Friday, 8 April 2016

Tales From a Viajera: Of Friendship, Sandbars, and White Sand - Magalawa Island

Even this Lab knows it time to hit the beach! Photo (C)
The heat has become unbearable. That's it. Summer has officially begun.

Hubby and his friends planned a one-day beach getaway. Of course, they need to bring their wives/ girlfriends with them or else all hell will break loose (he-he!).

At first, five couples agreed on a date, 19th of March. It was a Saturday and surely, most have no work that day. But due to some reasons, 2 couples backed out and only six of us went on.

I helped hubby look for a destination. One of his friends posted about a beach in Zambales on Facebook a year ago and being tagged in that post, I suggested we go there instead.

And where is this place? It's in Palauig, Zambales. Yes, I am talking about the enchanting island of Magalawa.

We first took the bus bound to Iba, Zambales. We met up with another couple, Green and Herlyn, at 3.30 in the morning hoping to catch the 5 am trip. At the Victory Liner terminal in Caloocan, we learned that there was a trip as early as 4.30 am to Sta. Cruz, which was way better because from Iba, we needed to transfer to a bus to Sta. Cruz. Oh well, lesson learned: trips may change from time to time. Bus fare: 342 pesos each and travel time took about five hours.

Photo (C)
Magalawa Island, here we come! That's me and hubby in black; Green and wife Herlyn in, well, green :) Photo (C)

At Iba, Zambales, the bus conductor informed us kindly when it was time to alight and transfer to a bus bound for Sta. Cruz. But we were bound to Pangolingan and the fare was just around 44 pesos each. The trip took about 40 minutes only.

Pangolingan, tricycle terminal.
Just inside my head: This looks like a bumpy ride.. Photo (C)
The sight told me it's a long ride.

At Pangolingan, we looked for a tricycle which will bring us to the Luan Port where we will take our boat ride to Magalawa Island (finally!). At 100 pesos per person, and only two passengers each, however, the tricycle ride was loooong and uncomfortable due to the rough road. 

And more rough roads O.o
Want to book a room? Contact Mang Mulo!
We decided to stay at Ruiz Resort (There are only two resorts in Magalawa and the other one is called Armada.) but we explored Armada the next day by paying 50 pesos each person.

At Luan Port. This is the jetty for boats heading to Ruiz Resort.
We waited for the boat that will take us to Ruiz Resort. Boat ride costs 100 each person (two-way).

Of the two, I liked Ruiz Resort better because it is much more cooler with all the trees scattered around the resort. Plus I like the fact that there are two sets of bathrooms there, totalling to 7 cubicles in all.

Nobody was using this table when we arrived. I thought it was a steal, until I learned why other campers stayed away from it. The tree was infested with hairy caterpillars! 
Excuse me, I feel itchy all of a sudden O.o Photo (C)

Even the restrooms were shaded by trees! This one is just for showering only though. 
On the other hand, Armada has a cleaner beach with less sea-grass plus a sandbar to boot. And since it's on the tip of the island, those who stay at Armada got to enjoy two sides of the beach. Wonderful, isn't it? 

However, while I was swimming along the beach in front of Armada, I got bitten by what it felt like a sea-mosquito a lot of times (huh?!), which never happened while I was snorkelling in front of Ruiz Resort. But I saw more sea stars (Yes, starfish is now officially named sea star well because, it isn't a fish in the first place.) along Armada's beach.

Ok, enough talk. Here's the beautiful island of Magalawa!

We decided to explore the island before the sun set and discovered a fishing community.
You can bring your own tent in Magalawa just like what couple Oji & Roan did! Photo (C)
Even the sight of hermit crabs makes me happy!
The vegetarian sea monster.
Monstrous as it looks, the greenish marina creature above only eats tiny aquatic animals, algae and waste. Called sea cucumbers, this specie is the longest one.

Well tell that to the marines! Those tentacles scared the hell out of me and I refused to swim past the taller sea grass because of them! Plus, weird as it already looks, this marine creature will spit its internal organs at a predator via its anus (WHAT?!?) to escape. Hey, I just read it here!

Another specie of sea cucumber. And some people eat them. Really?
How come there's Lionfish here? It maybe small but those spikes are full of venom!
This is the boundary between Ruiz and Armada Resort.
Hubby was excited to explore Armada's side of the island.
We're reaching the tip of the island and it looked like a sandbar! Photo (C)
The other side of Armada Resort. Double beach? I'm so jealous!
The beach on Armada's side sloped, though. Be careful when you have small kids!
It's quite enjoyable to snorkel at Magalawa. Sea Stars abound the beach :)
 Yep, marine biologists have changed their name from starfish to sea stars. They aren't even fish in the first place.

If I am not mistaken, that's a Chocolate Chip Sea Star on the upper right!

Have you seen the underside of a sea star?

Ugh, those spikes definitely look painful if you accidentally step on them. So watch out!
This one looks dead. Pretty as they look, we definitely should leave sea stars alone. Snap a picture, touch them, but never take them out of the water too long.
Pipefish! Do you see it? It's basically a straightened-up sea horse!
Can you spot the Cuttlefish?

 Alas, the time has come for us to head back to the jungle - I mean Manila. Well, till next beach adventure!
They said Zambales mangoes are the best! This kiosk is found along Mango Highway before San Antonio!
Photo (C)

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  1. Sarap! Want to go swimming again because of this sweltering heat lol