When in Manila, you’re probably getting real tired of the tall buildings, traffic congestion and rude pedestrians who sometimes step on your shoes if you don’t walk fast enough. Everywhere you look, it’s a concrete jungle. You dream of escaping onto a beach somewhere – an island paradise that you can run away to from all of the corporate chaos. But why settle for one island when you can have hundreds of them?
The Hundred Islands was a familiar sight in our HEKASI books during our elementary days. If you found yourself doubting your teacher about the real count of the Hundred Islands before, then you’re in for a real surprise: it turns out that there are 120 islands, after all, including those enormous rocks that have broken away from the main island and those engulfed by the tide.
Located at the heart of Pangasinan in Alaminos City, The Hundred Islands is approximately 300 kms away from Manila. The port for setting off to the Hundred Islands is in Lubac where you can rent a single boat for P2,000. A boat is good enough for 16-20 persons. Exclusive from the boat fee, there is also a rental fee for life vests and snorkeling equipment and an entrance fee worth of P20 per head. All in all, our group of 15 people paid P4,000 for a whole day of island-hopping and an incredible trekking experience. An affordable price to split with your barkada, or colleagues, if your company is planning to have a team-building exercise.
Hundred Islands may not be as enchanting as the wonderful lakes in Coron and its marine life may not be nearly as exquisite as on the Visayan islands, but there’s something about this place that makes it very fascinating. From the broken chains of islands that geologists are still puzzling over right now to the unique characteristics of each island, it’s no wonder why the Hundred Islands remain to be the favorite spot of tourists and beach hoppers alike.
Hundred Islands Itinerary
* Governor’s Island – where an exciting (but exhausting) trek and a spectacular view of the islands from the top awaits you.
* Marcos’ Island – where you can find a mysterious but wonderful swimming spot inside a dark cave
* Snorkeling Spot – en route to other islands, it’s a single platform in the middle of the sea where your boat can stop over while you swim and play with the fishes. With low visibility, you may not be able to see the corals underneath, but different kinds of fish in different colours are a common sight.
* Cathedral Island – where you can glimpse a strange island resembling a cathedral. There is a giant fissure running across the island and through the chasm, so you’ll be able to see a giant, cavernous cave forming the island, exactly like a church. And, just like in any cathedral, you’ll also feel humbled by its presence.
* Lopez Island – A good swimming and snorkeling spot. Also,the shadows provided by the islands will give you a pleasurable time swimming under the shade, away from the harsh rays of the mid-day sun.
* Quezon Island – where you and your companions can eat lunch in cottages spread across the island. The cool breeze on the top and the overlooking view of the sea is already a fulfilling sight on its own.
* Children’s Island – the last stop for island-hopping. The beach’s peaceful waves and shallow spots make up an ideal swimming spot for small kids while you take a breather on the shore under the cool shades
* Paniki Island – where you can see an uncommon sight of hordes and hordes of bats resting on the branches of every single tree on the island! When you clap your hands loud enough, some of them will fly and circle on top of the island.
So, what are you waiting for When in Manila? Hop into an island adventure you’ll never forget at the wonderful Hundred Islands of Pangasinan.