Thursday, August 25, 2011

Magalawa Island: the unfinished business

Whenever I have internet on my phone, and have nothing in mind to do over the internet, my final resort would be zooming on my google maps to find some great islands to check out. With pangasinan and zambales being my convenient destination, I have come across magalawa island. Thru google search, I got some information about the island, until I finally got to their facebook account; took their details and then organized a side trip along with my friends on a comeback tour i had to Potipot Island in Candelaria.

creepiness ahead

arrival in the island
Getting to the island for the first time was horrible. We got lost here and there, going back and forth the national highway. We had to ask the locals around who apparently are not so familiar either, who pointed us towards brgy San Juan. 

here's a video of how horrible the san juan route is during our first visit:

Being the locals we trusted them enough and took that route. We have come across several aged bridges; Even those where we had to stop and waited for a passer-by to confirm that it is passable by motor vehicles. The terrain goes worst as we forward, until we had to get the directions from the resort owners who confirmed we’ve taken the wrong route.

preparing dinner

got them in IBA public market; squid was at P60 per kilo (w/c in pampanga was at P140) and the fish (whatever it's called) was P42 for the piece (P70/kilo)

nom nom nom
There was no choice but to take a U-turn; 3 hours lost. It was quite late, almost 9pm, when we got to the jump-off point (Oslet’s house). The day after, my friend who took the camera left it on the shore and when he rose from the water, the camera’s wet and non-functional. The water has risen abruptly.

socials with the other guests of the island
It was quite disappointing that we did not recover even a single picture; All we had were those poor resolution shots and videos from our phones.

good morning magalawa
Last Saturday, Aug 20, we scheduled a trip to Coto mines in Masinloc Zambales. Unfortunately, we got to zambales so late, around 5pm, and when I called our contact person for coto mines, he said we might not be allowed to get in at that time. We didn’t have a choice but to find somewhere else to stay for the meantime, and spending the night in Magalawa Island will be a very good alternative. First, it will be nearby and would allow us to quickly jump to Coto mines in the morning, and second, So I can get pictures (by making it a point that I don’t leave the camera on the shoreline).

The resort is a bit improved this time. They had life vests on the boat; There was electricity to light the island on nightime; And there are airconditioned rooms for the more refined guests. They’ve also put up some better comfort rooms, as opposed to what was only available then during our first visit. They are also serving food nowadays for the no-cook travellers. And yes, the entrance charges were hiked too; What used to be P50 for a day trip is now P100, and the P100 overnight fee is now P300.

signature jump

another way to do it

alternative to the jumpshot :-)

Just like our first visit, by the time we reached the island, it was quite late. Too good I had the food ready from home and all we had to do was boil rice and fire up the charcoal for the barbeque. Apart from us, there were 2 more groups who pitched tent on the island. One of the groups joined us on the socials after dinner, who, after telling them about our plans the next day and what I have heard about coto, said they’ll go with us to coto.
walang magawa

We slept at half past three, after some good sharing-whatever-you-could-talk-about, and by 6am, I woke up to prepare the breakfast. The bad thing is, I think I forgot to keep the rellenong bangus inside the tent, so when we woke up, I couldn’t find a trace. I think the dogs took them (shiiit!!! I couldn’t get over it even the next day!). What’s left is the Maling and Tofu we bought in Iba Public Market.

Right after breakfast, we swam, and this time, it seems they’ve trimmed the meter high seaweeds i’ve seen during our first visit, which I suppose is the reason why the water isn’t that clear as it was before. Back on my first visit, I’ve spotted plenty of starfishes too of varying colors, including blue, but this time, there’s isn’t as much anymore and all I’ve seen were the brown ones. We  walked towards the shoreline on the left side of the island up to the far back where the mangroves are but there isn’t much to see too. By 10 pm, we were ready to leave the island for coto mines in Zambales.
Magalawa island’s entry point is in Brgy Panolingan in Palauig. It is 30.8Kms away from Iba public market thru the national highway. From that point will be 5.7 kilometers of rough terrain (average speed of less than 10kms/hr); then 2.3 kms of concrete, and then another kilometre of extremely rough terrain (average speed of 5kms/hr) to Oslet’s residence (the designated parking area and jump off point for the boat to the island; Paid parking at P100. It took us an hour and 14 minutes from Iba Public market to the jump off point. From Iba, there is a Y-road where left points to Palauig and right points to Candelaria. Either way takes you to the entry point in Barangay panolingan, but the Candelaria route will be faster i suppose.  There will be some stores before the jump off point but in case of cigarettes, better have your Marlboro or Winston ready beforehand because most of what you’ll get there are the Fortune, Mighty, Champion brands. As for liquor, they have spirits, d’bar, gin, emperador, red horse and colt 45 (I didn’t see san migh light or strong ice there; don’t even expect gilbey’s or tanduay ice or vodka cruiser J ).
Next to the island is San Salvador island which has white sand too. It is a bigger island and has far more families/inhabitants residing in the island. The boatman on our first visit to Magalawa island however said the seafloor is quite rocky, though when I see some pictures online, it seems to be just as good as magalawa. It will be a convenient sidetrip for a magalawa visit.
Magalawa is known by the way for ‘sandflies.’ A day after my first visit to the island, i got some itching which looked like mosquito bites. My friends who went with me on the first trip experienced the same. Another friend went to the island a week after and had the same thing. Before this second visit, i’ve read some more articles about it, and it seems, all visitors had the same complain. And, I wasn’t wrong. Just hours after we left the island, I got the itching again L urgggh!

the group along with the newfound friends for a final take before leaving island
getting ready to leave

the other white sand island; nearby San Salvador island

As of last year 2013, Magalawa island is now charging P150 for daytrip and P300 for overnight; Nothing has changed from the island from the time I first visited, except for that the water has gone unclear, and reef is almost bald. Suggesting Silanguin Cove as an alternative; Jump off is also closer.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Popular Posts