It is common for swimmers and snorkelers to use goggles to protect their eyes...but you'll need goggles to protect your eyes against irritation during your boat ride. Going to and from Anawangin, waves can be very rough, and with a speeding boat, your eyes will inevitably be splashed with sea water. Regular shades/eyeglasses won't protect you. Especially for those with sensitive eyes, I suggest you wear goggles, as the sea water really hurts your eyes. There are no attending medical staff in Anawangin Cove, so prevent eye irritation by protecting yourself during the boat ride..
A friend of ours who frequent Anawangin Cove warned us NOT to pitch our tents in the middle portion of the Camping Area where the pine trees are so close to each other. He was already forewarned by his friend-'bankero" to always pitch his tent near the caretaker's house/store, but since he wanted a change of view and experience, he pitched his tent in the middle area where the pine trees looked so refreshing as they swayed with the wind. The price of his decision to stay there? Insect bites that left scars on his legs which take a long time to heal. The irony of it, he put a lot of insect repellant; yet the "nik-nik" (can someone please give the English name of these very small insects that bite leaving a sting and scar?) "feasted" on him!
For his vanity, he didn't allow me to take a picture of his scarred legs. Yes, he's a guy and he feels conscious about it, so ladies, take special care. Be forewarned!
Our friend who goes to Anawangin almost every other month warned us to keep watch of our tents, and not to leave personal things, including our portable gas stove unattended even for a short time. In our group, we agreed to take turns in keeping watch of our tents and camping gear.
Another concern is the "unsolved" cases of tents being damaged by some mean people. Out of envy or simple meanness, some people punch the flip sheet of tents, especially the branded tents.
Ordinary sand is already hot when the sun is up; what more, if the sand is mixed with volcanic ash. That's exactly what the sand in Anawangin Cove is composed of; tons of volcanic ash that fell on the area during the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, "creating" the white sand beach. (If you look closely at the sand, you'll see the black sand underneath the white sand.) This becomes soooo HOT in the late mornings and afternoons. When we walked to the Anawangin Lake, the heat permeated through our beach sandals, that the edges of the soles of our feet which were exposed got red, we felt a burning sensation. My husband who wore wetproof rubbershoes still felt the heat, but his feet were protected....So if you want to walk on the sand while the sun is up, wear proper footwear to protect your soles. If you want to go swimming, leave your sandals or flipflops nearby so you don't have to walk far to get them after swimming.
Fortunately now, all bancas are required to give each passenger a lifevest (unlike before, when you had to bring your own lifevest if you want to make sure you're safe). I noticed some tourists, especially the men, didn't wear their lifevests despite the strong waves. The sea is quite "temperamental", you can never say when an accident can happen on the rough sea waters, so better safe than sorry, wear your lifevest.
If you go island/cove hopping and the waves are strong, be sure to secure your cameras with a waterproof case if you want to take pictures of the seascape while on the banca, and put all your photography gear in a dry gear bag. It is not enough that you use an ordinary camera bag. It will still get wet, as sea water oftentimes splashes into the banca, wetting even your body and the regular bags you carry.
My daughter and I decided to stay at a beach resort in Pundakit beach so we left Anawangin Cove at about 5:15pm. Since we were the only passengers, the banca was so light that our boatman had to rev our banca so we wouldn't be carried and engulfed by the rough sea waters. As a result of the high speed, the water splashed smack on our face and body as the boat cut into the big waves. My daughter and I both looked forward to a pleasurable ride back to Pundakit, but it turned out to be a hellish ride, what with the mouthful of sea water we swallowed as we screamed, and the painful splash of salt water on our eyes.
By the time we reached Pundakit, our bodies were still shaking with tension/fear. As we lay in bed in the evening, our bodies seemed like being carried away by the strong waves... Moral lesson? Leave Anawangin Cove earlier if you intend to return to Pundakit.
This is not really a warning but more of a reminder. For celphone users, note that in Anawangin Cove, there is no phone signal, so before gearing up, tell your families and friends how long will you be away......