It’s our 5th day on our Lakbay Norte Bus which is fast becoming our mobile home after staying inside it on the road for days. On my little corner of the bus I already know the idiosyncrasies of my reclining seat, how our bus help Kenneth know I prefer Fit & Right Pine Orange and like the spice of Labzter snack than Tempura, and how I can efficiently arrange my stuff whenever we leave and board the bus. We got a few more days to go and this time, we found ourselves in Lucap for the Hundred Islands Tour.
The Hundred Islands is more of low jutting limestone and coral formation islets than those tropical islands with white sands and palm trees to laze around. But I still like the place despite having a few good beaches on the island since it’s very accessible to many and you really don’t have to shell out big bucks to enjoy the places. Boat rates are standard and there are options for overnight stay.
The 100 islands is also a protected area under the NIPAS and also a Geological Monument due to its unnatural geology that’s why DENR have to regulate visitors here. There’s a PHP 30 entrance fee per person. Boat rental varies per size and routes. The Php 1000 can carry up to 1-4 pax, the PHP 1500 can carry 6-8 pax but both of these can visit only the three popular islands: Governor’s, Children’s and Quezon Island.
Our first stop was Governor’s Island which has the highest peak among the islands. It’s an easy climb and would give a panoramic view of the islands. It also has the famed Big Brothers house which a local teen edition used. It can be rented for PHP 10,000 a night good for 10 people. I was also able to camp here on the island for Php 200 a night. The sunset is very nice on this spot.
We made some brief stops on some island including the Cathedral Cave then moved on to Quezon Island where we’ll be spending our lunch. It’s an island dedicated to Manuel Quezon. He has a marker at the summit of the island. It’s a nice island for various activities like kayaking and snorkelling. This time around, I didn’t bother to take too much pictures and just enjoy the waters there. Trying to snorkel but the gears I rented were defective. So I ended up with a few bruises from the corals trying to dodge some jellyfish in the area.
Ate Gemma’s food served there at Quezon Island was the good old comfort food perfect for a beach setting. Makes eating with bare hands more sumptuous and flavourful. Once we had our fill, we moved back to Lucap and continued our way down south.
Alaminos Tourism Office and Hundred Islands Visitors Center
Rey Livara +63917.610.4144
Ate Gemma Hundred Islands Catering
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.