For many Filipinos, a trip to beach is ideally made during the summer. I once thought like that. But for the past several years, I craved for quiet beaches. And that’s what I got when me and my friends went to Magalawa Island in Zambales for some rest and relaxation.
I wish I could give you directions on how to go to the place like I did when I blogged about our Burot Beach escapade. Alas, I cannot. We rented a van for P8,000 and it came with our favorite driver, Kuya Jay-R. Our first meeting place was the Jollibee branch in Alabang, near the Firestation. Next stop was a building in Makita. We left there about 5:30AM and arrived in the dock going to Magalawa Island around noon.
If you are going to commute, you will have to take a bus to Iba, Zambales and from there, you can ask around how to get to Magalawa Island. The people are friendly and will tell you what you need to know. The road is different though. From the main road to the dock, you will have to prepare yourself for a bumpy 30-minute ride. So if you’re commuting in one of the pickup trucks that the locals use, expect to get so sweaty and dusty that you’ll want to swim the moment you get to the island.
From the dock, you will have to ride a boat for 10 minutes. There was a group ahead of us and Ate Grace, the coordinator and caretaker of Magalawa Island, said that it’s okay for us to ride with them. The boat, according to her, could fit 25 people. We had serious doubts about that so we decided that some of us would stay behind, me included, and wait for the boat to return and ferry us to the island.
Compared to the huts in Burot Beach, the nipa huts in Magalawa Island are luxurious. It was finely made with bamboo and designed with a weary traveler in mind. An “ate” was changing the bed sheets and pillow covers when we got there. A “manong” brought us an electric fan and padlock for the door. I was the first one to lie on the mattress and observe how the curtains made the hut very charming and cozy. 3.2.1
Here is photo of the hut’s sleeping area.
Lunch at Magalawa Island
Our trip to Magalawa is the most stress-free trip that we have ever taken. The P,1400 we paid for our accommodations also included four meals: lunch, dinner, breakfast and lunch. For the first time, we didn’t have to worry about cooking our own food, which is always a stressful activity. We can just relax and soak ourselves in the unspoiled charms of the island.
Lunch at the island’s humble restaurant was a feast. We were served crabs, sinigang na hipon and fried fish. Soft drinks were also served as well as bananas. We were curious about the crabs that had spots on its shell. One of the servers informed us that it is called onse-onse (eleven-eleven) because if you count the number of spots in each crab, it will amount to eleven. Wondering whether that is true, I did count the spots on the crabs. True enough, each crab had eleven spots!
After Lunch Activities
With our bellies full, we all decided to take a shower and rest before we frolic in the beach. Since we’re housed in a nipa hut, we had to use the public bathroom and the deep well. We went by pairs so one can pump water while the other showers. The boys, with their SLRs, took a stroll around the beach and took pictures.
By 4PM, we went out and took a walk. I gathered shells and hermit crabs along the way. I took off my slippers because the sand was fine and it didn’t hurt to walk barefoot. In one part of the beach, the sand was almost powder-like that I can’t resist taking a picture of my feet on it.
Calm, warm and green. That’s the first three words that come to mind when I think of the waters at Magalawa Island. Admittedly, I didn’t find the water as breathtaking as the one in Burot Beach but it it’s perfect for swimming. Whereas you have to worry about stepping on sharp rocks, sea urchins, slippery seaweeds, and starfishes in Burot Beach, you only have to worry about starfishes in Magalawa Island.
By 6PM, we were asked to go to the restaurant for dinner. Again, it was a feast. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to enjoy it because a swarm of insects called “niknik” attacked us while we were on the table. I had to eat my food standing up so I can move around and not be a stationary target for this nasty buggers.
Tomorrow, I’ll post about the second day of our Magalawa Trip.