by - 6:22 AM

If you're gonna ask me what's the best place here in the Philippines that I've been and loved so far, I would probably have a hard time answering the question. There are a lot of beautiful places here in our country in which not even half has been crossed out of "my to-visit list" but the Bangui Windmills in Ilocos Norte, Loboc River in Bohol and Hundred Islands in Alaminos, Pangasinan are a few of my personal picks. Given the chance, I'd love to explore and visit all these beautiful places first rather than go out and explore another country. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I have no pure intention to explore a foreign land because that would sound really fake, I actually have dream destinations around the world that I'd love to visit someday. But for now, can we at least give our country a chance to be explored? It's a beautiful country after all!

OK moving on, I'm sharing with you our recent family vacation which all happened last April (right after Holy Week). I've been to Hundred Islands last year with a different group of people as my company (Read the adventure here) and knowing that this is gonna be my 2nd time visiting and first time for the family, I knew the experience would be a whole lot different.

Growing up, my family and I had been traveling to different places most especially around Davao and Cagayan De Oro. And because we no longer get to travel as often as we used to, I always tell my mom that we should at least make it a point to go on a family vacation whenever she comes home from the UK. That time she told me she wanted to go to Hundred Islands and so I did all the research for the hotels/transients we can stay in for a night. Unfortunately, on the scheduled date of our vacation there was a super typhoon coming up in the North and might actually affect parts of Pangasinan. So change of plans, I researched down South with Batangas and Quezon Province as my options. Then my mom would literally change her mind every now and then as to where to go. It was crazy! After a whole lot of crazy discussion and making up of minds, we still pushed through with Pangasinan anyway. I can't really elaborate into details as to how much the entire trip costed. But I could give you a few tips and recommendations in return.

The trip lasted for around 8 hours. We rode a bus in Cubao bound for Alaminos and rode a tricycle bound to Lucap (where our hotel is). When I did my research, I opted for a hotel or transient that's near the port area where the boats are on stand so it's easier for us to access the spot. I booked for an overnight stay at Island Tropic Hotel. It's a cheap but very clean hotel. I was pretty impressed when we got there because the place was really simple but very nice. The room wowed us very much because it was relaxing and very homey. I wasn't able to take pictures because my siblings immediately jumped off to bed and messed up the bed set-up. The room we got was good for 4 people. We're 5 so we needed an extra bed and they were kind enough not to charge it upon check out. I was so drained with the 8 hour ride so when dinner was served, I brushed off the idea that I was on a diet most especially when this seafood chopsuey was served. GOODNESS GRACIOUS. This is another thing I'm gonna come back for at Island Tropic Hotel aside from the affordable accommodation and service.

We woke up the next day as early as we can to have breakfast and to check out. So we can head over to Hundred Islands as early as we possibly can because tourists are coming and some of the spots get easily crowded by lunch time. We rented a boat from the hotel. It's advisable to just rent a boat from the transient/hotel where you're staying because they have a person in charge who will take care of everything for you. From the environmental fee to boat and life vests rentals. So you won't have to go directly to the office yourself to pay for the environmental fee (which is a very long walk from some of the transients/hotels.) It will save you time at least right? And make sure to bring along lots of snacks and cold drinks with you because the food sold in some islands are quite expensive. One last reminder: DON'T FORGET TO APPLY SUNBLOCK & ENJOY!

Aside from me, I can tell that my family is excited to explore the spot as well!

The Bankeros will automatically drop you off to the famous islands around even when you don't have to ask or say anything. So, first stop: Governor's Island. This is where you have to trek your way up to see the entire view. 

Look at that view! Every time I look at it, feels like the first time. I'm still so much in awe. 

My mom almost gave up along the way going up! LOL. But when we reached the top, she was all like "Take a picture of me! Make sure it's a beautiful one!". I can tell her tiredness melted away instantly when she saw the view. Oh mom.

My sisters and I were pretty excited to go swimming, so the bankero took us to Marcos Island where we can go cave diving! I challenged my sisters to do this because it's one experience they shouldn't miss. My mom and my brother opted to stay in the boat while we went swimming. 

Here's a video of my cave diving experience! 

A video posted by Stephanie Joy Santos Macasaet (@stephymcst) on

Though we didn't jump off together, experiencing this along with my sisters was a fun experience to cherish. We laughed like crazy after because they didn't wanna do it again. Once is enough as they've said.

After Marcos Island, we went off to Quezon Island and didn't stay there for too long because it was really crowded. We requested to the bankero to take us to an island with less people so we can swim freely and take pictures around. I didn't take note of the island's name though because I was too occupied adoring the beach.

My sisters and I snorkeled together on the clear waters. AAAAHHH I MISS THIS. 

There's just something about Hundred Islands that no matter how many times I go back, it never fails to take my breath away and leave me mesmerized. I am beyond grateful that I was able to experience this whole thing with my family. Just silently looking at the sky, swimming in clear waters, enjoying the warmth of the sun, inhaling the sea breeze and allowing the waves to take away all my worries are the things I'd kill to experience every single day. My family enjoyed Pangasinan as much as I did. Most especially my mom and you can see it right through her smile right there.

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  1. Cave diving sounds fun! Now that I'm kind of over with my fear of life vests (I used to be crazy anxious on wearing it, thinking that I would die lol) I think that would be a super fun activity! Hehe! :)

    Also, ang sexy naman! Never been to Pangasinan, but hoping that I could visit soon!

    1. You should definitely try it! It's a must! It's quite scary at first and when you finally jump in, you'll feel relieved after. Sexy???! NOOOOOOOO :(((((( But thank you so much! xx

  2. Ahh looks like you had such a fabulous time! x