I damn near didn’t go to the Anawangin Cove beach trip my friends from work were organizing. For one thing, I’d been feeling strangely lethargic and exhausted all week. Then I was told we’d be heading to a remote island with no electricity, running water, or anything that’s been invented after the 1800s, and that we’d be sleeping in tents. I’m not sure what exactly it was that convinced me to go but whatever it is, I’m glad I stopped being such a pussy. This beach trip was quite an experience.
On my way up north
I wish I could tell you what the ride to Zambales was like but unfortunately, I was asleep most of the time except for the part where everyone whipped out their cameras. Oh, and I made myself semi-useful and became bag-carrier when we went to the wet market to grab ourselves some meat and a grill. It was another one of those moments where I felt very inadequate as a woman because I didn’t know shit about what kind of cut to buy for liempo or anything like that. The boys did the shopping while I just kind of stood and…watched. And waited for them to hand me the plastic bags of food. I’m going to make someone a really great housewife someday.
On an island in the sun
To get to Anawangin Cove, we parked the car on the mainland and took a 20-minute boat ride around a peninsula-like island to get to the most gorgeous beach I’ve ever seen. It was like something out of Survivor and what really struck me that the shore was dotted with fir trees instead of the usual palm and coconut trees. There was no electricity, no cell phone signal, and the only form of running water we had was a pump that led to a freshwater well. Besides us, the only other inhabitants of the island is this family who takes care of the beachfront. I was madly in love. I’m the type who’d rather relax in isolated beaches instead of partying hard at places like Boracay and up until last weekend,I’ve never been to a non-tourist trap island in my life. I immediately began plotting ways as to how I could stay in this cove for good despite my very limited nature survival skills. Perhaps I could build a hut in the forest nearby using dried leaves, live on fruits and fish (even though I hate fish), and make money by ferrying people to the mainland and back. I’ll be like Tom Hanks in that movie and make friends with a beach ball. I shall defend my island with sharp sticks and rocks.
We’ll be playing and having fun
(Click here and here for more beach insanity videos.)
Once we had our tents set up, it was smooth sailing. I dove into the ocean with everyone, then spent some time lying on the sand, reading a book and napping. Dinner was liempo and a shitload of rice. I’m not a rice nor a liempo person but for some reason, rice doused in a lot of toyomansi tastes excellent after a nice long frolic in the saltwater. We planned to spend the rest of the evening just drinking and talking but the stupid weather ruined things. At 6 pm it started to rain heavily and for the lack of anything better to do, we stayed in the tents and played cards. (I finally finally know how to play pusoy dos. Sort of. I can never get the hang of those card games, which makes me a really uncool person to be with at times like this.) By 8:30 we were dead til 8:30 the next morning because it was so cold and we were, for some reason, really exhausted.
If I could only get you ocean side
More frolicking in the ocean on day two and a lot of camwhoring. Sometime in the middle of the morning, the guy we paid to ferry us back to the mainland arrived and informed us that we apparently left the headlights of the car on the entire time. The batteries were very very dead. I couldn’t decide if that was good news or bad news, but eventually my sense of responsibility kicked in and I grew worried that we’d get stranded here for a while. Living on an island only sounds good in theory, but I bet I’d get sick of the sand and the sun after a week and start longing for buildings, pollution, and the assholes on the street. Once we reached the mainland, it didn’t take too long for us to find a willing guy to lend us a car battery we could use to jack power from. We paid them in gin and some cash and we were back on the road, speeding towards Manila and Monday and the humdrum monotony of our jobs. But not before we stopped by Subic for two hours to do some unexpected money spending and a delicious dinner of kare-kare and bulalo in Pampanga.
Now that I look back at how depressed I was before I started working, I feel a little embarrassed about all that stupid existential angst. This weekend proved to me that the fun doesn’t stop just because I’m now “grown up” and out of college. Life is full of surprises and it sure is damn good to be alive.
Props to Reg for organizing such an awesome trip and for being an excellent driver; Kat for being a great camwhore buddy; Paul for the delicious food; and Randy for providing the line that sums up the whole trip: “Into the tubig!” I wish I could point you guys to my Multiply site where I uploaded the rest of the Zambales photos, but I don’t want any perverts to get pixel copies of me in a bikini.Google+