Location: Brgy. Lucap, Alaminos City, Pangasinan, Philippines
Note: This is a part of my June 5 – 6, 2016 Alaminos City-Bolinao-Camiling Tour which includes: Patar Beach, Saint Joseph Cathedral Parish Church, Alaminos City Hall and Colegio San Jose de Alaminos, Cape Bolinao Lighthouse, Giant Taklobo Resto Grill and Accommodation and Camiling Quick Tour.
Hundred Islands is one of the national parks of the Philippines with a total of 124 islands during low tide and 123 during high tide, scattered in Lingayen Gulf of Pangasinan which is in northern Philippines covering an area of 16.76 square kilometers or 6.47 square miles. It has a centralized port or wharf in Barangay Lucap of Alaminos City which is 240 kilometers north of Metro Manila or 4 - 5 road drive under normal traffic condition.
As tourism activities continuously boom in this destination, five of its islands, namely: Governor's, Quezon, Marcos, Lopez and Children's have been developed with structures like cottages, gazebos, operating offices, grilling stations, water fun facilities and even with zipline. With this, service providers in this destination do not experience lean season as local and foreign tourists visit it in any month of the year.
This is my fourth time to visit Hundred Islands but the first three were done during those times when I was not yet writing my travel blog. You see, the pictures I have taken during those trips were more personal and not a blogging material.
Since coming from Manila takes at least four hours, it is ideal and practical to travel at midnight and reach Lucap Wharf at 4:00 A.M. Boat can be arranged in the wharf but it is advisable to book your hotel accommodation earlier as tourists come in high volume most particularly during weekends.
Check-in time is at 12 Noon and so when our group arrived at Lucap Wharf, we stayed in the bus but we were allowed by the hotel to use the comfort room facilities. While we waited, we enjoyed the refreshing beach park. We had our breakfast in the hotel but others opted to have theirs in other restaurants around the area. Enterprising locals who sell food were seen roaming around the park but I just bought the famous "Puto Kalatiao".
Waiting for the boat at 7:00 A.M. to start the island hopping was not boring as we stayed in the bus watching a movie. Others opted to sleep comfortably on their seats.
One of the places to include in your stroll while killing your time waiting for the boat is to visit the lighthouse which is just barely 40 meters away from the park's welcome arch.
The park's arch marker is the busiest when it comes to the volume of those taking pictures. You will barely see it without somebody taking pictures. As a matter of fact, I politely asked a favor to the tourists around to vacate it because I told them I am taking a picture without somebody appearing on it. But some just like in the picture were senseless.
The first island we visited was the Governor's Island. As you approach the island, you will see that tourists are taking pictures fronting a small cave.
From the cave, we headed to the island's viewdeck where we have to climb concrete stairs. Though, it is high, you have no choice but to trail on it as the boat will be waiting on the other end.
The viewdeck offers a 360 degrees scenery and a photographer can capture best shots from it. However, a solo picture is almost impossible to achieve and much more a group photo.
On top of the viewdeck, the monoblock bridge (the only term I knew based on its material) that connects Governor's Island to an islet as this serves as the zipline launching pad.
The island's tablet marker is also one of the busiest photography site as high volume of tourists queue for picture taking. Selfie picture taking takes time before a certain group is done with their turn.
The flatform of the tablet marker is big enough to accommodate people for souvenir photos and noticeably, bigger islands has this kind of tablet marker.
Governor's Island has a zipline with a launching pad coming from the annexed islet connected through a mono-block-like-bridge. The bridge itself is not stable as it just floats on the water.
Braganza island is just one of the islands near Governor's Island though we did not land here. Noticeably, it has no structures erected and with no beach line.
Another island we had passed was the Romulo Island where it is visibly not erected with structures like cottages but it has beach line where some tourists opt to have a swim. Like Braganza, this island is not a part of our packaged tour.
I remember the last time I visited Marcos Island wayback in May 1997, I've got the chance then to have a cliff diving and there were not so much gazebos and cottages erected here.
Truly, Marcos Island deserves to be part of the 5-island tour package as its clear and inviting waters is in itself rewarding. Those who do not like to be exposed to scourging heat of the sun can have a longer swim beneath its hanging cliffs which give ample shade of its beach line.
The sea level has a gradual depthness enabling others to swim a bit off the coast. The sea bed is soft and friendly to the sole of the feet.
As much as I always wanted to have good solo pictures, I am always disappointed because only a handful of my travel buddies can take nice solo pics of mine.
On our way to Quezon Island, we happened to pass in Cathedral Island where the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary was erected there but by the looks of it, it does not qualify as Our Lady of Lourdes nor the Immaculate Conception.
Landing Quezon Island is the grandest part of the trip. Why not, it has a lot of facilities and amenities. It is where we had dined in for our lunch as part of our tour package.
Just like Governor's Island, Quezon Island has its own zipline. The picture above was taken on top of the pavilion atop the hill just annexed to the island's wharf.
The Pavilion of Quezon Island serves its viewdeck where if offers 360 degrees scenery. More islands can be viewed from this point. It has jetski facility for rent.
Another island is now being developed and that is Lopez Island. It is just around a kilometer off from Quezon Island. Cottages were being erected and tourists who are decided to stay overnight can either pitch a tent or rent a cottage.
As I can see, most of the facilities have been invested in Quezon Island and it will take one awhile to tour around it. It has concrete benches where families on picnic can rest and leave their stuff.
Water fun activity operators in the island are making big bucks of money as they charge for jetski P2,500 for 45 minutes and P3,500 for 1 hour. The banana boat ride charges P250 per person with a maximum of 10 riders. A certain group who is less than 10 riders will pay P2,500 for the whole trip.
The island has two statues of Manuel L. Quezon and two mermaids. More cottages can accommodate visitors at the back of the entry point of Manuel L. Quezon statue.
While the high volume of visitors are concentrated at the Pavilion and dining hall near the wharf, this part of the island has lower density of visitors.
For me, the picture above looks like a boardwalk, similar to that when I was in General Luna of Siargao Island. It is so refreshing to walk here most particularly in the late afternoon.
They call it a cave but in reality it is just a natural tunnel. Prior to this, we were suppose to dock in Children's Island but because there was a downpour and waves became rough then such move was aborted. But as we approach our last island destination, rain had stopped and rough waves calmed down.
Cuenco Island was our last destination and unexpectedly I enjoyed the flatform diving where even in the late afternoon, the water was warm. Stores were available in the island. This is also the island where I spent longer in a swim.
One of the islands which can be viewed from Cuenco Island is Ma. Liza. It has an approximate distance of four kilometers. So far, I have not seen structures built on it.
We were lucky enough that the sea was so calm and the sky was clear with cumulus clouds (rain clouds). What was dominant above the skies were the majestic cirrus clouds (fiber clouds).
It was already 4:30 P.M. when we arrived back in the mainland of Alaminos City and we were already checked in by that time in our hotel. We cleaned up inside our respective hotel rooms and had sumptuous dinner together.
Island Tropics Hotel where we stayed was just accessible a few meters from the wharf. They have good service and a comfortable accommodation. Dinner served was festive and overflowing with mostly seafoods. Yum yum yum!!!! I got so full!!!
RATES IN HUNDRED ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK
(Effective as of February 15, 2016)
Tariff Rates Per Person
|Insurance Fee (Effective for 24 hours)|