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Pundaquit, Zambales » I Shall Return When the Waves Died Down

Yodi doing Harry Potter jump shot
Yeah, I know, backpacking is miserable during rainy season. That's nothing new, and of course the first rule of bad-weather traveling is "stay at home." 

However that's not always possible for the itchy-feet backpackers like us. It’s a long weekend and the thought of staying at home doing nothing for three days is just oh-so deadly boring.

Hence, despite the obviously crazy skies, we still go with our quickly planned Zambales island-hopping weekend escapade. Yes, you read it right – island hopping at Camara Island, Capones Island, Anawangin Cove and Nagsasa Cove. Awesome destinations, but it is something of a gamble on this bad weather really.

The lure of the Zambales island trove coves

Pundakit beach in Zambales
Awesome view of the Capones and Camara islands from Pundakit Beach
Most of the travel bloggers I came across the blogosphere have been to Zambales and the photos and experiences they shared are definitely inviting. Plus of course, my emo-friend Anjho believes in the urban legend saying that Anawangin Cove is somehow cursed and is taking human life every year – makes me want to explore it more.  
Tsinelas in Pundakit beach
Beachineering at Pundakit
Also, many visitors believed that soon, Anawangin will no longer be the off-the-beaten track destination that it is now. Swarm of travel hackers is expected to come, and then it will be another Boracay. So I decided visiting it while it is still a virgin.
View of Anawangin from Pundakit Beach
View of Anawangin and Nagsasa Cove from Pundakit Beach
With our curiosity piqued, and hoping the PAGASA weather forecast is again wrong, we agreed to spend a mini weekend vacation in Zambales’ famous tourist island hopping destination.

Trapped in Pundaquit
Pundakit Banca
Pundakit local banca
All necessary preparations are arranged a day before our travel date – resort rooms are booked, local bangkero contacted and itinerary prepared.   
Beach bummers enjoying Pundakit Beach
Pundakit beach bummers
From Subic, we headed directly at Brgy. Pundaquit (locally spelled as Pundakit) because it is the most convenient jump off point going to the Camara Island, Capones Island, Anawangin Cove and Nagsasa Cove and it is where Canoe Beach Resort, the resort where we are booked is located.

Heavy rains greeted us on the first day and seeing those big waves, screaming no-island-hopping-today, totally dampened our excitement. But our bangkero said if the weather improved overnight, we might still be able to do island hopping the following morning.
Surfers at Pundakit Zambales
Surfers looking for some good waves to ride
It was surfers’ season and they are celebrating because this weather is good for them, but for island hoppers like us, this is bad. Pundaquit by the way, is the nearest surf destination from Manila compared to San Juan of La Union in the North, Baler of Aurora in the West and Siargao in Surigao in the South.
Surfing at Pundakit Zambales Surfer riding waves
Surfer riding the waves against the serene Capones Island
Dying of envy, I just watch the surfers and took photos of them enjoying the waves. Then I promised myself I also want to experience the joy of surfing one of these days. I want to be a waverider too. I want that curious feeling they call stoke – bucket list getting longer eh.
Local surfer at Pundakit Zambales surfing
Surfing in Zambales
Riding waves Surfing at Pundakit Zambales
And they call it "stoke" [Surfing in Pundakit Zambales - I want to try it too!]
We just spend our first day camwhoring and beach bumming. Nightlife in Pundakit is a cacophony of crickets, waves and wind so we just entertain ourselves with crazy Pinoy Henyo game over rounds of vodka – which happens to be a real bonding-moment blast. We all go to sleep hoping that we will be greeted by a sunny morning when we wake up. 
Fight scene jump shot
Camwhoring at the Beach: Fight Scene jump shot
To our horror, the weather just got worst the following day and find ourselves trapped in Pundakit – all plans cancelled. We spend the whole morning talking about Plan B – the funny thing is that we didn’t have Plan B.

Then we all agreed having a roadtrip to Baguio City instead.
I shall return

This maybe a failed attempt to explore the islands and fully experience Anawangin’s enigma so please allow me to use Gen.Douglas MacArthur’s “I Shall Return,” and I mean it.
Group Jump shot ala Harry Potter
Yodi Potter against the Deathly Hallows
At the least, we still happily go home after this unforgettable rainy weekend getaway having accomplished our initial plan to just kill long-weekend boredom.

I realized once again that there is no such thing as endless summer; however, we should not let gloomy thunderclouds keep us having a sun-kissed smiles and happy barkada gigs. 

There is always a lot more to discover - rain or shine.

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