Weekend Wander : Magalawa Island

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

GAAAH, I’ve only managed to post one entry for May and it irks the hell out of me. May was the busiest month for me so far, and not just because of my birthday, but also because of the several events and summer outings I had to setup and attend. I also hosted our company’s summer outing which is why work has been hectic as hell. Anyway, I know it’s the rainy season but I would love to share one more destination you may be able to squeeze in before summer ends!

I recently saw a meme on Facebook saying most people probably don’t have vacation leaves anymore because of all the beach trips they’ve had throughout summer, lol. Hopefully, you guys still have some left for my next destination is not to be missed! I took this trip last year and sorely forgot about posting it because I was too busy with my new relationship, haha! Disclaimer : this set contains more awkward photos of myself than the place we stayed in. Just putting it out there, in case you came here expecting mostly photos of the place, hehe. 

Magalawa is an island lying 6 km northwest of Poblacion. Surrounding the island is the China Sea. Beyond the north is the San Salvador Island of Masinloc and on the east is Sitio Luan, Lipay. It is known for beautiful beaches. Magalawa is 56 hectares in area. Magalawa Island is now one of the newest tourist destinations in Zambales. An eco-tourism resort, Magalawa Island Armada Resort, a privately owned resort, has been developed since 2009 and now continually on its rise with its back to basic and nature trip settings. Just recently, to be able to provide and generate livelihood to the island community, management of the Armada Resort have come up with packages which include meals, snorkeling, rafting, boat riding, mangrove trekking. These help the community in providing livelihood and help generate income for its barangay and municipality. (via)

WHERE TO STAY

My friends and I stayed at Armada Resort. At the time of our visit, there were only two resorts to choose from, Armada Resort (west side) and Ruiz Resort (east side). We were told by our guide that there’s an ongoing dispute between the two resorts as to who really owns the island, but fortunately, no obvious bad blood between the two when we visited.

At Armada Resort, we stayed in a huge air-conditioned room with several double-deck beds and one private bathroom. There were 14 of us in the group and we managed to settle comfortably since the room is, well, huge. Our room was situated near the dining area which sat well with us since we always get hungry. We also had a Cabana in front of our room where we lounged after lunch and where we also had our night socials. 

WHAT TO EAT

The package that we availed already includes food. They serve your usual Filipino favorites coupled with soda and fruits for dessert. Dinner was a bit special because we had every bit of seafood I was craving for, yummmm! The only kicker was that we decided to have our dinner at the floating restaurant because we thought it will be amazing…NOT. I felt seasick the whole time! I don’t know what I was expecting. A more stable foundation would’ve done it, but no, it literally felt like eating in a boat while traversing the ocean. I was a bit dizzy after dinner, but nothing a few jumping jacks can’t fix. You can also bring your own food or snacks if you don’t want to avail of their food packages. A grilling area is available, just not sure of the cost. 

WHAT TO DO

Snorkeling – This was also included in the package we availed, including the snorkeling gears. I didn’t expect there's so much to see in this part of Zambales. I’ve been to Zambales several times and never had a chance to actually explore so much marine life in one place. I thoroughly enjoyed this activity because we shot most of our videos here, lol.

Relax on the beach or on a balsa. – Relaxing on the beach is, of course, free. If you want a more extensive view of marine life or if you just want to relax in the middle of the ocean, you can opt to rent a balsa for P100.

Play volleyball. – I saw a beach volleyball on our way to the resort and asked if I can borrow it. Not sure who really owns it but the people who were playing with it were kind enough to lend us the ball. Also not a competent player, but just for fun, I gave it a try, hehe. 

Now we go to the cost, how much did I spend? P3000 for everything. This was not a customized trip. We booked this trip through a good friend of mine from Biyahe Lokal. I didn’t have time to create an itinerary for a group of 14 people which is why I opted to book through them. They’re easy to talk to, fast and reliable, and they do take care of their clients. This is not a sponsored post btw, I just love them to bits. I’ve booked several trips from them in the past as well. From team outings to reunions at the beach, they’re my go-to group when I’m too lazy to plan my trips. They also have scheduled trips. And you don’t have to worry if you’re alone, they’ll make sure you don’t feel uncomfortable in any way. 

All you need to do is set a pick-up location and you guys are all set! I want to promote them because I’ve never had an uncomfortable trip with any of the guys who work there. Yes, they’re my friends, but they end up being friends with my friends too! They’re THAT fun.  So if you want a hassle-free vacation, visit their page and check out their current packages. I’m pretty sure you guys will have a lot of fun. 

It’s a delight finally being able to post this trip, haha! The photos have been sitting in my queue for about a year now and I feel like a delinquent person not being able to post it on time! I hope it’s not too late and you guys can still give this destination a try before summer officially ends! Two more days and we’re off to the weekend. I still have a busy month ahead of me but I’ll try to post as much as I can. No promises though! To end this post, here's a short video of our trip to Magalawa, created by my friend. Hope you guys enjoy the video!


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