Late, late post but who cares!
The Region One Adventure is supposedly a five-day trip to Urdaneta, Pangasinan and La Union where my friends Josef and Nicole lives. Since some plans got cancelled along the way, we did what we do best. IMPROVISED ITINERARY!
I left Manila a little later than my friends due to money issues and that resulted me not being able to sleep during the five hour bus ride because I was so paranoid I’d miss my stop. The upside is I finally finished the movie Apocalypto (WHY DO BUSES INSIST ON PLAYING THAT MOVIE? I’ve encountered two before this bus ride) and The Avengers.
I got swindled P100 by a tricycle driver who dropped me off at Urdaneta Garden Resort. Josef’s mom booked us a room for a night. There weren’t a lot of pictures from that day because we were too busy swimming, playing Heads Up, karaoke-ing and having a heated discussion on Josef’s taste on comedy movies. (She though She’s The Man wasn’t good.)
The next morning, we had breakfast at Josef’s and then boarded a bus to Dagupan and then another bus to Alaminos since there are no Alaminos buses in Urdaneta. I would’ve loved to stay for a little longer at Urdaneta so we could take tourist pictures!
We arrived at Alaminos around noon-ish and got assaulted by tricycle drivers almost instantaneously. We took a quick lunch at Jollibee and then rode a tricycle to the dock where the boats were. After a long negotiation, we ended up paying P2000 for a boat ride to and fro, a tour of the three developed islands and two life vests. (We convinced the guy to throw in the life vests for free)
We were given the option to stay on an undeveloped island (NO ANYTHING) so that we won’t have to pay entrance fees and tent fees but we decided not to since we had limited water, food and flashlights. LOL
Anyway, the real adventure started during the boat ride! We were first dropped off at Governor’s Island which was the tallest of the three we visited. After a sweaty trek up the island, (I was panting heavily when I got to the top thanks to my superb health) we were rewarded by a spectacular view of Hundred Islands!
We would’ve stayed longer if it weren’t for the scalding heat of the sun! We then went to Children’s Island which is named because the shallow water around it is perfect for, well, children. There wasn’t much to see at Children’s Island, just cottages and huts for tourists.
The kuya driving our boat dropped us off at a snorkeling site near the last island, Quezon Island. Being the only person in our group who can’t swim, I had to don a life jacket.
It was my first time to go snorkeling and it took me a few good minutes to work out the breathing underwater (i.e. not dying) part. There were loads of fishes and reefs to look at but I had ugly and scary thoughts at the back of my head because of the story Josef’s grandmother told us. She said something about locals tying tourists’ feet to corals and requiring payment for finding the body. It was such a huge conspiracy between the locals, the police and the funerary parlors. And the fact that we passed by loads of funerary parlors on the way to Alaminos did NOT help.
We spent the rest of the day taking pictures and making penis sandcastles because we are that mature.
We ended up not setting up the tent we borrowed because it was raining like crazy during the afternoon. Also, we were shocked that there wasn’t any FRESH WATER available at the shower rooms!!!!!!! We only brought one 5-gallon container of water! Ugh! I ended up NOT taking a shower at all and praying to the gods that there’d be shower rooms back at the mainland.
Time flew by so excruciatingly slowly that night. We ended up sleeping at around 8PMish, because, apparently, there are no lamps or lights at night. I woke up with the hopes that it’s already around 2AM or something but, alas, it was just TEN O’CLOCK IN THE EVENING.
We left the island at around 7AM. The boat ride back to the mainland was so beautiful and peaceful (probably because most of us didn’t have enough sleep lol). Thank god there were shower rooms available! YAY TO FRESHNESS!
Next post will be about our twenty-four hour impromptu Baguio escapade!
- Cubao – Urdaneta (via Solid North bus line) – P230ish (with student discount)
- 7-11 Urdaneta – Urdaneta Garden Resort – P100 #CURSEOFBEINGATOURIST
- Urdaneta – Dagupan: P40ish (with student disount)
- Dagupan – Alaminos (non-aircon bus): P40ish (with student discount)
- Alaminos Bus Terminal – Lucas Wharf: P50/tricycle
- Boat Ride (to and fro, with two ‘free’ life vests, island tour and snorkeling time) – P2000
- Snorkel – P150
- Entrance fee to Quezon Island – P40
- Tent fee – P200
- Table fee – P300
- Shower room – P25