School’s 2nd semester is just around the corner, and what way to end this last week of my vacation than to visit Alaminos, Pangasinan’s pride: The Hundred Islands. Before anything else, let me give you a brief background of this marvellous site.
The Hundred Islands is located in Barangay Lucap of Alaminos, Pangasinan. It is a 3 to 4 hour drive from Metro Manila (but not so with my experience hehe). The park is around 1,884 hectares with 123 islands. Currently only 3 of the islands are developed for tourists, the rest are for viewing. Albeit, I encountered some islands undergoing some development for more activities to enjoy. The said islands are the Governor’s, Children’s and Quezon Islands. The other islands have names as well like the Braganza, Cuenco, Marcos, Lopez and etc.
Before proceeding to the site, you head first to the Tourism Center in Lucap Wharf and pay for the environmental and boat fees. Rates vary amongst the Day Tour, Overnight, and Service Boats. You will need to fill up a form with the names of your companions, for safety purposes. Inform the information desk personnel, whether you have a Senior/Elder companion to avail a discount and if you have 5 year old and below tot. Most transactions are done at the Center so there won’t be any mix ups and proper arrangements can be made.
If you wish to avail the overnight tour, you may choose from tents to guest houses which will be paid at the desk. Side note: Even if you brought your own tent, you will still have to pay for the space. In case you choose the day tour, the tables you need for rent will be paid at the island. You may bring your own food, cook it in the isle or buy your meal at the Wharf, just be sure to dispose them in the proper disposal cans provided.
Also, make sure to fully charge your phones, cameras and other gadgets as the island provides little to no electricity at all. Only electric fans are used. Bathing with clean tap water is also not handedly available in the island, it is done at the Wharf where you have to pay Php 10.00 for bathing and 5.00 for restroom use. Although for those staying over night are given 3 drums of water to consume, I suggest to try limiting your use of fresh water. There are changing areas/comfort rooms as well designated in the islands. Signal and network connections are also quite poor. Remember #SurvivorAlaminosEdition mode ang peg.
There are tons of activities to enjoy in the Hundred Islands so fret not, you may swim, avail the zip line rides, kayak, dive, snorkel, fish feeding and join a Red Cross’ “water search and rescue” activity. Though their payments are done separately.
For more information, click on the link provided:
Now for the fun part. This is me and my family’s first time to visit the Islands. So, I spent my time googling on the location, how to get there and the blog sites of travellers. But you gotta experience what first-timers usually experience. Yup, getting lost. 😉 Apparently, Google Maps led us to an off-road adventure, which kind of freaked me out, since I love watching horror-slasher films like Wrong Turn. Haha! Good thing, we Filipinos have the helpful “magta-” or “magtanong” (to ask for directions from the locals). It did us good than the Maps. Hehehe. Don’t get me wrong, at least Maps brought us to Pangasinan. Teehee.
We reached the Wharf at around 10:30 am (we left Manila at 4am), gladly registered and ask tons of questions of the do’s and don’ts in the Isle. After registering, we hopped on the boats and boy! You could seriously feel the humidity and scorching heat. It is required that you wear your life vests before hopping on the boat which is of course for safety purposes. We availed the regular day tour, where we will be able to visit the 3 major islands, the two for 20 minutes each and one for as long as you like. Btw, you are only allowed to stay up to 5:30pm as the tide rises, except if you’re staying for a night.
Beauty 101: You have to protect your skin and hair
Our boatman first led us to the Governor’s Island, where you could climb the stairs to the view deck and see all the islands or ride the longest zip line which is around 546m. There we had our BYO lunch and paid 300php for a Nipa Cottage, the Cemented Cottages costs 600php. 😛 It really relieved my skin when I dipped into the sea by the makeshift floating bridge. Refreshing! Then off we went to the next two islands.
On Quezon’s Island, you can enjoy kayaking, the Red Cross’ activity, and another zip line (120m). But my cousin and I opted to swim with our hats and shades on. As Katie Quinn says #keepitquirky. For the Children’s Island, they offer cheaper cottages and kayaking as activities. The waters are a bit shallow, which I think is a good place to swim for kids, hence the name (in my opinion). Here, I spend a lot of pictures try to get “Marimar’s wet look” which obviously failed.
Don’t judge me guys. Haha
But probably the best place, me and my cousin’s agreed on is the Cuenco Island. You enter into the mini cave and jump for a dive. It sure did gave my adrenaline rush a boost. My cousin, Lyka was a bit sleepy but after the jump, she went for two rounds more with me. Heehee. The dive, was not as high as it is, because even my little cousin (who can swim) jumped with us. In case, you feel scared, you can always wear the life vest.
After that, we headed back to the Wharf (around 5:45pm) and rinsed with fresh water. However, it was a bummer that you pay 10php for a water drum shared, and half-empty. Oh well, at least you get to rinse. We had our dinner in Tarlac that evening and reached home at around 2:30am. o_O. We are all tired but filled with fun and memories.
So for the meantime, je dois aller dormir. Merci beaucoup et á bientôt!