As a big fan of the country’s islands, I’m slowly counting down the famous islands the country has. I’ve been to El Nido (well, still incomplete), Boracay, Quezon and also on my list was Hundred Islands and Bolinao. I haven’t made plans to go to Pangasinan yet, but good thing because we have close family friends there, we were engaged to go there during Holy Week in my dad’s second shot at a roadtrip.
We left Cainta at 5am and even if we had no convoy like we did in Lucban, we were able to reach Alaminos at around 11am with two stopovers. We had lunch in Nepo Mall at Cindy’s where we met with Kuya Chris Catallo, his newly wedded wife, Ate Tin and his parents. They were going to join us in our Hundred Islands tour.
Before we left, my sister, who has been to Hundred Islands had already arranged a boat for P1500, maximum of 15 pax. There were only 8 of us, but that was okay. Sad though, because we didn’t know Lolo Jesse (Kuya Chris’ father) had brothers who had boats.
Anyway, we left for our Hundred Islands tour at Lucap Wharf around noon. It wasn’t my ideal time for island hopping, but who cares. It wasn’t a very sunny day anyway. The wharf was big and the area was filled with many, many hotels and pension houses. If you suddenly need a place to stay, Lucap probably has some hotel rooms still available. I’ll be posting some accommodations at Lucap in a separate post.
Hundred Islands Map
The Hundred Island National Park is a set of islands in the Lingayen Gulf and are known to be over two million years old. Located in Alaminos, Pangasinan, there are actually 101 islands, according to the boatmen and the mother of these islands is Anda, which is at the northwest of Alaminos. Only 3 of these islands are developed and a few are actually allowable for docking.
PBB House from afar
The first island we went to was the Governer’s Island. This island is most popular for being the place where Pinoy Big Brother was held – I think it was Kim Chiu’s batch that stayed here. The PBB house is still intact and can be rented per night at P10,000 for 8 – 10 pax, perfect for families and barkadas. I’m not sure if there’s 24 hour electricity here.
Pinoy Big Brother House
Stairs to the Viewdeck
There are also stairs that lead up to the top mountain where there is a viewing deck of the Hundred Islands. We were with Lolo Jesse so we had to ask him if he could make the stairs up. Despite his age, he agreed and we went up, slowly. At the scorch of the sun (it got hotter as we went up), it was a very relaxing view when we finally reached the top.
From the viewdeck, you can see many islands and there are cemented benches where you can stand for momentous pictures. We also met two people who were selling ice cream at the top. They offered to take our family picture and even did it for many shots, saying she was already experienced in taking pictures of people at the top.
My parents and grandparents at the Viewdeck
Truly, the view of the islands at Governer’s Island was beautiful and the climb up is worth it. It isn’t as high as it looks though, my sister said it was easier to climb now that it was before. I was able to climb it within a few minutes (or maybe I’m just really excited).
The climb down was slower because the steps are big and the length from each step was wider, it wasn’t good for my mother or Lolo Jesse. By the time we got down, we were so sweaty that I was tempted to take a dip at the waters. It was a little salty though and the sand isn’t as clear or white. We also took a picture inside the mini-cave.
At the Cave
After a few minutes dip, we headed off to the next destination – Quezon Island.
Before that, however, we were able to pass by Bat’s Island to which amazed my family very much. It’s such a big question why so many bats are in that island. What is it in that island that attracts so many bats? Why won’t they go to other islands? This is another nature’s miracles that my family was undoubtedly happy to experience.
Quezon Island adapted its name mainly because there’s a statue of Quezon at its peak. This island is actually much, much prettier and more developed than Governer’s Island, because even from afar, you can see the clearer waters and the possibilities of many activities on the island. Quezon Island is connected to another by a wooden bridge.
Going to Quezon Island
My brother at the Quezon statue
There are two dining areas here as well as grilling stations for those who would like to have their lunch here. There are also cottages and huts on the island that lead up to the Quezon statue. There’s also a helipad just near the statue. Just along the trail, there’s also another statue of a few mermaids that headed a cave below. Just down the mermaid statue, there’s a short ladder that you can take if you want to take a dip in the blue waters.
As we approached the island, we could see there were already a lot of people there. The tempting bluish waters that rushes along the white sands just below the bridge joining the two islands was an indication that the water wasn’t too deep. It also seemed to be a good place for snorkeling because at the back, you can see there are boats docked just a few meters away with snorkeling guests. As you go down the back of the island where there are stairs, you can catch a glimpse of the pretty corals that are mirrored from the clear blue waters. I was tempted to take a dive and immediately regretted not bringing snorkels. However, I think there are also some people around the area whom you can rent equipment from.
View of Quezon Island from Helipad
Around the island, there are people who were snorkeling, kayaking and swimming. It definitely looked like a fun place to spend more than an hour or so. In my opinion, however, Quezon Island would probably be a better place to stay at in the early morning because you can snorkel for a few hours without worrying about the heat and the place wouldn’t be so crowded.
I also found out I didn’t even get around the island much as there’s also a long sandbar on the other side. I only climbed up the one side where the statue was and that was it. Oh well, all the more for my next visit.
We didn’t get to stay long. Unfortunately, my grandparents (Lolo and Lola, although they aren’t blood related), were tired from the climb in Governer’s Island so they opted not to get down on the island. Sadly, they also didn’t want to stay too long. I was already feeling a lot of disappointment on my part because I really wanted to go snorkeling and I was very much tempted to swim. My brothers were looking forward to swimming too, but grudgingly, we left for the next destination.
Children’s Island is entitled Children’s Island because the water is shallow enough for kids to swim in. My sister says that during low tide you can walk a few meters away and the water will still be shallow enough. Although the water is shallow, the seafloor is very rocky and filled with sharp corals so you may not have to worry about drowning, but wounds are more likely if you’re not careful. The waters aren’t as clear as that in Quezon Island, but I suppose this is only because in Quezon Island, the sands are whiter and cleaner than it is in Children’s Island where the seafloor is filled with rocks.
We didn’t get to go up into the main island anymore, but we went around the beach.
Unfortunately, this is the end of our tour. It was cut short because my grandparents needed to rest and I suppose it was the the thundering clouds and the lightning that struck so clear in the sky that had my parents scared for awhile. I was bummed the rest of the day, but I guess, this way, I’d have a valid reason to come back again.
The rest of the visit-able islands include Marcos Island, Imelda Island, Lopez Island, Cathedral Island, Crocodile Island, Marina Island, Turtle Island, Cuenca Cave and another curiously and recently mentioned island by Journeying James named “Papaya Island” – or so the boatman said.
How to Get to Hundred Islands?
Take a bus, either Victory Liner, Philippine Rabbit or Five Star from Cubao or Buendia going to Alaminos. You can ask to get down at Nepo Mall so you have a place where you can buy all your stuff as this is the main center. There are banks here and places to eat at if you’re not too happy with eating at smaller places.
From here, you can get a tricycle to Lucap Wharf. Tricycle rides are usually around P60 – 100 per trike and you can haggle.
Lucap Wharf has a tourism office and you can go and register there for your day trip tour of P20 or night trip of P40 and ask for someone to get you a boat. There are standard rates to the boats so you don’t really have to worry about being overpriced. The usual price is probably around P800 – 1500 depending on how many people you are in a group.
List of Accommodations in Hundred Islands