Where else can you find a city with more than a hundred islands in close proximity and within its boundaries? Well, in Pangasinan of course! Alaminos City is home to the Hundred Islands National Park. Fun fact, there’s actually more than a hundred islands in the park, it’s just that many of them can’t be visited. Besides that, the city is also the center of commerce, economy, education, and finance of the province.
Before going to the hundred islands though, be sure to visit the St. Joseph Cathedral, a church built in the 1800’s, making it one of Pangasinan’s oldest churches and also a historical treasure. Also, stop by at Lucap Wharf, the gateway to the park. With a variety of eateries to choose from, this is a great place to rest and eat before heading to the islands.
The three main islands are the Governor’s Island, Quezon Island, and Children’s Island. The Governor’s Island is the only island with a fully-functional lodge where groups can opt to stay in. This island was made famous a few years ago when local TV show, Pinoy Big Brother decided to bring the housemates to Alaminos for a challenge.
Near Governor’s Island is the Virgin Island, where locals say it got its name from its shape, which resembles a young maiden. Close to the two islands is the helmet diving site, where you can see what the underwater looks like.
Quezon Island is family-friendly because it is surrounded by shallow waters. Underneath these shallow waters are thousands of eager fishes, anticipating whatever offering the visitors can give, usually rice or bread. Go snorkeling in this area to see the thousands of fishes and the giant clams. Although not as vibrant as the rest of their aquatic neighbors, the clams are still a must-see.
Another family-friendly island is the Children’s Island, which is ideal for groups with small children. Like the other three islands, it’s dotted with huts and cottages for you to rent and stay in. Word of caution though, the beaches in the islands aren’t covered in sand; they’re mostly covered in stones and pebbles. So, it’s best to wear aqua shoes to protect those feet!
Another island worth visiting is the Marcos Island, named after the late dictator. In the heart of the island is the Imelda Cave (beware of snakes!) where you reach a landing after climbing down a short flight of carved steps. Adrenaline junkies are invited to jump from the landing into a pool of clear water. The drop is probably 20 feet. Exciting, right?
The Monkey and Bat Island was named after its residents. The Cuenco Island, Romulo Island, and the turtle-shaped Turtle Island are all other minor islets suitable for visits. There are more islands you can reach through kayaking or through your rented boat. These islands are pulsing with wildlife but be sure to not abuse the animals’ lack of fear.
Oh, and before you leave, make sure to try one of their delicacies, the Alaminos longganisa. Unique to the city, this spicy and salty delicacy got visitors raving about its taste. So, be sure to try one or two before leaving the city.
What are you waiting for? Hands down, this place is one of the must-see places of the Philippines.
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