It was friday the 13th of November 2015 when I and my ex-housemates will have dinner in Trinoma Mall. Filipino time as it is, they are late! While waiting, I went to the new gift items’ section of the mall. I am a certified addict of notebooks/pads. As I scan through the various displays of notebooks and notepads, there was this little notepad (90mmx186mm) that captured my attention. The cover page says…
If you want to go somewhere, then pack up and go forward, follow your heart.
A simple quote that creates a million thoughts in my mind.
Yes! I want to travel. I think now is the time to have the courage to take a step closer to my dreams and never depend my happiness on the schedule of others.
Thinking twice, thrice , and to the nth power – Will I go home after dinner and sleep or will I take a step to fulfilling my dream?
And where am I going?… Mt. Mayon is 12hours by bus, Rice Terracces is 8hours, Hundred Islands is 5hours, Tower of Valor in Bataan is 2 hours. (It’s friday night and I need to be back by sunday afternoon for my 11pm flight back to Cebu.)
After dinner, I told my friends I’m going to Hundred Islands in Pangasinan. 😃
Since I’ve been planning to go to Hundred Islands for the longest time but had no opportunity to do so, why not do it now! My backpack is complete with clothes and other necessary things. Prepared, since I am suppose to spent the weekend on my aunt’s house in Antipolo.
Crazy! Addict! Joke?! 😜 These are there reactions (well….as expected!)
At round 11pm along EDSA, I hop into the bus bound for Alaminos. This is it!
Travel time was expected to be 5hrs but we arrived earlier beacause it’s night trip and no traffic. I arrived at around 4am in the bus terminal. The Hundred Islands Tourism center will open at 6am. I stayed in the terminal’s waiting shed . I tasted the puto calaciao, one of Pangasinan’s delicacy. I also had the time to interact with the locals – vendors and tricyle drivers.
At around 5:30am, I went to the Hundred Islands Nature Park for registration on Island Hopping tour. They will then assign you a boat with complete set of life jacket and snorkling gear and boatman of course.
Past 6am, we started the island hopping.
After almost 5 hours, we are done with the tour.
There are tricycle lining up in the wharf to bring you to Alaminos proper. Fortunately, the tricycle driver with tour guide skills offered me a side trip to One Island (One Island?!.weeeh?!) before heading to Alaminos proper. But without much doubt – Ok lets’s go!
Just few minutes away from the Mangroove Sanctuary, you’ll find a secluded beach fronting a single island called One Island.
Luckily it’s low tide so we were able to walk from the mainland’s beach side going to One Island. YOLO! Crossing the sea by walking haha!
After the side trip, we are now heading to Alaminos proper. Ooops! I have no pre-booked accommodation. Good thing the tricycle drivers has lot of ideas of affordable transient houses in Alaminos proper because they are given by the owners a little amount for every guest they could bring. They also haggle prices for you.
Spent a night on the transient house and the following morning, departed early for a visit to Manaog Church in Dagupan whose patron saint is Our Lady of Manaoag, known to be miraculous.
It was a 5-hour day trip from Dagupan to Manila but you’ll never be bored seeing the beautiful view of Mt. Arayat from afar.
Fulfilled as I make my dreams into a reality:
- Solo travel in one of the Philippines’ major tourist destintion.
- Be in Hundred Islands in which 7years ago, I am just pointing on the map during our History subject in college where I am the only one who raised a hand when our teacher asked where it is located.
- Island Hopping for the first time.
- Crossing the sea by floating bridge.
For a complete reference on Hundred Islands tours and accommodations, you may check Hundred Islands Rates 2016.
*Friday the 13th is not scary after all 😄
This trip awakens the gypsy soul in me and remind me of my forgotten dreams.
Hoping for more travels and crazy adventures!😉