Friday, May 04, 2012

Magalawa Island

I am not sure how far North of the Philippines I've ever traveled before, but I think this counts as the farthest.  This weekend, I joined the boyfriend and his family for a fun summer trip to the Armada Beach Resort on Magalawa Island, a 10-minute boat ride away from Palauig, Zambales.

If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, I would definitely recommend the place.  BUT I recommend you go for the air-conditioned rooms even if they are priced higher.  It was not very windy in the evening and it was a little bit uncomfortable.  (Yeah, yeah, so I'm spoiled that way...)

Overall, though, it was a great experience.  The water was very clear and the beach was relatively clean (meaning there were a few wrappers of candy - but much fewer than other beaches).  Activities are basically swimming and snorkeling.  There's also an option to camp on the grounds for the more adventurous folk.

I won't get into the details on the budget, but I think we spent around 3.5k per head.  I guess it would also depend on how you plan it and how many of you there are (e.g., cram more people into the van - we had space for 2 more people).

What to Expect:
- Total travel time is about 4 hours for experienced drivers familiar with the area.  Most of the sites we researched online said the travel takes about 5 hours.  It is a good thing we decided to rent a van.  I suggest you do the same if you decide to go.  Oh, and there's a dirt road that takes about 20 to 30 minutes to get through if I remember correctly, so it would definitely NOT be a good idea to bring a car.  Maybe a 4x4 if you plan to drive yourself.
- Food is mostly seafood.  Decent enough.  I'm a big fan of shrimp so I was relatively satisfied.  Don't expect gourmet dishes, most of them are just steamed.
- No refrigerator.  So you're really just going to have to survive on snacks and the food that they serve at the resort.
- Bring insect repellant.  You're going to need this in the evening.  I can't vouch for those in the air-conditioned rooms, but I think it helped me a whole lot.

Magalawa Island's Facebook Page

Van Rental (not sure about the company name):
Jen -  +63 922 816 3621


eggy said...

so you were not satisfied?

moonpool said...

I was. What gave you the idea I wasn't? :D