If you love island hopping and never care to be roasted under the scorching sun then, be ready because the Philippines is the place to be! Wander and hop from island to island all day. According to National Mapping and Resource Information Authority, the Philippines now has 7,641 islands but around 2,000 are only inhabited.
Speaking of islands, not far from Manila is a bountiful province of Pangasinan. The Hundred Islands National Park is located in the City of Alaminos. It was documented that the islands are scatted in Lingayen Gulf, total to 124 at low tide and 123 at high tide. Four islands have been developed for tourism: Governor Island, Quezon Island, Marcos Island and Children’s Island. Most islands are like broccoli formed when observed from an elevated position.
For backpackers and travelers who are using public transportation, I will provide the travel itinerary based on experience. As most travelers will agree, traveling is sometimes really stressful especially when things don’t go according to plans. Time is very significant.
Take Victory Bus Liner trip to Alaminos from Cubao terminal. The fare is P400 and the travel time is 5-6 hours depending on the time the bus left or the traffic along the way. I normally travel early in the morning because there is less traffic and I find it faster to get to the destination. If you arrive in Alaminos late in the morning, it is not advisable for you to still go the Hundred Islands Park. The best part of enjoying the view to the park is by starting it very early in the morning. You get to the see the stunning beauty of the sun while rising.
There are transient houses at the pier, hostels and hotels in the city. Decide where to stay depending on the budget. The tricycle drivers approaching those they think are tourists in the city offer places to stay like transient houses. You may check them out because they’re considerably cheap but comfortable if you travel in group. The room prices could range from P1000 to P1500 per night.
The Alaminos’ Tourism office is along the road and is located at the park. Any inquiry about the boat prices, where and what to do in the Hundred Islands are welcome there. A few meters from the office is the line of tricycles that can take you to the Lucap wharf for P15 per way. To reach the wharf is approximately 10 minutes ride. There is a registration fee per tourist and a form that needs to be filled out at the Lucap wharf. The boat rental fee is 1500 and that is for the whole day if you decide to stay longer. Bring some food and water on the boat because the food prices in the park are significantly expensive.
The boat driver will be your tour guide as well. They normally provide brief backgrounds of some islands in the park. They’re pretty informative and helpful. If you even get lucky, you will hear detailed folklore stories from them.