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Lunes, Hulyo 25, 2011

Galápagos Islands

Island history
The Galápagos Islands were officially discovered by Fray Tomás de Berlanga, the Bishop of Panama, in 1535, when his ship was becalmed in the Pacific
and then swept off course. They appear to have been first namedIsolas de Galápagos by a Flemish cartographer named Orteliu, in the 1570's. The name Galápagos originates from a Spanish word for saddle, after the saddleback tortoises. The islands also became known as Las Encantadas (the Enchanted Isles), not for their beauty but for the peril of their strong currents, and frequent disappearance in the mist.
Pirates & buccaneers
By the late 1500s, pirates and buccaneers were regularly hiding out in the archipelago. By the 1680s, such famous buccaneers as William Dampier, Ambrose Cowley and Edward Davis, used the Galápagos as a base from which they attacked the Spanish. Cowley first crudely charted the islands in 1684.
Whalers & scientists
In 1790, Alessandro Malaspina led the first scientific visit to the islands from Spain. Soon after began the arrival of the whalers. In 1793, the whaler James Colnett arrived from Britain in HMS Rattler. Thus began the heyday of whaling, the period which certainly had the most biological impact on the islands. There were so many whales that Colnett reported seeing lines of them passing from dawn to dusk. At about this time a post office barrel was established on Floreana Island, in which sailors would leave mail to be collected by ships that were homeward bound.
In 1813, Captain David Porter was sent from the United States in the warship Essex to destroy the British whaling fleet, which he duly did. In 1905–6, an expedition from the California Academy of Sciences collected the skins of 6,000 land birds and 266 tortoises, among other prizes.
An unkempt and fearsome Irishman called Patrick Watkins was marooned on Floreana in 1807 for several years. In 1859, oil was discovered in the United States and the whaling industry declined. In 1832, the Galápagos Islands were annexed by Ecuador and colonised. Official Spanish names were given. Attempts were made to harvest the lichen Roccella babingtonii, which was used as a dye in the textile industry. A small settlement established on Floreana quickly became a penal colony, as did another on San Cristóbal, and stories of subsequent tyranny, slavery and murder on the islands abounded.
Darwin, FitzRoy & the Beagle
In 1835, a young naturalist named Charles Darwin arrived as the naturalist on HMS Beagle, captained by Robert FitzRoy. FitzRoy mapped the coastline of the Galápagos with such accuracy that his charts were used by all ships until World War II; Darwin's findings inspired his thoughts on evolution.
Later scientists and europeans
During the 20th century, settlers and scientists converged on the islands from all corners of the globe. In 1924, Norwegian immigrants landed on Floreana, then on Santa Cruz where they set up a fish-canning plant.
The growth of towns
Over the years five islands were settled by various nations. Then, in 1959, the Government of Ecuador declared all areas without a human population to be a national park. In the same year, the Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galápagos Islands was set up in Brussels. This led directly to the establishment of the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz (Ecuador), officially inaugurated in 1964. In 1968, the Ecuador government sent out the first two park wardens and so began the administration of the national park.
Large-scale tourism started in 1970 with the arrival of a 58-passenger vessel. The human population has continued to swell and, with tourism, places increasing pressures on natural resources. Today towns such as Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz are busy centres of commerce and trade, a far cry from the natural beauty beyond. Over 60 vessels are carrying tourists.
The need for conservation
Since man discovered the 'Enchanted Islands', humans have exploited the wildlife and damaged the ecology. Pirates killed tortoises and left behind rats, which crept ashore when they careened their ships. Later the whalers took a greater toll of tortoises for food and oil, reducing several subspecies to virtual extinction. Hunters nearly exterminated the fur seals by the 1930s. The islands were regarded as a resource for the taking. Not even the great whales were safe.
Settlers cleared the vegetation for cultivation and pasture, and brought goats, donkeys and cattle that rapidly stripped the plants on which the reptiles depended. Putting goats ashore to breed was probably even more destructive than the hunting had been. Introduced cats, dogs and pigs turned feral and caused havoc with the native fauna, especially ground-nesting birds such as the dark-rumped petrel. These feral animals still threaten the penguins and cormorants today.
Islands are extremely vulnerable to organisms introduced from elsewhere. The native creatures are specialised and unused to predators, so they cannot compete with aggressive intruders. Even scientists contributed to the decimation, with their passion for 'collecting' ; they removed some of the last remaining tortoises from islands where they later became extinct. Fortunately the adverse effect of humans has now been recognised and attempts are being made to reverse this situation.
The Galapagos National Park
In 1934, the Ecuadorian government passed the first laws protecting fauna in the archipelago; making it necessary to get permits to land and collect specimens. The idea to set aside certain islands as a reserve was put forward in 1936, but nothing practical was done until two decades later. Ecuador was a 'developing' country with limited resources, and during World War II it had other priorities. In 1957, a UNESCO fact-finding mission was invited in by Ecuador to assess the status of the wildlife and advise on the creation of reserves.
In 1959, 100 years after the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species, a special body, the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) for the Galápagos Islands, was created. The CDF headquarters was based in Brussels. It was an international foundation, but recognised by the Ecuadorian government. The authorities recognised that the islands possessed a unique flora and fauna of outstanding importance and that there was a great potential for tourism. That same year, the Ecuadorian government declared all areas of the archipelago to be a national park, except those parts already colonised.
In the early 1960s, the first objective of the foundation was to build a research station on one of the islands. In 1964, this was completed at Academy Bay on Santa Cruz. Inevitably it was called the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS). In the early days, the scientists spent much of their time trying to eradicate introduced species. The other roles of the staff were scientific research and education.
In 1968 the Galápagos National Park Service (GNPS) was set up, to administer the day-to-day running of the park, and take over much of the conservation and eradication programmes. The two organisations have worked together ever since. In 1974, a 'master plan' laid down the strategy with zones of different usage, together with the rules and regulations to enforce and protect the zones. The rules for visitors and tourist boats were implemented.
Between 1973 and 1978, the number of tourists rose from 8,000 to 10,000 annually. The steady increase each year reflected the growing global interest in ecotourism. In 1979, UNESCO declared the Galápagos Islands a World Heritage Site. This meant that international aid in the form of funds and expertise would be made available to help protect the islands. Today more than 60,000 visitors come each year.
Repairing the damage
The park service had an early success with the eradication of goats from small but in those days resources and money were limited. The task of controlling goats on islands such as Santiago, which has over 100,000 of them, was daunting for a handful of men equipped with antiquated rifles.
The next task was to captive-breed the endangered tortoises and land iguanas. A breeding programme. By 1985, 151 young tortoises were repatriated to Española, and land iguanas were returned to parts of Santa Cruz where dogs had wiped them out. On the island of Pinta, sadly there remained only one male tortoise, 'Lonesome George'. In the decade that followed, over 1,000 young tortoises were repatriated to their original 'roots'. Several hundred are being raised for the next generation.
Scientists from all over the world came to do research in a variety of subjects ranging from oceanic insects to vulcanology. Visiting scientists tended to do 'pure' research, whilst those resident at the CDRS worked on long-term conservation projects. A team of ornithologists made probably the most detailed long-term observations of the Darwin's finches, and showed that evolution is still going on in a remarkably short timescale.
Tourism and education
The other function of the park service and research station was to educate both locals and visitors about the fragile ecology of the archipelago. Tourist numbers increased annually from 45,000 in the late 1980s to an estimated 60,000 in 1997. The airstrip was extended on Baltra so jets could arrive daily and a new airport was constructed on San Cristóbal. The research staion became an important site for tourists to visit and see the tortoises in the breeding corrals. The approach was to make the Galápagos a 'living laboratory', not a zoo.
An educational visitor centre was built within the research station. Recently the park has opened another 'interpretation centre' on San Cristóbal. The naturalist guides, are all trained by the park with help from station personnel. They not only inform and 'entertain' tour boat passengers but also act as unofficial park wardens, keeping an eye on tourists to make sure the park rules are obeyed. Tourists have to keep close to their guide and walk only on specially designated trails. They must not interfere with the wildlife. Despite the increasing visitor numbers it is a system that works, and most studies assessing the impact on the fauna by tourists conclude that the islands and animals are not seriously affected.
Now conservation features in the Galápagos school curriculum, for that is where the future lies.
Marine conservation
There is no point in protecting the land of Galápagos if the sea is pillaged. The ocean is the lifeblood of the archipelago; the park would cease to exist without the rich up-welled waters, with their plankton, fish, seabirds and mammals. The total coastline of the islands is greater than mainland Ecuador.
Surprisingly, it was not until 1986 that a presidential decree was issued establishing a Galápagos Marine Resources Reserve. This included the entire water surrounding the islands to a distance of 15 nautical miles (about 70,000km2). This was quite a victory for conservation but management of such an area proved difficult for the GNPS on a limited budget.
The late 1980s saw a boom in tourism and numbers of yachts operating. This attracted migrants from poorer parts of Ecuador, not all of them enlightened by the conservation ethic that most Galapagueños had. There was a localised population explosion, for the national park was not giving away any more land to colonists.
The Sea Cucumber Wars
In the early 1990s a market opened in the orient for sea cucumbers (a relative of sea urchins). These ugly invertebrates are thought to be aphrodisiacs and can fetch high prices in Asia. Industrial fishing companies from mainland Ecuador were used to recruit labour to collect the pepinos del mar as they are called in Spanish.
Sea cucumbers need to be processed within hours of collection, so vast illegal camps were set up clandestinely on the beaches of Isabela and the pristine jewel of Galápagos, Fernandina. Eventually Pepino collection was outlawed. However, due to the enormous sums of money involved, the fishermen used the press and campaigned for their rights to collect pepinos. Having over-fished lobsters in previous decades, they wanted an alternative livelihood. The situation degenerated into a war between pepino fishermen and the tourism lobby who were portrayed as misguided 'greens'.
The authorities relented and issued fishing quotas to the pepino-collectors but these were soon exceeded by the million and the disputes continued. On several occasions the Darwin Station and National Park offices were besieged by demonstrators, and the personnel subjected to threats. Tortoises were even killed on Isabela. Now the world's press became interested in the story. UNESCO has threatened to put the archipelago on its list of sites in peril.
Fishing on a local basis has always been a part of the human side of the islands. It was done by locals on small craft and could be called sustainable. At the same time as the sea cucumber dispute, the rapacious international fishing industry was moving closer to the islands' supposedly protected waters. Japanese and Taiwanese long-line fishing boats and tuna boats were coming as close as they dared. Even when caught, they paid a derisory fine and then carried on. It seemed that after years of loving care, the Galápagos was being sold out by the government.
The new law
In 1997 a dramatic change occurred. Concerned local residents from all walks of life, together with mainland organisations, petitioned their local senators and the president. Conflict became consensus over the issue of the marine reserve. In 1998, a new special law for the Galápagos was passed by presidential decree and ratified by Congress.
The law addressed three big issues: immigration restriction, quarantine of introduced organisms, and fisheries. Two main points of legislation resulted. Firstly, the marine reserve became a legally protected area, managed by the Galápagos National Park Service (together with local institutions). Secondly, the marine reserve area was extended (from 15 to 40 nautical miles), around the whole archipelago, with only tourism and local artisanal fishing permitted within this area. This outlawed industrial fishing of all types. Now the Galápagos are second only to the Great Barrier Reef National Park of Australia in terms of the size of marine area protected (130,000km2). This is great news for seabirds, marine mammals, fish and sharks (who were also being killed for their fins).
Revenues from visitor park fees ($100 per person) are now re-allocated between the National Park and the local councils (to use to improve the environment and tourist facilities), with smaller portions going to the quarantine of introduced species, to Ecuador's national reserves and to the navy. The quarantine aspect is crucial, for the biggest threat to the native organisms is introduced pests and plants.

Martes, Hulyo 19, 2011

Dead Sea

The Dead Sea has been legendary for thousands of years and has much biblical and historical significance. The fact that it's the lowest point on the face of the earth - 400 meters below sea level - and the abundance of health enhancing minerals in the water, made The Dead Sea a famous and exhilarating destination throughout history. King David, Jesus, King Herod and Cleopatra - queen of ancient Egypt all were closely linked to The Dead Sea. The beautifying abilities of the minerals present in the sea were also stuff of legends and many people traveled to the sea through the ages to find out that it is indeed true - Dead Sea salt and minerals do enhance skin beauty, skin youth as well as help numerous skin and joint ailments, including psoriasis, eczema and acne.
The Dead Sea is most famous for the powerful beautifying and rejuvenating effect that products made with it's minerals provide for people seeking to improve their skin look and health. The most popular products are bath salts and Dead Sea mud which not only make some of the best, dead sea products in the world, but have also been clinically proven to relieve such skin ailments as psoriasis, acne, eczema and other problems such as joint inflammation, arthritis and skin blemishes. Dead Sea cosmetics are also very legendary for their anti aging effects, helping clear up and smooth out wrinkles and facial lines.
But the rejuvenating minerals present in the Dead Sea is not the only thing the area is widely known for. In 1947 a couple of young shepherds climbed into a cave on the shores of the sea to find a runaway goat. Inside they found sealed tubes with what became known as The Dead Sea Scrolls. These scrolls contained psalms and testaments that were not present in the Bible and with some believed to be written by legendary Biblical kings and prophets. To this day some people dispute the authenticity of the Scrolls while others consider them to be a true extension of the Old Testament.
The town of Jericho, Israel, which is based north of the Dead Sea is the oldest continuous know human city still occupied today. Other towns on the shores of the sea are very popular among tourists who come to relax and improve skin health at the many spas and mud baths located around The Dead Sea.

Lunes, Hulyo 18, 2011

The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. This 277 mile long (446 km) gorge (Beginning at Lees Ferry and ending at Grand Wash Cliffs) is more than 5,000 feet deep (1500 m) and 1/2 mile wide at its narrowest point and a maximum width of 18 miles (29 km). On the bottom the Colorado River weaves around the beautiful buttes, mesas and valleys that stand within this magnificent canyon. (Picture to the right shows in 1902 Dr. Lippencott, the first person to drive a car to the Grand Canyon, is in front of the Grandview Hotel.
The first known Native Americans to occupy the canyon were the Pueblo people from about 200 B. C. to 1200 A. D. They farmed corn, squash and beans for food and used Yucca plant leaves for sandals. It is believed that due to a long draught these people left the canyon. The Cerbat people, known to be the Havasupai people's ancestors, moved into the south canyon and the Pauite people seasonally hunted on the canyon's north side.
The first exploration to the canyon was the Spanish explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado. In 1540 he led an expedition from New Spain. (Today, we know this country to be Mexico.) Due to the harshness of this land, it wasn’t until over three hundred years later the next expedition team came to the canyon.
John Wesley Powell, known for his geological surveys of the Rocky Mountains and the first person to classify Native American languages, in 1867 – 1868 explored the Colorado River canyons. He did extensive studies of Native American languages that enabled him to publish the first classification and distribution maps of the American Indians.
Today, at the bottom of the canyon lives one of the most isolated and smallest Native American tribe, the Havasupai Indians. (Their name means “people of the blue green water.”) At the present with only about 547 tribe’s people, they have been able to preserve their culture – basket weaving, language and customs.
The Grand Canyon – one of the greatest geological features that makes the world seem larger with sunrises, sunsets and storms making a fascinating perspective against the grandeur of the canyon.

Martes, Hulyo 12, 2011

peninsula of Akrotiri

The peninsula of Akrotiri is part of the province of Kydonia and located to the east of Chania Crete. It is rather barren and its northern end is lined by hills. The (military and civil) airport of Chania is located on the peninsula, about 13 km from Chania. There is no bus service between the airport and Chania. The peninsula also houses many military installations belonging to NATO as well as an American naval base. Akrotiri has few coastal resorts but some nice beaches which are popular at weekends with the inhabitants of Chania but fairly quiet during the week: Marathi, Kalathas and Stavros, a rather soulless village with a beautiful sandy cove (where the beach scenes in Alexis Zorbas were filmed).

Akrotiri also has a few monasteries which are becoming popular with visitors: the impressive Agia Triada was founded in the beginning of the 17th century and was a prominent religious school until about 40 years ago. 
It is well worth a visit but its atmosphere can be rather spoilt by the tour buses which alight there. Following a poor road 
for 4 km to the north of Agia Triada, the road ends at the 16th century Moni Gouverneto (Our Lady of the Angels). The building itself is quite plain but the church inside has a nice sculpted Venetian facade. Its 10.000 residents live in around 20 villages and settlements. The town hall is at the village of Pithari 6.5 km away from Hania. Other villages are :
Sternes, Horafakia, Kounoupidiana, Mouzouras, Korakies, Argoylides, Aroni, Agios Nikolaos, Pazinos (or Paxinos), Anemomyloi, Marathi, Kathiana, Kalathas, Kampani, Stavros, Kalorouma, Hordaki, Rizosklopo, Agia Zoni and Profitis Ilias

From Moni Gouverneto a good path heads down towards the north and the ruins of Moni Katholiko. On the way, after about 10 minutes walk you will pass the Bear Cave. It is a large chamber with a massive stalagmite in the middle resembling the shape of a bear. In antique times this cave was dedicated to the goddess Artemis. After walking down for another 15 minutes you arrive at the 11th century monastery of Katholiko . It was abandoned in the 16th century because of the numerous raids by pirates. The monastery building spans a small gorge with a massive stone bridge. It is a quiet and cool place to rest. From Katholiko, a small footpath follows the gorge to the sea where it is possible to have a swim from the rocks. The road network is quite extensive and in good condition, reaching all the villages and beaches of Akrotiri. There is also a very frequent bus connection with Hania. In the area of Akrotiri have been found also remnants from the Minoan and Hellenistic period. At the south-eastern side near the village of Sternes, findings prove the existence of a town called MINOA.

Miyerkules, Hulyo 6, 2011

The Wave, Coyote Buttes, Arizona USA

Multicolored, eroded rock formations dominate most of southeast Utah, though particularly outstanding is the desert either side of the Paria River, beneath the Vermilion Cliffs - seen for example along the Cottonwood Canyon Road or at the Paria Rimrocks. The kaleidoscopic scenery extends a little way south into Arizona, before the land becomes more sandy and barren, and all can be visited free of charge and with no access restrictions apart from the Paria canyon system and one small area spanning the UT/AZ border (mostly in Arizona); this is Coyote Buttes, which was unknown before the mid 1990s but is now quite popular because of just one formation, 'The Wave', a small ravine between eroded sandstone domes formed of amazingly beautiful rocks containing thin, swirling strata. The location was first publicized in Germany, in magazine articles and a movie ('Faszination Natur' by Gogol Lobmayr, 1995), and then was visited only by a small number of Europeans, becoming widely known just in the last few years. Because the BLM considers the formations to be particularly delicate, Coyote Buttes has recently been subject to fees and entry limitations, with only 20 people per day allowed to visit.

Location: Coyote Buttes are the far southern portion of the Coxcomb Ridge, a 40 mile escarpment that parallels much of the Cottonwood Canyon Road and provides an impressive barrier to US 89 between Kanab and Page. The buttes are reached by the House Rock Valley Road that links US 89 with ALT-US 89, south of the Vermilion Cliffs in Arizona, and all are contained within both the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness and the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. The southern part of this track may have soft sand or mud at some times of the year and a rather longer drive (21 miles vs. 8.5 miles) is required to reach the main Coyote Buttes trailhead, so the northern route is preferred; this rather bumpy road is also used to reach the Buckskin Gulch slot canyon, and the trailhead for the Wave is the same as for the Wire Pass entrance of the gulch. The BLM divides the buttes into North and South, though the north contains all the famous sites, extending from Wire Pass about 4 miles south (2 in UT and 2 in AZ), with the southern half stretching a further 4 miles beyond that. Apart from the Wire Pass trailhead, the only other easily reached starting point is The Notch, 2 miles from Wire Pass, where a trail crosses a pass in the cliffs and leads to the south end of the north section. South Coyote Buttes is generally harder to reach though lesser quality dirt tracks provide some access from the east, while the very southern end (Paw Hole) can be reached by a 2 mile 4WD track starting from the House Rock Valley Road.

Permits: Entry to North or South Coyote Buttes costs $7 or $5 per person respectively, with a limit of 20 people for each region and no more than 6 in a single group. Half these are bookable up to 4 months in advance, by writing to the BLM in Kanab or applying via their website (, sometimes inaccessible), while the other half are available by applying in person to the BLM office at the Paria River, before 9 am on the day prior to the intended visit (the office opens at 8.30 am). At 9 am, if more than ten people are waiting, a lottery system is used to select the chosen few. All successful applicants receive a copy of the access regulations and, for North Coyote Buttes, a topographic map to help identify the route to the Wave, which is not well marked on the ground. There is high demand for the advance permits and all may be taken many months before the date of travel. A permit is also required for dogs - another $5. No overnight camping is permitted anywhere in the area.

Trail to The Wave: From the Wire Pass parking area, a path crosses the wash, runs alongside for a while then turns to the right, up the side of the hill on the outside of the first big bend. At the top of the rim is the Coyote Buttes trail register, then the path follows a disused, sandy road over a plateau and down to another dry wash. Beyond here the land is generally rocky and the trail is not well defined; the route is across the wash and up the far side to the top of a small ridge, veering left a little to keep the higher ground on the right. Over the ridge, the land opens out to reveal a big expanse of sand and slickrock, with a long, high ridge to the right (the north part of Coyote Buttes), a vast open area of sand and scattered rock domes in the middle distance and larger, more concentrated red rocks to the left, rising up to a mesa which forms the edge of Buckskin Gulch. Directly ahead, just left of the main ridge and about 2 miles distant, the land rises to a higher summit with a small but distinct dark notch about half way up, which is directly above the Wave and so provides a point to aim for. The hike is along the rocky slopes of the eastern side of the main ridge, descending near the end into another sandy wash (Sand Cove) then up to the Wave itself, though there are plenty of choices as to the exact route. The time taken is between one and two hours, and the hike is relatively easy, without much elevation change.

Sites in North and South Coyote Buttes, including the Wave, Wave 2, the North and South Teepees, and the 'Dinosaur Dance Floor'.

Lunes, Hulyo 4, 2011

Anawangin Cove, Philippines

The Beach Cove

Anawangin is a cove in the town of San Antonio in Zambales. It is a beach that has an off-white sand and an evergreen forest cover near the shore (you’ll rarely see a coconut tree in Anawangin). Behind the forest is a small stream that flows out to the sea (During summer this stream dries up into a shallow pond). There are also two beach cliffs bounding the beach, which you can hike up and enjoy the view.

Getting There

Going to Anawangin will approximately take 6 hours. From Manila, you can drive or take a bus to San Antonio, Zambales. Upon arriving at San Antonio you can hire a boat at Pundaquit that will take you to Anawangin. It is advisable to leave Manila at night so it wouldn’t be hot while traveling.

What To Bring
There are no modern facilities in Anawangin; there are only a couple of toilets (without roofs) and water pumps as sources of running water. Bring lots of drinking water since drinking from the water pump is not safe, and the weather tends to be too hot at around 12 noon. Also bring your own food, there are no hotels and resorts that could prepare meals for you. For sleeping, you have to bring your own tent and pitch it under the forest cover where it is much cooler than by the shore.

What to do
Anawangin is definitely Boracay‘s exact opposite in terms of development, but that doesn’t mean you’ll run out of stuff to do during your stay. Here are some suggested activities you could do aside from lying in a hammock by the beach:

1. Bonfire
Gather fallen twigs and light up a fire for warmth during the night. Bring a guitar so you can sing around the campfire. Just don’t forget to put it out when going to sleep.

2. Climbing
The beach is bound by two cliffs in the north and south. The northern cliff is higher and is not adviseable to trek in since it has loose rocks. The southern cliff is gentler and is easier to climb. You can get a great view of the beach at sunset (just don’t forget to bring flashlights so you could see your way down).

3. Trekking
Behind the evergreen forest is a stream (a dry riverbed in the summer) leading to a large hill. You can trek your way to this hill, just be cautious since there were reports that there are wild animals in this area.

4. Skimboarding
You could bring your skimboard to practice your moves. The beach is great for this activity since it has a fine sand and few rocks.

5. Ultimate Frisbee
Have your group play with you or better yet, invite other campers to join your group for a great game of frisbee.

You can arrange sidetrips with your boatman if you want to go island hopping. Nearby are Capones and Camara Islands. Capones Island is known for its centuries-old Spanish lighthouse while Camara Island is a rock climbing destination. Inform your boatman in advance and clear the details with him since there is no cellphone signal coverage in Anawangin.

Same with travelling anywhere be cautious; the beach has strong undercurrent at times – there was a guy who almost drowned during our stay. There were also reports of wild animals in the forest so please watch out.

With its evergreen forest, gentle stream, breath-taking views and off-white sand, Anawangin is one of the best beaches near Manila for city people who wouldn’t mind roughing it out in the great outdoors.