Remember that scene in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind where Clementine whispered to Joel to meet her in Montauk? Yes, I’ve been thinking about it for the past weeks while I was planning my quick getaway to Magalawa.
I longed for another moment on the road. I missed the sweeping view of trees, endless concrete roads, those moments where you can drift off into nothingness and just be happy to be away. Being on the road, on a plane or threading across the waters is my kind of escape from the crazy world.
The Cancelled Trip
All my bags are packed and I’m ready to go. Just a few hours until our 4AM departure to Magalawa, the bad news came.
We have to cancel. Imagine my dismay and disappointment. I felt like crying, hitting someone with the tripod and tent I have with me and sulk in the corner.
My spirit crashed and burned.
I guess we all know the feeling of such disappointment? Nakakadepress no?
The rest of the night was spent stress-eating (as always).
A week later, bags packed again and I just got out from my 3PM-12MN work — this is it, I’m on my way to you Magalawa. We’ve contacted Mang Mulo to let him know that we’re pushing through this time. Thanks to Mich of Chasing Philippines for her Magalawa guide!
Time Check. 1:30AM – I’m part-awake, part-sabaw already when we decided to head our way to Victory Liner Caloocan Station. Coming from McKinley Hill in Fort Bonifacio, we have no choice but to take a cab because we are concerned about our safety and Caloocan is quite far to commute. Paalam Php290.
There are two ways to get there via bus. You can take either the Sta. Cruz or Iba, Zambales route. Victory Liner Caloocan offers both routes but I highly suggest you take the Sta. Cruz bus that leaves at 4AM.
- You can check the schedule and fare HERE.
Be early at the station because they don’t accept reservations for AM trips and as early as 3:30AM, the queue gets long already and tickets are on a first come, first serve basis so chances are you’ll run out of seats if you get there past 3:30AM.
If taking the Sta. Cruz route: Don’t forget to tell the conductor to drop you off at Veritas Road, Brgy. Pangolinan, Palauig, Zambales.
If taking the Iba route: At the Iba terminal, ride a bus to Palauig (~30 min ride) and get off at Veritas Road. I believe there are also jeeps heading to Palauig.
Take your needed sleep on the 5 to 6 hours bus ride to Pangolinan and at the drop-off point, ride a tricycle to the port. I’ve read that the trike ride (good for 2 person already) costs Php150 but our driver asked for Php200.
Be prepared for the bumpy trike ride! 😀 The road to Magalawa is part-concrete, part-rough road. But hey, things like this makes the journey more fun! Would you agree?
Around 20-30mins of an exhilarating trike ride, you’ll arrive to the port where the boatmen will pick you up at Port Luan for a ~10min boatride to (*drumrolls please*) Magalawa Island! The roundtrip boatride costs Php100.
Don’t forget to tell your trike driver if your heading to Mang Mulo’s place or the Armada Resort.
No fancy resorts in Magalawa. Let your outdoor-sy side wallow in Magalawa’s pure and simple nature, and the best way to spend a night in Magalawa is to — sleep in a tent! Yes, camping!
There is an entrance fee of Php100 and a camping fee of Php200 per tent. You can also rent a tent of Php300.
For those who are not very keen on camping, don’t fret. They have fan cottages available for Php1000.
Open cottages near the shore are for rent at Php500.
Water activities in Magalawa is limited to snorkeling, rafting and well… swimming. I saw some people skimboarding as well.
Looking for the starfishes and strolling along the shore was fun too! But what I loved most was waiting for the sunset and witnessing the sun rise. Magalawa is under a lovely sky. ♥
Another great thing about Magalawa is that you can just lay on the sand the whole day — eat, read, watch a movie or listen to music on your compact players and let the world worry for itself. That’s what I mostly did…and sleep. I tried reading but sleep won. It was the weekend of rest and sleep and taking photos. If you’re aiming to have an adrenaline-pumping weekend, maybe Magalawa isn’t for you. It’s a laid-back beach, so expect passiveness.
I asked D to bring a deck of cards so I can play solitaire or unggoy-ungguyan. 😛 A few rounds of Cheekybingo would’ve been a great past-time too. Board games sounds fun if you can squeeze one inside your bag. Frisbee and volleyball is also recommended.
Falling in Love with the Magalawa Skies
Will You Still Love Me In The Morning?
You will take the boat ride back to the Luan and from there, another bumpy trike ride until you reach Veritas road. You can ride a jeep to Iba terminal, fare is Php23. There are also buses heading to Iba. From Iba terminal, take your ride back to the Metro. Fare is around Php380 to Cubao.
- You can bring your own food and cook it in the island. Bring your cook sets or you can make a bonfire. 🙂
- If you plan on buying your food there, make sure to buy it in Iba because there are no stores or a wet market when you reach Veritas road. This was our mistake. We asked if we can have our food cooked (for a fee of Php150, rice included) but we forgot to buy the ingredients. Good thing Ate Bing have some canned goods, so we lived by corned beef and tuna that weekend.
- If you have specific requests, like seafoods/chicken/etc., let them know before you head to Magalawa because they need to go to the town proper to buy them for you.
- There is a common bathroom in Mang Mulo’s area and you don’t have to worry because it’s clean and water supply is a-okay. 🙂