From textbooks to storybooks, I read about the Philippines’ Hundred Islands. As a kid, I couldn’t imagine how and what dozens of islands would look like.
I only heard how beautiful the marine life is and how many islands there are that you won’t be able to see all in just a day. Oh boy, how true the stories were! When Ryk and I went there, it was truly a wonderful place!
From a bridge that connects two islands to a free fall into a cave plunging down to the waters below to camping with only the sea and stars as your companion for the night.
The list goes on and you would be tired of reading, pressing that back button or changing that URL to Facebook. But before you go please consider this one tip- that’s to wander.
Travel Tip: Check schedules and availability of buses to Pangasinan to book online with 12Go Asia.
Experiencing Hundred Islands
From Alaminos, we rented a boat and started our two-day adventure. For minutes we rode the boat going to the islands, I could see the water getting clearer turning crystal blue as we moved away from the communities. The sun’s rays reflecting off the water makes the trip look enchanting as drops of seawater play with the breeze and hits your sun-kissed skin.
Camping in the Hundred Islands
I know you’re reading this blog because you plan to camp on one of the hundred islands but before that let me give you some pointers and reminders.
- Camping Fee: 200 pesos
- Pitching a tent is only allowed from 5 pm to 6 am.
- There are no restaurants on the island so better bring lots of food for your stay.
So now with no further ado, here are the three most recommended islands to camp in.
This island is usually the first go-to place of boatmen. It’s pretty famous for having a peak where you can get a view of all the other islands. The island is connected to the nearby island by a bridge. How cool is that? Another thing is there’s a zip line connecting the island to another.
If you decide to camp here, there is a sari-sari store but prices are expensive. There is also an available toilet and shower area on the island which is a plus for comfortable camping in the Hundred Islands.
From the usual banana boat rides to jet ski’s, the island offers a lot of water activities. It is near the snorkeling site where you get see giant clams. By giant, I mean B.I.G. Getting to see one up close was wow! and scary. I couldn’t help but admire their beauty but at the same time, I was imagining how it might suck me in. Haha. I know that would be close to impossible but hey it’s my brain. I get to imagine things.
Among other islands, the Quezon Island is the most developed so expect picnic areas, cottages, comfort rooms, showers and electricity at night.
READ: Manuel Uy: Beach Camping
The shallow water and rich marine life near the beach convinced us to give Children’s Island a try. We pitched our tent and camped the night. Thinking back, it was one of the best camping in the Hundred Islands experience I’ve ever had!
We had the island all to ourselves excluding the caretaker, of course. Just like Quezon Island, there’s electricity, a nearby bathroom and toilet. But I have to warn you, the bathroom and toilet aren’t maintained, there are even holes on the roof so don’t expect much.
While beach bumming on the island, some locals came to sell crabs at P280 a kilo. Since we were both fans of seafood, we grabbed the chance and bought some for dinner. I’m not sure though if they really do sell these on the island or if it’s just a once in a lifetime moment.
Make The Trip Worth It
This place has so much to offer and considering how little time there is to explore all of it, I would just go out of line to give you at least a list of what we should have done to make our trip better.
Charter a boat
Having a boat all to yourselves would hurt your wallet but in exchange, you would have the liberty to go where you want, at your own time, at your own accord. That means, you go where you want to and you can even bargain with the boatmen to stop by some islands that others don’t usually go to as opposed to chipping in with a few strangers that get you just about only 15 minutes per island.
Bring your own tent
Bringing your own tent lets you save a few hundred pesos compared to renting one. I would say that our overnight stay via camping in the Hundred Islands was the best part of our trip.
We were able to choose where to pitch our tent, by the beach, or by the island’s peak. The joy of having an island to yourself for the whole night while waiting for the sunrise and getting contented with how clear and bright the stars shined, it was awe-inspiring.
Get a better snorkeling gear
If you’re in this blog that means you’re no stranger to big masses of water, with that said renting a poor snorkeling gear is not advised since its price is the same as buying a new one.
In addition, if you lost the one you rented, you’d have to pay for it. Also, get those flippers to have better control under there.
I know it’s hypocritical to ask you to rent this, invest in that and buy this but let’s think for a bit. Hundred islands is a well-known tourist spot so expect prices to be sky high. I advise you make games and think of as many “free” activities as you can before sitting in a floating balloon while a fast jet ski drags your ass around the water for 500 pesos for a ride.
Be creative, don’t burn money. Just because everybody’s doing it doesn’t mean it’s the only way to go.
Live it before taking the shot
I know, taking pictures helps keep the memories preserved but please take some time first to close your eyes, feel the breeze, caress the sand, listen to the waves and birds, and enjoy the moment through your eyes before you put it on a screen.
Well, that’s just about it guys, I hope you found my article the least bit helpful in planning your trip. :3
You might also like…
- Birdland Beach Club: A Bolinao Eco Resort (Travel Guide)
- Weekend Getaways Near Manila : 28 Affordable Places To Visit
- Where to Camp: 8 of the Best Pangasinan Beach Campsites
- Where to Camp Near and Around Baguio for Less Than 250 Pesos
- 16 Things To Do in Bolinao That You Shouldn’t Miss