Finally, we’re in Alaminos! My best friend Abby and I have been planning this trip for two months now. It got moved thrice; once because of a typhoon, and twice because of conflicting schedules. We only had two days to enjoy Pangasinan because she doesn’t have leaves yet. Good thing she’s such a great planner, so we still made the best out of what time we had. Here are some pictures and stories to sum up our weekend getaway.
After checking in at Villa Milagros Pension House, we decided to grab some late lunch at a carinderia. Abby was not happy about the price of the food, but we already expected this. We ended up sharing three dishes for four people.
Next up, we looked at souvenirs, ate some more street food, then went to this famous little lighthouse. We didn’t think twice and just went ahead to climb it. When we got to the middle part, Abby already climbed (more liked crawled) down in total fear! Haha. It was quite frightening, but the view makes up for all of it!
Afterwards, we went back to the plaza to explore the city, eat more food, and wait for one more friend who’ll be coming from Baguio after a three-hour exam. We ate some street food, and I tell you, their longganisa is one of the best longganisas I’ve ever had! Three small pieces on a stick was only 10 pesos. Very cheap compared to a piece for 15 pesos at the carinderia we ate at earlier. Talk about overpricing! Since we didn’t see any interesting restaurant (or we’re just really boring people), we ate dinner at Chowking.
Day 2 – Island Hopping
The next day, we started our island hopping tour past seven in the morning. The weather was perfectly sunny for a good tan and to make the water look better. It was amazing to see the islands up close and even explore some of them, namely Governor’s, Marcos, Quezon, and Children’s Islands. After my Palawan escapade, I’m very excited to snorkel again and use my new (cheap) action camera underwater. Although marine life is much better in Palawan, I still enjoyed the experience.
We paid P1,400 for a boat that carries five people. They also made us pay P50 for every life vest we use outside the boat (weird, right?) and made ME pay P250 for the complete set that includes the snorkeling gear and fins. However, I didn’t use or even ask for the fins! I specifically said I just wanted to rent the snorkeling gear, but I just paid the P250 just to get it over with.
I also went cliff diving at the Imelda Cave in Marcos Island. This was the first time I did this, so I was scared a few seconds before doing it. But I did it! I feel so proud of myself to finally conquer this fear (I had a life vest on, but that still counts!).
After the tour, we headed out to Mangatarem to go to our friend’s house. We visited the church and ate at Nikka’s Place before finally going home.
My Pangasinan experience, no matter how rushed, was worth it. Alaminos is a rather cheap destination for those who want to enjoy the beach for a brief weekend adventure. It can get hot though, because (as locals say) Pangasinan is close to Tuguegarao, one of the hottest provinces in the Philippines, so make sure your umbrellas and sun block are ready.
Breakdown of Expenses
- P 393 – Bus Fare from Cubao to Alaminos
- P 60 – Tricycle from Alaminos to Villa Milagros Inn (for 4 people)
- P 1,680 – Room (for 5 people, P336 each)
- P 85 – Lunch
- P 100 – Dinner
- P 40 – Hundred Islands Entrance
- P 1,400 – Boat (for 5-6 people, P280 each)
- P 100 – Snorkeling Gear Rental
- P 85 – Lunch
- P 60 – Tricycle to Town Proper (for 4 people)
- P 393 – Bus Fare from Alaminos to Cubao
P 1,842 – Total
(These are just estimates and may be lower or higher depending on the number of people and your spending habits.)