The Magic Lagoon - Subic Bay

The Magic Lagoon Subic Bay
Can you spot the magic?
The first time we went to the Magic Lagoon Restaurant and Bar here in Subic I was impressed. A parking lot very near to the big connection road did not look like the entrance to an oasis of peace. Upon entering, one could already hear the geese welcoming the visitors. A long path leads to an outside, covered, restaurant/bar. The place is situated beside a reasonable lake.

Agnaem Cove in Zambales

Agnaem Cove
A view of Agnaem Cove
Agnaem Cove or Agnain Cove Wow Factors: beautiful 1 kilometer shoreline from fine sand to pebbles to boulders; crowd-free, easy access through pump boat with a roughly 20-minute ride, accessible by trekking traversing Mt. Pundaquit, island hopping basecamp to Camara and Capones Islands, free or paid camping, picturesque view of the cove and a cheap getaway in Zambales!

Agnain Cove
Nipa huts in Agnaem Cove
In partnership with Miss Zambales Boat Rental, we traveled to Pundaquit early Saturday morning to visit this cove. I've been to Anawangin all the way to the southern cove - the Silanguin, except this one. Ignoring the place on my past visits in Pundaquit, I didn't realize it has the potential to become one of Pundaquit's summer destinations.

Agnaem Cove Day Tripping

Plenty of lined boats were docked at Pundaquit Beach at eight in the morning as if they were there to greet us on our first summer escapade. We planned this trip with minimal expenses in mind. This visit would have been a trekking adventure, traversing Mt. Pundaquit to Agnaem Cove but my guide wasn't available this time.

I told our boatman to take us to Agnaem Cove just for a swim and a picnic as well as a quick stay in Camara Island to have a glimpse of the sandbar.

Camara Island Zambales
Pitched tents in Camara Island
While everyone was enjoying at Camara Island, I feel unlucky; would you believe this was my third visit to this island but still, there was no sandbar. It was high tide. What a pity!

Agnaem Cove or Agnain Cove Beach
Agnaem Cove's western area
Leaving Camara Island at ten in the morning, we proceeded to Agnaem Cove. The wave were gentle, giving us a pleasant ride under the scorching sun. The nipa huts along the cove in picturesque view were dwarfed by a gigantic mountain behind them. I sensed the excitement of the group as we approached the shore far from the nipa huts. Then the pump boat docked in the middle of the cove with a shade tree.

Agnaem Cove Zambales
Agnain Cove eastern part has a rocky hill where I climbed and took pictures
Our stay in Agnain was free because we didn't rent a nipa hut. Since we were here for a swim and sightseeing, renting a hut wasn't necessary.

Mt. Pundaquit Agnain Cove
Climbing the rocky part of Mt. Pundaquit facing the beach
The sands at Agnaem Cove were similar to those in Anawangin, Talisayin, Nagsasa, and Silanguin coves except its eastern side where pebbles and rocks unevenly scattered along the shore. I explored the eastern rocky hillock to behold the whole view of the cove. There are cottages on the other side of the cove as well. The Capones Island and the twin islands of Camara and Ramos are visible to the north.

Agnain Cove Beach
Observe the calm beach of Agnaem in the picture
The rest of the group enjoyed swimming in the clear waters of the beach while I kept myself busy strolling the area.

Aganaem Cove View
Overlooking Camara Island
Agnain Cove
Another beach cove before reaching Agnaem Cove

How To Get To Agnaem Cove

You can reach Agnaem Cove's jump off point, the Pundaquit Beach, within a three to four-hour ride from Manila.

Public Vehicle: Take a Victory Liner bus from Manila bound for Iba or Sta Cruz, Zambales. Alight at San Antonio Town then take a tricycle to Barangay Pundaquit. From Pundaquit beach front, hail a motorized banca to take you to Agnaem Cove. Alternatively, you can take a Victory Liner bus bound for Olongapo. From Olongapo take another Victory bus bound for Iba and Sta. Cruz. Alight at San Antonio town, take a tricycle to Pundaquit and hail a boat for island hopping.

Private Vehicle: Take NLEx-SCTex and exit at Tipo Toll Plaza. Straight ahead, you will reach the Subic Bay Freeport Zone Security Plaza. In Subic Bay Freeport Zone, take the Canal Road and exit at Kalaklan Gate. Turn left for Zambales route to reach Pundaquit town.

Agnaem Cove Map


06:15 - Travel to San Antonio, Zambales
07:10 - Arrive in San Antonio
07:15 - Breakfast
07:30 - Travel to Pundaquit
07:50 - Arrive in Pundaquit
08:00 - Travel to Camara Island
08:20 - Arrive in Camara Island / Swim / Relax / Stroll / Photo Ops
11:00 - Travel to Agnaem Cove
11:20 - Arrive in Agnaem Cove
12:00 - Lunch
12:30 - Nap / Swim / Stroll / Photo Ops
04:00 - Travel back to Pundaquit Beach
04:20 - Arrive in Pundaquit Beach
05:00 - Washup
05:00 - Travel to San Antonio bus stop
06:30 - Arrive in Olongapo City

Note: Adjust your itinerary when coming from Manila. Check Victory Liner's website for reference.

Our Expenses

Victory from Olongapo to San Antonio - Php 60.00 per person x 2
Tricycle to Pundaquit - Php 30.00 per person x 2
Boat Rental - Php 1,500 (5 pax)

Note: Fare from Manila to Pundaquit will be around Php 250 - Php 300.

Our Contacts on our Agnaem Cove Visit

Bernard - 0912 402 3008 (Traversing Mt. Pundaquit to Agnaem Cove)
Ms. Whyne - 09276878712 / 09999916340 (Miss Zambales Boat Rental - check their FB page)

Nagbalayong Beach - Day Tripping in Morong Bataan

Nagbalayong Beach Morong
Nagbalayong Beach in Morong Bataan
Morong is dotted with wonderful beaches starting from its coastline in Barangay Mabayo, right after Subic Bay Freeport Zone, down to Playa la Caleta Resort in Barangay Tikis. With roughly thirty kilometers of shoreline, Morong Bataan has many beautiful beaches to choose from for day tripping. Hotels and resorts have sprung up like mushrooms in this town for the past ten years inviting beachgoers in need of accommodations.

Zugba Grill: Olongapo's Ihaw-Ihaw

Zugba Grill Olongapo City
Zugba Grill's Variety of Seafood and Meat
This is a weird story. Well, the reason to have dinner out was on Thursday afternoon, just when the sun was going down and darkness set in. There was a real cloud of flying termites in our house. Hundreds of them were attracted by the lights and despite the screens in front of the windows, they found a way to come in. They also flew into my ears and eyes and I am here to tell you: It is NO fun. That is why I asked my friends to eat outside so I could escape the house while leaving in the dark. They opted to go to a restaurant named Zugba. Never ever had I heard of the place and I was very surprised to find out that I passed it already so many times on my way to the market.

Holy Land Subic Sanctuary

Western Wall
The 'Western or Wailing Wall' at the Holy Land Subic
Along Subic-Tipo Expressway is a religious sanctuary built for pious activities and a perfect pilgrimage site during the Lenten season. Its construction started in 2010 in a forested area adjacent to Subic Bay Freeport Zone's Security Plaza. This 15-hectare religious theme park in Subic was once an Aeta ancestral domain. Since its opening in 2012, Holy Land Subic is visited by tourists in Subic, pilgrims, spiritual groups and families from nearby towns and provinces.