is not easy and transportation means are not as consistent as compared to Potipot and Mindoro. So I have to choose from the two left on my list. Another thing I also take into consideration when traveling is the budget. Learning from online blogs that Potipot accomodation is much cheaper than that of Mindoro, I finally came to a decision.

I packed(light) my bag and went up north. I took the express bus going to Olongapo then transferred to an ordinary bus to San Antonio where Pundaquit is the jump off to Anawangin Cove. Yes, I am going to Anawangin. I left Manila at around 2pm and I arrived in San Antonio at around 5:30PM. The jump off to Potipot is roughly 2 hours from San Antonio so I decided to stay in Anawangin for the night since I missed this cove the last time we were in Zambales for island hopping. Anyway, it was around 6:50PM when I left Pundaquit for Anawangin. I rented the whole boat for Php1,200 (I was crying inside while handing the money over to the boatman.) including an island hopping to Capones the next day. I arrived in Anawangin in less than 30 minutes. No rough waves this time unlike our Nagsasa Cove trip where my friends got scared with the waves and decided to end the island hopping early.

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The bangkeros (boatmen) I hired were so accommodating and helpful in setting up my tent. It was dark already and I was tired due to no sleep since I came from work the night before. After fixing my things, I took a good 30 minute dip into the water. It was dark but a few people were also swimming. I was refreshed and amazed because it has been a while since my last night swimming. Plus the fact that the sky was full of stars and the water was so calm, I couldn’t help but to appreciate a moment like this. Another thing that amazed me was the planktons that turns into a glowing thing. Everytime you move your hands or feet they lit up and they looked like fireflies underwater. I felt like a child again. I was floating on the water while stargazing and it was perfect. (Ikaw nalang ang kulang!) I saw a couple of falling stars and I wished for something. What did I wish for? Mind your own business. Kidding!

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Some locals and travelers sleep by the beach.

The next day, I woke up early and jogged bare foot along the shore line. After a good 15 minute jog I had my breakfast and went up the hill to see the beautiful sunrise. I wasn’t disappointed. I got what I wanted. I stayed for at least an hour up there. Taking pictures of the magnificent scene, sunrise and my new hobby die cast.

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After a few minutes the sun rays were harsh already so I decided to go back to my tent. I asked the boatmen to fetch me at around 8AM for the Capones Island tour. It was just 7AM when I reach the camp site so I decided to take a dip. At 8AM I waved goodbye to Anawangin and whispered a promise to be back again. In less than 25 minutes, we landed the Capones Island. The lighthouse as its main attraction is very inviting. The edifice of this structure is something similar to what we have back in my hometown(Masbate). The ruins of it’s main building to the vandal on its wall to the staircase up to where you can see the full view of the island reminded me of the Jintotolo Lighthouse. (I remember climbing that more-than-a-century-old-lighthouse every summer.)

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To get to the lighthouse, you need to hike for about 10 minutes. The trail is very easy and it is not really steep. I even saw some men and women in their 50’s with their family hiking up but stayed downstairs of the lighthouse. The way up to the lighthouse is not recommended for old people (senior citizen) and small kids. On your way up, you will be sweaty as the staircase is enclosed and no open window for the air to come in. Bring a towel, hat/cap, camera and water. And PLEASE, bring your trash with you when you go back down. I was disappointed as how people leave their trash inside the lighthouse. No one is taking care of the lighthouse and you come in this island for free. No entrance fee whatsoever. Please be a responsible traveler.

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This is inside the lighthouse. Plastic bottles left by the so-called “tourists”!

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Vandalism not only seen in school and mall toilets.

My Anawangin-Capones tour ended with seeing not just one but two(2) sea turtles. I was amazed to see them. Thinking that this sea creature no longer exist in this part of the country.

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Travel tip: If you are planning to have a tour in Capones Island, it is recommended to get there the earliest possible as this place is getting crowded as in CROWDED that you need to wait downstairs and fall in line before you get to see the view.

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My freestyle itinerary and expenses:
Aircon bus from Caloocan to Olongapo – Php225
Ordinary bus from Olongapo to San Antonio Php44
Got off at the wrong place, had to ride another ordinary bus for Php10
Tricycle to Pondaquit for Php70
Boat for Php1,200 (includes island hopping to Capones)
Entrance in Anawangin Php100

Boat rental

Anawangin Amazing Pundaquit Boat Tours (Facebook page)
Anthony Gonzales – 09198437370

Package -boat ride, tent, entrance fee, water, charcoal, ice(cooler), island hopping, free use of shower before and after, cooking utensils
Minimum of 10 pax per package

Boat ride only-Php200 per head, minimum of 10 persons per boat (entrance fee not included)

Tricycle
Jefferson Roldan-09483606054