A Travellerspoint blog

"Hundred Islands, Amazing Limestone Islands"

Hundred Islands, Alaminos City, Pangasinan, Philippines

sunny 25 °C

“It was fine that we missed the entry to the Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway, papa, at least we saved a lot of money for the toll fees!”, this was how my eldest daughter reacted when I told my family that I missed the entry towards Tarlac City after I exited from North Luzon Expressway (NLEX). I instead used the old Magalang road (Magalang, Pampanga) when I exited from NLEX. I told her it was good enough that we left from our home in San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan early ( 4:35 a.m. Christmas day) and there was no traffic yet. Otherwise, one must really be extra aware so as not to miss the entry point from NLEX to Tarlac City . The irony was that I even asked the guy manning the NLEX Dau exit for the directions! The new 35-kilometer SCTEX from Dau in Clark Angeles City , Pampanga to Tarlac City is indeed a travel time saver. When we were already in Tarlac City, I again missed the left turn to the Tarlac-Camiling road! This, I could blame the lack of road signs in Tarlac City . Nevertheless, we made it to Lucap, Alaminos City in Pangasinan at 9:00 a.m. after we had breakfast at the Jolibee in Alaminos City . Lucap is the barangay 3 kilometers from Alaminos City where the wraft for the pump boats that will ferry the guests to the Hundred Islands is located.

I loved the smell of the freshly ironed beddings of 100 Islands Resort Hotel. Although it is an old hotel, I considered our room a good deal for a price of only P2,640.00 for four persons. It has an airconditioner, cable TV, hot and cold shower in our room. After, a quick check-in which was possible since I had booked the room through telephone after I got their numbers from the website of Hundred Islands , we simply walked for five minutes to the wraft.

I decided to take the pump boat priced at P800.00 with my family (four of us) as the only passengers. The pump boat rates are from P800.00 to P1,500.00 depending on the size of the boat. Out package of P800.00 pesos include a three-island hopping and a sight-seeing of the islands along the way to the third island. The pump boat returned at 4:00 p.m. to pick us up.

The first island that we landed was the Governor’s Island . It has a guest house but the swimming area is not good. We got near Children’s Island but decided to proceed to Quezon Island so we could finally get wet in the tempting waters of the Hundred Islands .

We had a cottage which we occupied privately for a rental of P300.00 from 11:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m. I placed our Coleman ice chest which I filled with drinks. We brought our cold drinks to the swimming area. There were about 100 guests swimming in the fine white beach but I was able to find a secluded place for my family, actually a small beach with white sand and a naturally carved-out rooflike structure that provided protection from the sun. This is a formation made my the movements of the waves against the limestone walls of the islands.

Hundred Islands is composed of several limestone islands similar to the islands (Governor and Quezon )we had disembarked on. It is similar to the limestones formation in El Nido, Palawan although the El Nido limestones are much taller like a 12-storey building while the hundred islands are at most only 15 meters tall.

At one point my eldest daughter shouted for help when she saw a leaf hairy worm (higad) which is known to cause skin irritation. She told me to step on it I reminded her that the ecology of the island is very fragile composed mostly of vegetation that are drought-resistant that can survive in a salty environment. The left hairy worm has an important role in the fragile environment. Using a dried leaf I took the worm from the white sand and placed it back to the area where there are plants.

The sea water had only small waves when we had the 30-minute pump boat ride from Quezon island back to Lucap. It was really amazing to see all those small limestone islands lined up as we left another God’s gift to mankind – the Hundred Islands . Indeed, it was worth spending Christmas day!

We had a good night’s rest in our room as we plan to leave at 7:00 a.m. for Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte.

Posted by E. Sandalo 15:59 Archived in Philippines Tagged ecotourism

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