Known as one of the “must-see” attractions of the Philippines, the majestic Hundred Islands National Park is very popular among travelers, local or foreign. I had the opportunity to admire its beauty up close when my American fiance came to the Philippines last May 2013 to meet my family. Coming from a nearby town, it only took a 10-minute drive to Lucap Wharf in Alaminos City, where you can easily find the port.

What I loved most about the Hundred Islands is how crystal clear and warm the water was. For a mere $35 (roughly PhP 1,500), you get to tour around the islands for several hours and enter the beautiful caves that are home to a wide array of sea and air creatures. The boatmen, who also serves as your tour guide, are very pleasant and well-acquainted with the area so we were not worried at all about our safety.

The highlight of our tour was visiting the captivating Quezon Island. Named after former President Manuel L. Quezon, this is probably the largest and most popular island since most of the recreational activities can be found here. Upon arriving to Quezon Island, we immediately noticed how developed it was compared the others. Aside from the fine sand and clear water, we were welcome by a row of colorful banners that immediately made us feel right at home. Here, we found a camping area, a restaurant, picnic tables, huts and cottages, grilling areas, and even a police hut. Because of the island being stunningly capped with trees, I was able to chill under the shades and enjoy blissful serenity while sipping my fresh Buko (Coconut) Juice.

We also checked out the viewing deck and the giant clam and coral garden situated at the beachfront. I was mesmerized that the clams were almost three times the size of my head! We also did everything from kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, bird watching, to enjoying a delectable picnic with my family and friends. The island surely catered to everyone’s interests, young and old. At the end of a tiring day, we sat on the shore and admired the picturesque sunset before packing up and riding a boat back to the port.

Touring the Hundred Islands was definitely one of the best experiences I ever had. Not only was it a safe, relaxing, and an amazing way to spend my day, I also got more than my money’s worth. It gave my fiance and I wonderful memories that we will cherish forever. In fact, we are already planning another visit next year and we really hope to bump into you there!

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