With a motorboat named after a heavy metal rock band, we are bound to experience a death-defying sojourn that will surely be remembered for a lifetime.  

That was the Anawangin Cove adventure in the height of  typhoon "Kabayan".

It was August of this year, when we planned the trip to Anawangin, Zambales. During the last minute preparations, there were hesitations of pushing through with the plan due to heavy rains in Manila and as relayed to us by our boatman contact in Zambales, a strong typhoon is directed to Central Luzon.

Nonetheless, the adventure went on with fate and prayers as our weapon and the rest is history.

The Anawangin Cove is one of the most photographed destinations in Central Luzon if you browse through the facebook profiles of your friends and their friends.  This is so far one of the popular sites for campers and beach lovers.  Having said that, this is the reason why we want to explore the cove.

We rented a van for this trip from Manila as we are relatively huge in number.  Departure was at 1AM and we arrived after two hours at San Antonio, Zambales and brought seafoods and live chicken at the market for our overnight stay at the cove.  Despite the heavy rain, we were determined to push through with the plan and cross that "treacherous" sea towards the cove.  From Pundaquit beach, while on our way to the cove we hear the strong current of water splashing on the big rocks nearby, which signs we don't know what it signifies - a warm welcome or warning for danger.  The boatman assured us that we'll arrive safely.  

Contrary to what I've seen in most photos of the cove, ours was a different story.  Since there was a typhoon, the water's color is that of a mud due to the landslide.  But we're here already so we have to make the most of it.  No time for regrets this time.  Armed with alcoholic beverages and large supply of food, as if we're establishing a sari-sari store out there, hunger is far from our problems.  

After pitching the tents, the exploration begun.  We were allowed to stay in a small nipa hut in the event that the rain falls so hard during the night. 

We tried to explore the forest and hurdled extra physical challenges along the way to the point of even risking our lives.  The current of the water and the falls nearby were so strong that we have to hold tight to every bark of a tree as if we're holding on for our lives - the real survivor challenge in its literal meaning.  

As expected, there was heavy downpour and strong winds during the night so no one dared to sleep in the tents.  Fortunately, we were all able to sleep well despite the bad weather and maybe it's because of the alcohol content we have.

Going back to Manila was the hardest part. Since motorboats cannot approach the shores to where our tents are pitched, due to the violent and strong waves, we have to hike for about twenty minutes towards the other side of the cove to meet our boatman. That side would serve as jump-off point for our departure to Pundaquit beach.  The hike was bearable but the next thing to do is not.  We have to swim for meters and fight against the crashing waves to be able to reach the motorboat.  Majority of us were all wounded because of the sharp and rocky seabed.

On board the motorboat "Metallica", while some of my friends were silently praying and in panic, I opted to close my eyes and sleep.  As I lay down, I can sense and feel that the waves were really huge and Metallica was floating almost on the same level as the wave crest.  The journey has to continue though and this is literally what they say - the point of no return.  With the great skill of the boatman, we all arrived safely.

From then on, I swear not to travel again on open seas when there's a typhoon.  While I had a great time with the company of my friends, it would have been perfect if it was on a different scenario and condition.

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