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Feb 10, 2012

Hop to Hundred Islands! Snorkeling Unltd

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SNORKELING. More fun in Hundred Islands.
Part 4 of The Pangasinan Escapade
Hundred Islands National Park (or Hundred Islands but not 100 islands because they're more than 100 islands actually) is a good site for island hopping since it is composed of 123 islands and islets. You will see different islands including the three main islands where you can camp (Quezon, Children’s and Governor’s Island) and see some rock formations. We ate our packed lunch in Governor’s Island then we proceeded in our island hopping. You cannot stand by all of the islands; however, most of them are a good subject for your photograph souvenirs. Most of the islands are “rocky at the bottom part and plants vs. zombies on top”. 

Rocky white sand beach in Marcos Island in Hundred Islands.

AN ISLAND OR A STONE? Well both! It is just one of the many "islets" of the Hundred Islands National Park.

ROCKY AT THE BOTTOM, PLANTS VS. ZOMBIES ON TOP. That is how I describe most of the islands in this popular national park in the Philippines.
There is an island which they call “Cathedral Island” because of its resemblance to a cathedral. You can also enjoy jumping from a cliff then plunge under seawater in Marcos Island. There is also an underwater cave where you can go to, but just be sure you know how to swim (and you wear your life vest) because it is deep underneath the surface water. And don’t be surprised when you get wounds and bruises because rocks underneath the water are not advisable for an underwater sea walk. Well, you can actually rent aqua shoes so those feet won’t be hurt anymore.

The Cathedral Island

Snorkeling is a good activity although flora and fauna under the sea is not bounty enough unlike those of Palawan and Bohol. You will see different types of fish and corals when you snorkel, particularly when you snorkel in their Coral Gardens. We saw a lot of Nemos there (or relatives of Nemo), together with ‘zebra’ fish, clown fish, dotted fish and a fish that mimics the corals. That’s awesome! I have never seen one in my entire life before. I didn’t notice that camouflaging when I snorkeled there but I eventually discovered it when the rock was moving! Oh you might as well visit Hundred Islands for that fish.

Snorkeling at the Coral Gardens (down below the surface water).

White sand beaches are also scattered in the different islands where you can enjoy swimming. But do not expect a pristine fine sand beach (as compared to beaches in Palawan) along the shore. The white isn’t white but is dirty white. Puzzled? The white sand shorelines of some of the islands look white from afar. You can also sight a big tower from afar (we thought it was the Cape Bolinao Lighthouse but it was the Power Plant in Sual as said by our guide).

Quezon Island, Hundred Islands
 There are also caves where you can wander for a while. But you are not for spelunking, are you? Caves here do not boast of stalactites or stalagmites. Only a hangout though. But there is an underwater cave in Marcos Island (I tried to swim there but I didn’t pursue going so far because the water really gets deep). You will also be brought to the Giant Clams Center, where giant clams are cultured. You are not allowed though to swim or snorkel in this area. During our visit, we spent most of our time enjoying swimming and snorkeling the sea.

A giant clam at the Giant Clams Center near Children's Island.

We took a clean bath at the public restroom in Lucap Wharf after our island hopping. If you forgot to bring shampoo, don’t worry, shampoo sachets are available in the restroom for small amount of money. Fee for using the restroom is P10. After bathing, we took some last snapshots and bought souvenir key chains in the wharf. Then we bade goodbye to the park and rode a trike (P80) to the city proper to wait for a bus heading to Bolinao.

Sun starting to set under the horizons covered by some of the hundred islands.
 What I really enjoyed in Hundred Islands National Park is the island hopping activity. It’s endless! We took the chance to set foot in most of the islands just to feel the spirit of the activity. It’s like hopping from one stone to another. Stones that were scattered long time ago, way before you did your first hop ever—with your own feet.

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