Name of Trip: Island Hopping at Hundred Islands
Date: May 16 & 17, 2010
Destination: Anda & Alaminos, Pangasinan
Travel via: Land (rented jeepney) and Water (Motor Boat)
It was a big honor to visit my mother's province, Pangasinan. What makes more exciting when I joined the team in going to Hundred Island National Park in Alaminos City. Well, I can say that this place also one of the most visit tourist destinations not only in Luzon but also in the entire Philippines. This was place was a short distance from Agno, Pangasinan where my mother was born and raised. I was thrilled and excited since another summer trip in a span of one week! The first one was the team building in Botolan, Zambales (read my previous blog posts) and some of us will be joining other teams to Hundred Islands! :)
We left Manila at 1:00AM on board the rented jeepney that we used on our Zambales outing. Travel time was more than 5 hours (without traffic) and we passed North Expressway, Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway and some provinces such as Bulacan, Pampanga and Tarlac. Pangasinan is a huge province but our destination was on the west so travel was a bit longer.
Alaminos, Pangasinan. Source; Wikipedia
Actually, it was 3rd visit to this place but still excited me because it is my first time to go to other way. What do I mean? Instead of going the Lucap, the district and port area of Alaminos, we went to one of the team's place in Anda, Pangasinan. Anda is an town island which believed to be the mother of Hundred Islands. As you can see on the map above that island above Alaminos was the town Anda. That was our place to stay for two days.
picture at Anda, overlooking Hundred Islands
boarding a motor boat
on our way to Hundred Islands!
We boarded a motor boat. We rented 2 because we were 16 people and we divided into two groups. The house in Anda was overlooking Hundred Islands so it was a great view. Travel time to Hundred Islands was 30 minutes.
passing some small islands
the other motor boat
chasing one at the other
those small islands
approaching our first island
draw nearer to 1st island
We went to three islands. Actually, there were 123 islands but not all of them can be stay. We went to these islands:
1. Marcos Island
It was named after former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos. This island was also famous for diving inside a cave. The single-chambered cave, rising about 8 meters from the water surface and is a haven for edible-nest bats. It is also accessible by kayak. Swimming was ok but the wave was stronger as expected. I wasn't able to dive at the cave because of many people while some dared to do it.
Welcome Sign with some reminders
background are the islands
me chasing the waves
me and my boat
swimming time again!
clear deep waters
great sand too!
2. Governor's Island
A short 15 minute boat ride from Marcos Island, Governor's Island is the largest of all the islands. We saw the famous landmark, the Pinoy Big Brother's rest house where former housemates such as Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson performed their tasks there. This is also the place where we took our lunch. There was also a peak that you have to climb hundred steps until you reach it. View was breathtaking. I wasn't able to take some shots but I was able to do it last 2008.
approaching Governor's Island!
the famous Big Brother House
picture at the peak, year 2008! :)
with the group last 2008
3. Quezon Island
This place was much developed than the rest of islands. This is the most frequently visited islands. There were pavilions on this island. More activities such as swimming, kayaking, diving/snorkeling and a lot more. We did not stay a little longer due to many tourists but still worth visit.
on our way to Quezon Island
approaching Quezon Island!
at the island
We went back to Anda, Pangasinan by 5:00PM and we stayed there for overnight. The following day, before we went back to Manila, we passed to Lucap and bought some pasalubong. That place was the starting point if you want to go to Hundred Islands.
picture along the port
overlooking those islands!
It was indeed more fun on these islands. I was able to enjoy my summer vacation and my skin gets more tan. :) But nevertheless, summer is really more fun in the Philippines! :)
How to get there:
By car/van - travel by car/van is easy. Just exit Dau at North Luzon Expressway you will proceed to Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) and exit to Hacienda Luisita. There was a road going to Alaminos City, Pangasinan. At the city proper trun right after you reach the city church and you will be heading to Lucap port. Parking fee was minimal for overnight stay since you will travel to Hundred Islands by motor boat.
By commute - there were several buses that ply to Alaminos City. Victory Liner is one of the best option. They have several schedules bound for Alaminos and Bolinao (another great destination in Pangasinan). There was a terminal in the city. Once you reached there, take a tricycle to bring you to Lucap port. Other buses such as Five Star and Dagupan Bus also ply to Alaminos City. Travel time was between 5-6 hours. Best way is to leave Manila by midnight and arrive to Alaminos by morning.
More information below:
Victory Liner bus schedules and fares - http://www.victoryliner.com/schedules/
Hundred Islands Natural Park - http://www.hundredislands.ph/
Alaminos City, Pangasian website: http://www.alaminoscity.gov.ph/