THE Hundred Islands National Park is probably the most popular tourist spot in Pangasinan. It is a group of approximately 123 islands and islets scattered over Lingayen Gulf, believed to be formed more than two million years ago. The lowering of the sea level has exposed them to the surface. The peculiar “mushroom-like” shapes of the islands were caused by the eroding action of the ocean waves.
Upon arrival at the park, there is a huge parking lot where you can leave your vehicle, a tourism office where you pay the entrance fees as well as rent a boat to tour you around the islands. A P200 deposit will be returned to you when you surrender your trash bag. Our first stop was at Quezon Island, the most developed and most visited island. It was proclaimed as the first National Park in the Philippines by former President Manuel L. Quezon.
The name of the island is derived after him. This island was overcrowded but still a great place to relax and take pictures. Governor Island used to be the shooting area of the reality show “PBB” or Pinoy Big Brother, a popular show in the Philippines. It also has rooms complete with facilities and utensils. At the peak of the Governor’s Island, you can spot the fantastic view of the Hundred Islands. We bought fresh crabs from the locals and had them cooked for our lunch.
Romulo Island’s clear water was simply pristine and slope gradual. This wasn’t part of the boatman’s itinerary, but I’m glad we went. We lazed away by swimming and snorkeling. The Pilgrimage Island has the 560-ft statue of Christ at the top. We spent almost an hour here going up and down to see the images of the 12 Stations of the Cross. The views on the way and at the top were amazing! Our kids enjoyed the Children’s Island the most because the beach is shallow and clear, perfect for swimming, snorkeling and kayaking... very ideal for children, as the name suggests.
Visiting the islands is definitely a great experience. We spent the whole day exploring other islands and were beat after all the fun this park had to offer. With more than a hundred islands harboring white sand beaches, caves, limestone rocks and cliffs, Hundred Islands guarantee a well worth escape. Take pictures everywhere with your camera. Save the memories.