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Setting Your Expectation Right | The Truth About Hundred Island National Park






My only goal for visiting this famous Philippine landmark was to validate the total count of the islets that litter the sea across Alaminos. I guess we are thinking of the same thing whether if it is true that there are really at least a hundred island and islet found in Pangasinan.

Well, the only way to find out is to visit the place and count it for your self. The easiest way to validate this is to search the web via Google and you’ll have the answer in an instant. But for me it would be more realistic and adventurous if you will experience Hundred Island first hand and enjoy the boat ride while counting the mysterious rocky islets one by one.



First Impression?

If you are wondering whether I have received the WOW factor in Pangasinan, well, I’m just going to be honest with you, but my answer is NO! Why? I don’t want to sound absurd but I blame it to the very high expectation I had set for the famous Philippine tourist destination due to the rave reviews made by some websites about Hundred Island National Park. So much for sugar coating huh!

 
Some even compared the rock formations in Alaminos similar to the islets of Coron, which, in my own opinion, the Hundred Island has mediocre islets compared to the gigantic and majestic limestone hills of Coron and El Nido Palawan.

Not Bad After All!

But don’t get me wrong, the Hundred Island National Park is a beauty on its own right especially for people who seldom travel away from the urban jungle and sees this tourist destination for the very first time.

Bat Island in Alaminos, Pangasinan
My dismay over the place could have been due to the standards I have set in visiting some isolated island paradise in Mindanao and some road less traveled destinations in Visayas and in Northern Luzon.

One good thing about the national park is that the tourists could be dispersed evenly in all the islets, leaving you with space to breath.

Limestone rocks in Hundred Island
There maybe 123 islets (during low tide) scattered around the vicinity but there were only a handful that has sandy beaches. Most of the islets are made of rocks with green to brown-dry vegetation growing on top of it.

For me, Hundred Island is a real freak of nature that would put you to wonder how these islets came so close together and have concentrated in just one place. Majority of the islets were made of limestone rocks where a few have small white sand beaches where visitors could have a picnic.

Most of the islets with white sand beaches were named after some famous politicians and clan in the Philippines like Marcos Island and Lopez Island. I wonder if there is an Aquino Island somewhere. Hmmm. I bet there isn’t.

Altered Beauty

And by the way those concrete signage in the islets are real eyesore! Human made structures placed on some of the islets really don’t work for me and I felt that the alteration have tainted the pristine area, making it  unpleasant to look at.

If I may suggest, the developer and planning team involved in the Hundred Island Development should have placed some added infrastructures that would go with the theme as a NATURE PARADISE. Believe me, foreigners are so sick of human altered Natural Park and would rather choose a nipa hut to spend their vacation than on a first class concrete park.

At the peak of General Island, Hundred Island National Park, Alaminos, Pangasinan. (That's Mhalou in the photo)
You won’t miss also the vendors selling snacks and drinks in each islet, only the prices are high as the blue sky of Alaminos. So we suggest packing and bringing your own food and drinks with you if you are in a very tight budget. But if you wish to have a fresh cooked meal you can prepare your food in one of the islands as long as you bring with you your ingredients and cooking utensils.

For the record, I have found no litter of trash in the vicinity and the management has kept the area free of garbage except in the pool of Marcos Island. I give you my salute for that Pangasinan!

The pool inside the cave of Marcos Island, Hundred Island National Park
The Governor’s Island is the most visited island where you will find a viewing deck on its peak with a 360-degree panoramic view of the park. I would say this is also the most photographed point in the National Park.

The highlight of our trip happened in Marcos Island after we got engaged in a thrilling cliff jumping experience in a small cave with gorgeous turquoise pool in the middle. Jumping at 10 feet high was already knee-jerking for all of us with ear-breaking cry of excitement every time we push ourselves on the edge of the pool. Wow, that was really energy-draining, not the jumping but the shouting, hahaha.



We regained our energy after a simple lunch at  Quezon Island where unfortunately, more and more visitors have arrived and opted to set their lunch as well in the island we thought hidden from other tourists. Hey there are other 122 islets around pipz and you might want to settle in one of these islets? Anyway, as what they say, the more the merrier! Let's keep it cool.

The tour could have lasted longer but we've decided that we had enough of island hopping as we gave up the idea of visiting all the islets of the National Park which was really impossible to finish in just a single visit.

So, in the end how many islands and islets we've visited? Hmmmm ..maybe 4, 8, 10, I am sorry but I lost count.  Can you continue the counting for us? Visit the Hundred Island National Park and send us your feedback by writing a comment below.

 Happy trip everyone!




 

How to reach the Hundred Islands in Pangasinan?

For this trip we chose to board a Victory Liner bus in its Cubao Terminal Station and took the midnight trip bound directly to Alaminos, Pangasinan. Fare was Php393.00 with a travel time of almost 6 hours.  When you reach Alaminos proper, take a tricycle bound for the wharf. Fare was Php60.00 for the whole ride.


How much for the island hopping?

At the wharf you will find the tourism assistance center where you will book the boat for the island hopping. The cost of island hopping is listed below.

Boat Size/ Capacity
Day Tour
Overnight

Regular
Service
Regular
Service
Small (max 5 pax)
1000
1400
2000
3000
Medium (max 10 pax)
1300
1800
2500
3800
Large (max 15 pax)
1500
2000
3000
4500


Aside from the boat rental you have to pay an additional Php40.00 (day tour) / Php 80.00(overnight) as environmental fee.

Tip: Bring your own snorkeling gear and surf shoes, as the rental fee from the park was so expensive (we paid Php700 for the 3 sets of snorkeling gear). The toiletries sold in the area were priced thrice higher so you might want to bring your own set.

For more information and reservation please contact the following numbers below:
(+6375) 551.2505 / (+6375) 205.0917/+63.928.244.9011




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