Monday, May 08, 2006

sandflies(Magalawa Island, Masinloc, Zambales)

This is an old accounting of my Magalawa Island Experiences, you might like to read the latest Magalawa Island experience here ! libot.blogspot.com/2011/05/beatiful-magalawa-island-in-zambales (May 5,2011)


Ever heard of them? Until a few weeks ago, I must confess that I haven't. We went to to spend the holy week in a place in Zambales called Magalawa Island. As usual all I brought to navigate to this hitherto unknown (to me) place is my gps and google earth on my laptop. Armed with what little info there was on the net, we set out to spend 3 days of sun, fun and sand on what we hoped was another worthwhile gamble. Its really fortunate that our new friend JC was available as he not only lives at the launch port which was Masinloc but he is also an excellent guitarist. Whats a camping activity without a good guitarist eh?

On the way there we passed by quite a number of people participating in the holy week practices. By the time we reached masinloc the car was splattered with blood all over the side doors and mirrors. I lived in Pampanga for a few years and went to highschool there to strengthen my lungs so I could lose my asthma. Its been quite a while since I last saw this spectacle. I'm surprised at how young some of these penitents are. What have they done to merit such drastic penitence anyway? (photos by FrancisAtendido Panasonic Lumix FZ-20, upper left:penitent youth on roads around SanAntonio Zambales, lower left: Magalawa Island south side beach area)
We finally reached Masinloc, parked the car, unloaded the camping gear and 2day supplies and loaded it onto the boat. Being the middle of April, the sun was tremendously hot. In-your-face hot. I have not felt the Philippine summer for about 5 years and it felt great. The boat ride cost a thousand pesos including pickup on Easter Sunday. Not bad realy considering the same distance would cost 2,800 in Anilao since the boat has to do 2 round trips.

There is a small community of fisherfolk on Magalawa Island. Some 200 odd families. Beer is available at 25 a bottle. There are fresh water pumps but only the ones in the village are saltfree. The ones used near the visitors area are so salty its like dipping in the ocean. (photos by FrancisAtendido: right: Magalawa island fisihing community - west side of the island, lower left: camp site on south side beach area 2006/04/14)




We setup camp somewhere on the south side of the island where it was much quiter. The east tip is where the good sandbar and swimming area is. Be careful when you land as the locals, any of them, come up to you and ask for a hefty port fee. We paid only 600 because JC had some distant relatives there.
We left manila at 6am and we were able to setup camp and start swimming by 1:30pm - not bad. The sand was not so bad either, real crushed corals with a slight mixture of common grey sand. There are no live corals to speak of but the waters are clear and there are thousands of starfish. Theres actually so much of them that they become a real nuisance to the beach goers. They have very sharp spines on their backs and stepping on them may prove to be very painful. So we found a lot of them just stacked on the beach either dead or dying. I believe they were purposefully put there by irate bathers or playful kids.
(photo taken by Francis Atendido, lower left: camp site -front view)
The west side of the island has a lot of mangroves, so the sand there is a bit silty, dead leaves are from the sea grass flourishing a few meters from the shore. At night we lit up our coleman, started cooking and lit up a bonfire. Small insects kept biting and at first I thought it was mosquitoes but they were too small and quick. I later found out that these were sandflies and boy do their bites itch!
All in all we really had a great time relaxing, bonding and singing on the top of our lungs (hey, its an island eh?). There were a whole bunch of visitors on the island that Saturday. Huge boats started landing at 7am with hoards of people of all ages. I even saw a few cows but I'm sure those didn't come from the boats. haha (photos by Francis Atendido Magalawa Island Zambales, 2006/04/14 to 2006/04/16 Panasonic Lumix FZ-20 , right: good friend, guide, and excellent guitarist JC)


Over all it was not a bad experience. I wouldn't mind going back
















15 comments:

heartsees said...

This blogs wants to tell us that the Philippines possesses wonderful places that anyone will enjoy.

Let us keep on discovering our own sceneries, it is ours to enjoy.

Just keep on posting and keep up the good work.

demeter said...

thanks, I invite everyone to go and visit this small but beautiful island

demeter said...

A recent blogger has just written a very detailed instruction on how to get to Magalawa. Let me post his link here...

http://www.exploremyphilippines.com/2010/07/how-to-go-to-magalawa-island.html

demeter said...

A word of warning:

It has come to my attention that two factions are currently fighting for the rights to this island, that group of Mr.Armada and a certain “MISSISS”. Be careful NOT to get in the middle of this argument as people there feel very passionate about it. There have been some threats and even deaths reported as a result of bickering amongst the locals. I believe the cottages set all along the beach are owned by the Armadas. They also own the magalawa facebook page. However, I think a majority of locals feel and support the authority of this “Mississ” as owner of the island so do be warned and be careful when you stay at anything owned by the Armadas on the island.

demeter said...

Altogether, Magalawa island is STILL truly a beautiful place to go to. Did you know there is a marine sanctuary between this island and Pulo (San.Salvador Island). I saw it once and it was BEAUTIFUL!!! Lots of corals and fish. I believe that prior permission is required and a fee of 50 per head is exacted from tourists who wish to explore there. Please contact the Tordillo family (Mily, Junior or Raymond) at SMART# 0909 341 4621 or 0907 275 6995

Sole Pendulum said...

this blog you have here is indeed better than the one I wrote.

(http://www.tamanggala.com/2010/11/magalawa-island-romantic-getaway.html?showComment=1299464647876#comment-c1224452224757008209)

Lucky you for seeing the island on it's beautiful, untouched state that time.

Thanks for sharing. I am planning to visit the marine sanctuary you're saying :D

demeter said...

Hi! Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving that nice comment. I just love the pictures you posted. Especially the first one of the mangrove trees! Beautiful. Keep travelling to our beautiful destinations! Isn't it great to discover these hidden paradise around us? Life is beautiful!

demeter said...

I found out the name of the other party claiming ownership of Magalawa island.

According to most of the locals, apparently Mrs. Lourdes Ruiz is the true owner daw?

In anycase, all who plan to go there this summer please be wary of this. Just be neutral and you'll be fine!

lakwatsera said...

Magalawa Island back in the days. Pristine, uncorrupted by tourists, unknown to most bloggers... Thanks for giving us something to blog about. Any plans of coming back? Care to stay over at the Armada's? :)

lakwatsera said...

By the way, The post " Tambobong on My Mind" made me wanna go there. I did. Thanks, again...

demeter said...

@Lakwatsera - thanks for visiting and leaving my blog. I think I would like to go and visit magalawa again this summer pero I would like to just bring a tent and cook myself siguro para iwas gulo? I really want to visit the marine sanctuary. The last time I took a peek eh may pumunta na banka at sinita kami. This time I made plans to officially visit the site para makaikot ako ng matagal. From what I saw last time, the sanctuary held so much corals and marine life that it was a real joy to go around and view the site.
Also, I'm really glad I was able to help you visit Tambobong. I hope you had a great time there?

@lakwatsero - thank you for that info. I too would like this dispute resolved fast and peacefully na. Sayang naman kasi yung ganda ng island. I'm glad walang untoward incident when you were there.

lakwatsera said...

I would like to revisit Magalawa this summer, too. Anyway, if you do, pls blog about it. Tambobong? Did I have a great time? Had a blast!Thank You.

demeter said...

@lakwatsera - I surely will! =)

demeter said...

Update on Magalawa. I've just been there during the weekend and now its similar to Anawangin style. Not a real resort but a caretaker who constructed cottages. I found the number of the caretaker Mang Mulo +639294670505. He can help you. This resort is located right BESIDE the resort of Grace Armada. The big difference is while Grace's resort is at the back near the Mangroves, this is in the FRONT where its cool and nearer to the beautiful coral gardens. Please confirm this with the caretaker but I estimate your expenses to be around 600/pax if renting cottage. If you bring your own tent its just 300/pax. Inclusive of boat transfers and cr na yun. You will be spending about 300 or less for food siguro.Maraming nabibilhan sa loob ng island. So TOTAL DAMAGE is only ABT.900/pax max na. No rental of snorkel/mask/fins dun for now so its a good idea to invest on a good set nalang. You can get them at 800 per set sa Toby's I think.

Also, the cottages have no airconditioning. No fans either but when I stayed there malamig naman kasi mahangin. This is because the huts are situated at the front of the island. Yung resort kasi nila Grace nasa likod kaya totally walang hangin.

There is a resort there at the back of the island owned by a certain Grace Armada but I believe they lost the court battle on custody of the area they are currently using? Its really funny because I heard that when the real owner, Mrs.Ruiz, was there, she told all the guests not to pay and closed the resort down for some time. Grace couldn't do anything kasi nga illegal settlers sila. Imagine something like that happening while you are there diba? Well, I guess the good side is you wouldn't have to pay for your stay -- that is, if you didn't pay her beforehand.

ianisme said...

hi demeter,

just found another destination just next town: Kidz pool in Masinloc Zambales. Not too convenient to access though, but it sure pays off. I think it will be a great add-on to this trip especially for those coming far away cities. Another good reason to bring an underwater cam...

got my pics here:

http://limbonisku.blogspot.com