I dreamed of relaxing and writing in the middle of a small island surrounded by white, fine, sandy beach with a lush forest at its very core. Remotely, this island would sit in the middle of a vast sea green ocean, which would calm me even more. Sounds like a vacation for a terribly rich kid, huh? But it did happen to me on the first weeked of June, right in one of the Hundred Islands in Pangasinan.
For the first time in my life, I dropped by Alaminos, Pangasinan just for an island-hopping tour on this popular tourist destination in the north of the Philippines. We first stayed overnight in Quezon Island, named after one of the country’s former presidents. This island is one of those developed islets open for visitors.
But the idea of being alone in the island did not happen though. There were packs of tourists by then (especially, it was a Saturday). But it dosen’t matter, as long as they don’t bug the other tourists. Just bring along your tents or sleeping bags, you can choose to sleep along the sandy beach or on the tree-filled hilltop.
But while vacationing, I finished a few writing assignments while charging our phones. The fresh air, the sound of the sea, and the very ambience of the place was perfect to complete my task.
Then there was the threat of rain — strong rains. I was amused with the other tourists lounging and cheering at the coming gale while trying to fight the wavy waters.
The dark clouds passed by. No terrible rains. Just drizzle. Twilight was falling.
It’s relaxing to walk along the beach while the darkness was slowly enclaving us. On one side of the island, the waves were slapping my feet like paddles. While the other side, the waters were very calm. It’s a surreal world for me — no cars and buildings, just nature and the ocean.
Living in an island though is not living in a highly technological world. I
suggest that when you plan for an overnight stay there, better bring enough food, paper plates, flashlight, and drinking water. There is electricity but the lights are low. If you wish to take a shower, better go straight to the sea. The water used to shower in the islands is also seawater.
It’s nice to take dinner and sleep in a remote place. Come morning and a beautiful view welcomes you.
But the adventure begins Sunday.
Before island-hopping, we went snorkeling. It’s my first time to do that. It’s like looking above a giant aquarium with clown fishes and blooming corals beneath you. Wow. It is weren’t for water entering my nose, I could have stayed there longer. Too bad, I don’t have an underwater camera. Twenty minutes was the time given since there were other tourists coming. But we stayed a bit longer than that.
Second stop was Marcos Island. There’s a cave where you can dive into the waters. Disappointingly, I couldn’t bring myself to jump because of my fear of heights. Next was the Children’s Island. It’s named so because the waters are shallow for kids to walk through in order to reach another islet nearby. Last stop was the Governer’s Island, where I had seen personally that postcard view of the Hundred Islands. Now, these are the main islands where tourists can drop by and have fun.
Have I mentioned that this kind of vacation is for rich kids only? Not really. In fact, it’s affordable. For a group tour, you can get a deal of P800-P900 each person. With it is a boat and tourguides who can ferry you from island to island. Well, some of the tourguides actually led us to buy their Alaminos Longganisa, which is really good. There are a lot of transient houses at Alaminos, where you can stay and shower.
If you are more familiar in Manila, just take a bus going to Alaminos, Pangasinan. It’s about P400-P450 on the estimate. The trip would take about four to five hours. You won’t get lost because the conductor will tell you where’s the stop going to the Hundred Islands.
Summertime would be the most preferable season to visit. April or May at best. When we came there, the time was nearing rainy season. It’s no wonder heavy rains fell when we went home in the afternoon.
With this short trip, we’re not able to visit all the islands (and none of us were able to count if the Hundred is really a hundred). But it carried a good memory for me. Too bad, none of us brought home an Alaminos Longganisa because of that heavy rain. I guess that’s a good reason for me to return there soon. 🙂