Sunday, July 10, 2011

DO YOU KNOW WHAT WE DID LAST SUMMER?

PART I: THE HUNDRED ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK

Actually that's last year's summer. Just thought it would sound witty as a title. Cliche. Ramona and I had been friends since high school but this was our first time to go to the beach together. With our gang of high school friends, we went to Pangasinan in April of 2010. Over a year ago now, but the experience is still etched in my memory.



It was a well planned trip. Two months before the date a detailed itinerary was written and everyone had a part to do. We'd been long anticipating the escapade. But one Saturday morning when everybody was all ready and set to go, the van we hired bailed out. I couldn't believe we were doomed. Taking a bus was another option but for a large group it was cheaper and more comfortable to ride a private vehicle. Instead of pining, some of our friends pulled out their contacts and started dialing the right people. After an hour of negotiation, we found a replacement.

Alaminos, Pangasinan was a 5 hour ride from Manila. We arrived around 2 PM, stopped by to eat and buy some goods at the market and after much confusion on the directions, finally found our way to Lucap Wharf where a boat was waiting to tour us to the Hundred Islands National Park. Only three of the islands have been developed for tourists: Governor, Quezon, and Children's Islands. And we eagerly hopped from one island to another.



After thirty minutes on the boat, we docked on our first destination, Governor's Island. Being the largest island in the entire park, it has an area of 74, 408 square/meter. The island has the best accommodations for tourists who would like to stay for the night. It also features the highest peak that offers a bird's eye view of the park. Climbing to the summit on a hot summer day was no easy task for me, but the sight from up there was more than rewarding. It was breathtaking.

Scattered along Lingayen Gulf are 124 islands resembling green mushrooms floating on the water. Believed to be about 2 million years old, these islands are ancient corals in an ancient sea. Through time the lowering  of sea levels have exposed them to the surface. I have always imagined these islands have real land in them with green trees actually growing on soil. But when I stepped foot on an islet for the first time, I realized it's mainly made of stone and all sands.



The next stop was Children's Island so called because  the shallow waters near the beach is ideal for little children. With wooden cottages, floating picnic sheds, restrooms, tent rentals, camping areas among other things –  this island is perfect for family gatherings. Seeing the crowd of people, we decided not to get out of the boat. We just coasted along to our next destination.

Then finally there was Quezon Island. Another well developed and favorite among enthusiasts in the Park.   Our group decided to relax for a while in here.There was  lot of going on in the island.  Though I wasn't impressed with its shore, I found the clear blue water tempting enough. I could hear people singing from the nipa huts strategically built on elevated rocks. There were others geared with binoculars, catching a glimpse of migratory birds nesting all over the place.





Probably the most remarkable activity for me was our kayak experience.Ramona and I were first timers. Both of us weren't great swimmers. Both of us were scared (but good scared). Both of us didn't know what we were doing. But after paddling against the current, crashing on the rocks more than a couple of times, Ramona and I were addicted. And though we realized we might end up with Johnny Bravo's triceps after so many rounds, we definitely loved Kayaking!

The original plan was to camp on the island but a friend had discovered, through the wonders of internet, this beautiful beach tucked an hour away from civilization. So we embarked on our boat and with hearts full of praise, we blew kisses to the Hundred Islands National Park. As a young schoolgirl, I have always thought these islands existed only in the pages of my geography textbooks. When I saw them before my eyes and even laid foot on some of the islets, it felt like taking part in a living postcard.
***

PART II: PATAR WHITE BEACH


The night was filled with fun, booze and laughter. And when the morrow came, everything spelled paradise to my senses.






PART III: CAPE BOLINAO LIGHTHOUSE


Light house photo credit




post signature

29 comments:

Braine said...

Wow I miss the Philippines and your blog will keep me up to date on the where to's and what to's.

chefmadness said...

wow you visited a lot of great places in the Philippines! I'd say that hundred islands is one of the places I want to visit, maybe next to chocolate hills. my husband is dying to see that place.LOL. you are so lucky!

Agnes said...

me wants to know bout the budget constraints and indulgences...

unsay food didto sa pangasinan?

chris said...

when are you gonna write about your china trip?buti pa kayo you've been to the hundred islands,when we went to pangasinan kasi my colleagues prefered to go to bolinao instead

Ramona Andresa said...

I'm not sure when but hopefully soon. Ah we went to Bolinao too. At yun ang continuation ng post na to. hehe

PAULA said...

Wow! You took some stunning photos!

Ramona Andresa said...

@Braine: we're glad that with our blog you'll get updated. Hope you'll come back soon!

@Agnes: Actually we forgot exactly how much we spent. Since there were 12 of us at nag amot-amot mi so more or less 2k each lang. And about the food, nakalimot na pud ko. Nothing remarkable, really.

@Paula: Thanks! the photos you post on your blog are splendid!

Anne Garais said...

aww. i love your blog! :)
i followed you anyway, i'll be glad if u'll give me a follow? :)

http://anneholica.blogspot.com

SunnyToast said...

next time sama nyo ako ha:)

Eden said...

hundred islands!! something ive read over and over in the books but could only dream of going. i really must step out of cebu soon haha. whenever i fly north its just always in manila, but id want to stop by here sometime.. this looks so amazing!


you've got great pictures btw:)


xx
eden

Pinay Travel Junkie said...

I actually haven't been to Hundred Islands! I'd love to bring Luna to Children's Island someday.

Elliot Grace said...

...love the pics! Wonderful

EL

Tom said...

Oh...I absolutely love that photos. I would like to be there!

Have a nice day
Tom

The Nomadic Pinoy said...

Never been to the Hundred Islands :( only saw these from up the air on a flight from Hong Kong to Manila. This is probably crowded during summer no?

Keri @ Blue-Eyed Runner said...

So beautiful!!!

Mar said...

You take such lovely photos! I want summer back, the rainy season came too soon :( - Mar
Btw,I'm hosting a giveaway with a beautiful neck piece inspired from the House of Harlow at stake plus an additional scarf too! Do join if you can, it's open international!
http://notyourordinarybeautyqueen.blogspot.com/

j. littlejohn said...

great pics.

i know what you did last summer

musicandmollie said...

beautiful images, looks like a lovely place :)

Mollie xo

Braine said...

Hey there! It's been a long time since your last update. Anyway, we nominated you for the Liebster Award.

http://talksupe.blogspot.com/2011/08/liebster-blog-award.html

alex said...

great fotos and great blog

The Tame Lion said...

Excellent! I'm going there tonight! ;D

Anonymous said...

wow what lovely photos! I stumbled upon your blog while searching for beach images in the Philippines. And not only your photos are wonderful, so is your writing!

Would love to go there one day.

xoxo,

Travel Girl

manik_reigun said...

great shots! darn i miss pinas!

tina said...

Lovely photos! I really want to visit Pangasinan because of Patar! :) Soon... :)

AJ said...

I've been to Hundred Islands but it was so long ago I hardly remember. But your piece made me wanna go back. Would love to hike up Guv'ner's Island and take in the 360-degree view!

Seems like I'm reading the same blogs as your friend. Nalaman ko lang ang Patar from the blogs of fellow travel bloggers. I think I'm the only blogger who hasn't gone there. :))

Thanks for dropping in my site, Andresa! Regards to Ramona. She has a famous name now, hehe.

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

I do hope you get your blog back up and running - it is interesting and informative and your photography is stunning. :)

Youngman Brown said...

What a beautiful trip. Glad to have found your blog!

David Macaulay said...

wow - this reminds me of a national park I visited in Thailand -seriously jealous.

Blogger said...

If you need your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend to come crawling back to you on their knees (even if they're dating somebody else now) you got to watch this video
right away...

(VIDEO) Get your ex back with TEXT messages?

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...