Saturday, March 9, 2013

Mag-isa sa Magalawa Day 1

I have traveled alone often enough to know that it is not for me. Because of my previous job as a field engineer.. errr, technician, I've been to Rosary Heights, Mulanay, Narvacan and Guihulngan all by myself. And I hated all of those trips wherein I have to go solo. To think that I am an introvert which means I have this constant need to be alone which should also mean that going solo should be my preferred type of traveling, right? No. I hate having to talk to new people, I hate being vulnerable, I hate not having my own private space, I hate having to ask for directions, I hate being ridiculed by the locals, I hate dirty restrooms but.. I love traveling. And that love is enough to give me courage.

So I woke up one morning and told myself that my fangirling-travel-blogger days are over. It is time for me to create unforgettable journeys of my own.

I was suppose to go to Puerto Galera, attend the Malasimbo Music Festival and finally see Joss Stone! But after calling different resorts and finding out that they are all fully booked, I got mind images of how huge the crowd is going to be. I don't think I could handle that much people, I might pass out and die

Baby steps.. baby steps.

I've been eyeing on Magalawa Island ever since I've read about it in Chasing Philippines blog. Actually, she doesn't have a good feedback about her trip there but after a few stressful work days and harassing the Facebook page of Armada Resort, Magalawa Island, I finally decided to book a night stay at this place.

Hours before my departure, I read a controversy about the ownership of the resorts in Magalawa Island on other tavel blogs. I know that a responsible traveler should know about this but hey, there is no time to back out! It is 11pm and I am suppose to leave my apartment which is at the southern part of Metro Manila at 1am to be able to catch the first Victory Liner bus in Caloocan terminal bound to Sta. Cruz, Zambales that leaves at 4am. 

Did I say 1am?? Wrong idea. I arrived in Caloocan at 2am! Two hours ahead of the bus departure time. My hometown is a couple of minutes away from Caloocan and I know very well how dangerous this place is. I decided to kill time at the nearby 24 hours friendly Jollibee store. 

I must say that my tambay in Jollibee Monumento is very interesting. Different types of drunk people eat there during those time. I left my private space in the fast food with the most awesome spaghetti at around 3:15am and head on to the dark alleys of Victory Mall to be able to get to Victory Bus Terminal.

The first test of my courage for this trip is to ask for the proper fare going to Palauig/Brgy. Pangolinan/Veritas Road, I failed. I paid the whole fare going to Sta. Cruz which is 451 pesos. Well, Php 456 because of the 5 pesos insurance. Why? Whilst at the ticketing window, I didn't have the courage to say that I am going to Veritas Road because I am third in line and there are a bunch of people behind me who might laugh at my stupidity. It might be a no brainer for some but as I said, I am an introvert and it is this extreme. The exact fare from Caloocan to Veritas Road is Php386. 

Another test is to tell the bus conductor to drop me off Veritas Road. I didn't have the courage until I was in Olongapo. Luckily, manong is very friendly and he already knew that I am going to Magalawa right after I told him that I need to get off Veritas Road. This Guy's In Love with you Mare kept my worries away of missing my stop. Note: The sign board of "Veritas Road" is at the left side. 

After getting off Veritas Road at Brgy. Pangolinan, Palauig, Zambales, I rode a Php150 worth of tricycle ride. IMO, this is actually under priced considering the rough road that we have to pass through on our way to Luan Port.

Luan Port
Luan Port got me nervous because it is not an inviting port. The water smells like stale fish and I was worried that Magalawa Island will be the same and that I should have listened to Chasing Philippines but, this is one of the few times that I am happy to be wrong. At around 11am, I arrived at one of the hidden paradise of Zambales.

I have never been to Calaguas and I always read bloggers saying that the sand here is way inferior compared to that of Calaguas. I dunno.. I fell in love with this place. True, the sand is not pearl white but Magalawa captured my heart. Much to my delight, I was the only guest during my stay here. Magalawa Island = OWNED!

See, the sand is not that bad
I made a reservation for a fan room worth Php 1,500 good for 2 persons but since I am the only guest, they let me stay in the aircon room good for 6 person at the same price. Oh the perks of travel during weekdays!

My Upgraded Room
The View from my Room
The tree house and the fan rooms

By 12 noon my lunch was ready. The flat rate for every meal is Php 200, and it is very reasonable as you can see:

After a huge meal and a 2 hour nap, I woke up at 3pm to catch the sunset. Unfortunately, the sun sets on the other part of the island so I was not able to see how scenic it is. I thought to my self that it could only mean one thing, the sun will rise on my end of the island! Fortunately, I prefer sunrise over sunsets!. :D
I killed time just staring at the horizon, thinking about nothing. I am not a good swimmer so I didn't dare swim alone. It's amazing how I did nothing but never felt bored during my stay.

Hipster Shot
Another Hipster Wannabe Shot
The spot where I just sat there and stare at the sand, the sky and the water
Sunset at Magalawa
As night comes, I did not felt creeped out even if I am alone. There is something about this island that made me feel safe.. or maybe it is just me and my love for silence. Also, it was probably due to my lack of sleep that I immediately dozed off at 8:30pm. I set my alarm at 5:30am so I could catch the majestic sunrise. Good night and thank you, Magalawa.

1 comment:

  1. Ang lakas ng trip mo Pau, mag isa sa magalawa. grabe!
    idol ko na kayo ni paul, kayang mag solo on a trip.