A Travellerspoint blog

December 2008

"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 Comments (0)

"Planning on How to Spend the Long Christmas Break"

A travel plan to Hundred Islands and Pagudpud Philippines

overcast 24 °C

Christmas is the most important event in our lives as we in the Christian world would commemorate the birthday of our savior JESUS CHRIST. Since it is a holiday, Christmas is always a family get together affair, a time for reunion, a time to celebrate Jesus birthday together as a family.

This Christmas season, is significant considering that it is a long vacation, I count it 8 days! Time to relax with our love ones. Where to spend it in a more memorable and significant way, that it what I intend to share you today.

I had long been thinking of spending holidays in the Philippines’ Ilocos region or region 1 . Originally, I was thinking of driving my family to this part of the Philippines starting with a day in Hundred Islands, Alaminos City in Pangasinan, then another day in Bauang, La Union, a day inVigan, Ilocos Sur, a day in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, another day in the beach of Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, a day in Aparri, Cagayan then 2 days in Tuguegarao City – the birthplace of my wife.

However, we have to make adjustments when my youngest daughter told us that she has lot of cases to read during the Christmas break. You see, she is now in her second semester in the UP College of Law. Her professors told her to study their cases as there will be oral and written examinations upon the resumption of classes.

So instead of daily overnight stop over in significant places in the northern part of the Philippines, this is our new itinerary:

We will leave early morning of Christmas day ( that is on the 25th of December) and drive to barangay Lucap in Alaminos City in Pangasinan. I have browse the internet using google search to reserve for a room in a resort in Alaminos City. We hope to arrive in Lucap before 9 a.m. and after settling in our rooms, we will then hire a pump boat to have an island hopping in the Hundred Islands till about 5 p.m.

We will then have an evening in a resort in Alaminos. At 8 a.m of the 26th, we will drive to Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. I will see to it to stop for an hour in Vigan and another hour in Laoag before we will finally settle in Pagudpud. We hope to arrive in Pagudpud by 3 p.m. We will then spend time on the beach and let the night pass in a resort in that beach town. I will also make a reservation on line for our accommodation.

We will then proceed to Tuguegarao City. We will meet my mother-in-law and other relatives. We will then go back to Bulacan on the 30th of December. I shall give you a blow by blow account of this trip to northern Philippines!

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Posted by E. Sandalo 05:54 Archived in Philippines Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

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