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An amazing race to the Hundred Islands
Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: -
Date: 2007-04-20
For eager nature-lovers who are looking for exciting places to cool down in this hot summer season, Alaminos City, the home of the Hundred Islands National Park in the province of Pangasinan, is waiting to be explored.

Whether angling for a laid back vacation or a fun-filled excursion, Alaminos City offers a hundred isles as a venue for various activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving or kayaking in the turquoise waters; and spelunking in the many mysterious coves of the Hundred Islands National Park.

According to a masterplan that has been laid out for the next 25 years, Alaminos is designed to be a green city, whose future development revolves and expands from the community’s strength as a tourist destination.

Through a mixed-use development strategy, the city will be integrating its vast agriculture and fishery resources with tourism, with expansions up to the city proper. In the works are a central park, a well-planned government center, modern road networks leading to a central bus station, communications facilities, water systems, a nature park, mountain communities, retirement villages and meticulously planned waterways, agri-tourism and other facilities that would project an image of the city as a well-designed tourism destination.

The Hundred Islands, the centerpiece of tourism, cover an area of 1,844 hectares and are believed to be some two million years old. According to certain Pangasinan folklore, the islands were teardrops from a primeval giant who grieved the loss of his ladylove. Others tell of talltale mermaids who once inhabited its seas. The latest island count (124 at low tide and 123 at high tide), sums up the grouping of isles scattered along Lingayen Gulf, many of which are still unexplored.


As it is now, Alaminos is already to be the choice spot for adventure seekers who are on the lookout for venues for multi-discipline sports such as running, biking, swimming, trekking, climbing, banca race, kayaking, spelunking, rapelling, paddling, land navigation, and other special tasks.

In fact, the city is all geared up for the staging of the "Smart Hundred Islands Adventure Race" set on May 5. Alaminos Mayor Hernani Braganza and organizer PETCO play host to this adventure race which will be a test of skill, strength, speed, and wits of adventure racers from all over the country.

The course will bring teams to the islands and islets of the Hundred Islands National Park and to other undiscovered areas of interest in the city. Racers will be able to unravel the wonders of Alaminos and everything in its lush landscape as they go through the race. Among the stops are:

l ALAMINOS CORAL REEFS. The alluring waters of the Hundred Islands is home to the fragile and diverse jewels of the Philippine Sea – the coral reefs. They shelter, feed and protect a copious number of sea creatures of the Park. They also aid the 123 islets in protecting the city’s coast from the impact of waves. Divers and snorkelers can have the time of their lives gliding over it, alongside the magnificent fishes and other sea creatures.

l UNDERSEA CAVES. Today, up to 10 caves have been identified in the Hundred Islands Park, some named after myths, legends and the stone formation. These caves are part of the plan to make this place an eco-tourism facility, marine sanctuary and a rich historical destination for everyone.

l BOLO BEACH. Ten kilometers from the City lies a weekend destination that is rapidly increasing in popularity. Bolo Beach’s long, horseshoe-shaped beach and shallow waters is a spacious and inviting playground for children and a refreshing retreat for adults, combined.

l GIANT CLAMS FARM (TAKLOBOS). The giant clams are sea creatures regarded as the world’s largest bivalve mollusks. Each clam has a shell length extending over a meter and can weigh over 225 kg. It is the faithful ally of the coral reef in supporting the marine life in the Park. Its massive size and interesting hues that gleam underwater prove to be a magnificent attraction, marveled at by visiting tourists who either dive or snorkel in the area.

How to get there:

The coastal city of Alaminos is about five hours bus ride from Metro Manila and three hours from Baguio City. Land travel from Manila to Alaminos City is 250 kms, 4 hours by private vehicle from Manila via Camiling, Tarlac 5 ˝ hours by public vehicle.

Public bus lines regularly plying the Pangasinan route (Baguio to Alaminos straight), passing by La Union province, are the Byron North Express and the Victory Liner. From Dagupan, it would take about another one and a half hours to reach Alaminos City, a breezy tricycle ride brings you to barangay Lucap and The Don Gonzalo Montemayor wharf. At the wharf, one can already have a sight of the inviting islands and the best way to get there is by chartered boat. The port can serve as a parking lot for a fee. Outrigger motorized boats can be rented here to ferry you to a cluster of islands and islets collectively known as the Hundred Islands. (

[The Hundred Islands]


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