#FriendshipGoals Hundred Islands Christmas Furlough

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Hello, this is my second travelogue after my Cagbalete Island adventure with my workmates. It’s been almost 3 weeks of planning and we made it. Me and my crazy friends had been dreaming to travel out of town since college, but we never did until my friend Rica brought it up. Well, summer wasn’t over yet and we still had a chance to deep our feet in a sea water. I know it’s christmas and we were supposed to be with our family, but our motivation to have it done was so strong. haha

We went to Hundred Islands, in Alaminos Pangasinan last December 26 to 27 for our Christmas break. We planned this trip almost 3 weeks prior to that. Rica, my friend, was the one in charge for this trip. She has made all the necessary research and consultation until we had our first and last meeting.

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Planning

Less than a week before the departure, some unwanted circumastances occured such as fully-booked trips, high cost due to peak season, budget-related matters, but nothing curtailed our determination to have it done. Low budget? What friends are for? Hahah!

Since we are not familiar with the place, we opted to take a tour package that we saw on the internet for convenience because we knew that it would be a hassle for us if we would just walk in. Tropic Island Hotel and Resort is the name of the hotel we sojourned. They offer tour packages for Hundred Islands trips.

http://islandtropichotel.com/

Hundred Islands National Park is protected by DENR. It is located in Alaminos Pangasinan. According to Wikipedia, it is composed of 124 islands and islets at high tide and 123 at low tide. Islands are scattered in Lingayen Gulf and only three islands were developed for tourism.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hundred_Islands_National_Park

After making a deposit, printing vouchers and trip confirmation, we relaxed and made ourselves ready.

Below is the breakdown of the cost for this tour package.
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This is it! 12AM we reached Victory liner for our departure from there to Alaminos. We knew that the bus would depart at 2am, but we had a leeway of 2hours, considering the passengers’ queue since it’s Yuletide season. The fare cost us Php 393.00 (one-way). The bus departed the terminal past 2AM.

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The travel took almost 5 hours. We have reached Alaminos bayan at 7AM. First, we had to take our breakfast, so we looked for some cheap food stations; we found one beside the old church of Alaminos. After breakfast, we took a tricycle ride to bring us to the hotel (Island Tropic). The fare for the tricylce is Php 100.00. The hotel is just across the port to Hundred Island. We approached the reception to get our room and to settle our payment (since we only made down payment).

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It was 9AM when we started our tour. After the bangkeros (ferry man) set our boat, we traveled on the beautiful Lingayen Gulf. I was so amazed when we passed some island and islets. I could say to myself that God is really amazing and mejestic. The first island that we passed by was the Monkey Island, and according to kuya (ferry man), there are lots of monkeys inhabiting that place and no one is allowed to enter the island.

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Finally, we have reached our first destination which is the Governor’s Island. Here, you can do trecking, swimming, caving, and zip-line to the other island. The top of the island was so awesome you could overlook the whole ocean and start counting the islands. (We joked that if the islands didn’t reach a hundred, we would get our money back. Lols). Thumbs up for that place.

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Our second destination was the snorkling area. That was my first time to do snorkling. Unfortunately, I didn’t have “go pro” to take underwater shots. I had so much fun seeing corals and giant clams underwater. The water was deep and clear. Fish were tickling my legs as they join me swimming on the water. We had to wear closed shoes or footwear to protect our feet from sharp corals. There were also foreigners who did the same thing, and they seemed to be enjoying their time.

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After that, we headed to Quezon Island for our lunch. Our bangkeros were the ones finding a place for us. It was so cool to eat lunch at the beach. It’s warm and windy that time; I liked it. We were at the balcony, therefore we could feel the sea breeze. Thumbs up anew.

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Soon after, we went to a shaded part of the island for photo shoot. Lols. I enjoyed the cold water. I even took off my shirt and beach shorts so I can feel the coolness of the water. I was not shy to wear only brief since there were no people there aside from us. We also did zip-line activity at Quezon Island and it cost us Php 100.00 each. I was thrilled to do it because it’s too high and there were no life vest. I made it, though.

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We decided not to visit to Children’s Island since we were chasing the time. We opted to visit Cuenco Cave in lieu. I really love that Island. The cave is really astounding because of its unique formation, though it’s not that deep and long I still find it dumbfounding. There is a cliff at the end of the cave which I and my friend enjoyed a lot. The cliff is at least 20meters high and the water is deep so life vest is of high need. Once you jump over, you can go to the neighboring island by just swimming through the water. Lots of islands haven’t been named yet. The wonder of the place left us startled. Unfortunately, we were not able to visit the Bat Island and we were told by our bangkero that the bats on that island were dead already due to typhoon. I really felt bad hearing that.

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At about 5PM when we agreed to go back to our hotel. We gave our bangkeros 100.00 each as our tip. They are amiable and lenient with our request and queries. haha. During island hopping, we used to entrust our belongings to them. Needless to say, they deserved to be given the tip.

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We washed and took a rest in our room as we waited for our dinner. It was past 7PM when we took our scrumptious dinner and we loved it. They didn’t thwart us for food. After dinner, we went outside to roam around the area and watch the full moon.

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Lights off at 10PM. Unfortunately, wifi connection could not reach our room, so we had to go downstairs to connect to wifi. We had a great day with the astonishing islands that made our body so weak and tired. It felt like my legs are swelling due to continuous stamping in the water. We woke up at 9AM and took our breakfast. I was so delighted with the meal, though we can have this kind of food in Manila but still it’s different when you are at the beach and nature.

Check out time would be at 12PM so we had to rush and packed our things. We rode tricycle again going to town proper and visited the Cathedral of St. Joseph which was built in 1985. The church is located just across the Alaminos City Hall. We embarked on the bus (5 star) going back to Manila. Bus fare is Php 393.00 (at the time of writing). We reached Manila at about 8PM and had our dinner.

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It was an amazing Hundred Islands experience with my crazy friends, and we look forward to more trips and out-of-town adventures. Hundred Island is definitely a perfect way to relax and temporarily forget the laborious city.

I’m indeed thankful to God for flaunting me once again His splendor glory through His jaw-dropping creations. All for His glory!

#Achieved #SquadGoals #HundredIslandsTourIsLove

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