Magalawa Island: Starfish and Sands

Sunday, May 24, 2015

This 2015 is my best year so far! I've been to 3 islands offering white sand beaches (Boracay Island and Cagbalate Island watch out for my blog about it). And since summer is not yet over, here's a complete guide to the Magalawa Island for your Huling Hirit sa Tag-init!

First, you need to know that there are only 2 resorts on Magalawa Island. The Armada and Ruiz Resort. Before we go there we found out that these 2 owners of the resorts have a dispute over the ownership of Magalawa Island. It says that the real owner is the Ruiz family, but Armada family built some houses on the island and starts a resort meaning they are squatting the area. But I don't mind about it because I read a lot of reviews on the island and they are all positive so I think they are already have mutual relationships.

How to get there:

By Private Vehicle

  • Take the NLEX-SCTEX route or Jose Abad Santos Avenue via San Fernando, Pampanga Exit going to Subic.
  • From SCTEX you will exited at SBMA drive until you reach the Gate 3/ exit Gate. Turn to the left going to Iba, Zambales.
  • You will pass some municipality such as San Narciso and San Antonio the town going to Pundaquit.
  • Then you will see the Iba Market, keep driving until you reach the Pamolingan welcome signage.
  • To your left you will see the JB Store, a signage of Radio Veritas, waiting shed and tricycle terminal.
  • Enter the road for it's going to Luan Port.
  • There are secured parking area for your vehicle and take the 5 minute boat ride.

By Public Vehicle

  • I prefer the Victory Liner because they offer daily trip schedule going to Zambales.
  • Asked the conductor to drop off to Radio Veritas. The only landmark is the JB Store, waiting shed and tricycle terminal.
  • Take the tricycle it is 30 minute dumpy ride to Luan Port.
  • Take the 5 minute boat ride.

Note: There is no restaurant available on the island. But they offer with food packages, but you need to informed them ahead of time. If you choose to cooked your own food drop off to Iba Market. Then ride on a jeepney with Masinloc signage and drop off to Radio Veritas.

Where to Stay:

There are 2 resort you can choose the Armada and Ruiz. If you want a hassle free and have a budget, you can choose Armada Resort, they offer the round trip boat ride, accommodation and food packages. But if you are looking for a cheaper accommodation you can choose the Ruiz resort.

Armada Resort is active on social media, here's the website of the resort for reservation.

Ruiz Resort look for Kuya Mulo - 09294670505 or 09288568242

I want to choose the Ruiz resort because they are the real owner of the island but my friend already have a reservation to Armada Resort.

Things To Do In Magalawa Island:

That's me, pitching our tent under the tree.

Camping for adventure!

As I have said, there is two resort in Magalawa Island. For cheaper accommodation, you can pitch a tent for P 200/tent.

Tada! This is my tent accommodation for my 2 Days and 1 night stay here in the island. 

Enjoy the creamy white sand beach!

I know it's not white and fine sand as Boracay Island offers but at least it's cheaper way to enjoy your vitamin sea.

Beach Bumming!

Just sit and relax in the sand, look at my best friend he is enjoys sitting in the sand while he soak in the clear water.

This is me, enjoying the sand and the sea.

My bestfriend and patrick the starfish. Ha-ha.

This is me, holding a starfish for the first time.

Take a photo with starfish!

Starfish is abundant here in Magalawa Island so you have to be careful. Wear slippers/sandals when you go to the sea to avoid stepping on them.

Look how clear the sea water, I don't want to get sun burned so I just swim here.

My bestfriend take further to swim.

This is us, enjoying the vitamin sea.

Swim and Enjoy!

What I like about Magalawa Island is the clear sea water offers a vitamin sea and very refreshing. If don't want to get a sun burned you can swim just near in the shore because there are sun shading tree while you soak in the water.

Enjoying the outdoor hammock.

Unwind while enjoying the outdoor hammock.

Take a nap on a hammock!

There are many hammock around the island, if you don't want to swim you can relax here. As soon as I pitch our tent and take our breakfast I fall asleep in this hammock. I just woke up because my legs get sun burned already.

Discover Under the Sea!

I wish I have an underwater camera, one of the package we avail to Armada Resort is the snorkeling. We take a balsa made of bamboo tree then wear a life vest and snorkeling gear. There are a lot of starfish and different kind of fish you can see under.

Enjoy eating fresh seafood!

Since we already include food in our package we don't need to buy fresh seafood in the market. The serving of Armada Resort is generous, we have 3 viands fresh seafood, pork/chicken meat and vegetables.

Things you need to know:
  • Budget for accommodation varies from P 300 - 500 is want to rent a tent, pitching tent is you have your own tent is P 200. If you are not comfortable inside the tent there are kubo with fan/aircon for P 1,200- P 1,500.
  • There are no restaurant on the island, but you can buy your food in the resort but expect to pay more. But if you want to cooked your own food you need to buy it before going to the island. The nearest market is the Iba Market, if you wake up early in the morning some fishermen offer their freshly catch fish and seafood on a cheaper price.
  • There is a rip tide sign near the sandbar on Armada Island so you need to be careful and don't go further to avoid being drowned.
  • You need to bring and wear aqua shoes or sandals when you swim because there are a lot of starfish and sea urchin in the sea if you go further for swimming.
  • Bring your underwater or action camera to take a photo under the sea.
  • There is a cellphone signal on the island and also the electricity but only available during night time 6:00 PM to 6:00 am. For those who choose the Kubo Accommodation there are available socket so you can charge your gadget but better to bring electrical extension. For those who choose tent accommodation, you can charge your gadget for free on the resort's main house but you have to attend and watch for it to avoid robbery.
  • There is a communal comfort room on the resort and deep well for water.
  • Bring sun block and mosquito repellant lotion.
  • Avoid loud music and respect other people's vacation and privacy.
  • Leave no traces but memories.
Our expenses:

P 451.00 - Victory Liners Caloocan to Iba Sta Curz Zambales
P 100.00 - Tricycle from Radio Veritas to Luan Port/Armada Port
P 1,400 - Package 7 (Roundtrip boat ride, Pitching of Tent Fee, Food for Day 1 Lunch, Dinner and Day 2
                Breakfast and Lunch)
P 100.00 - Tricycle from Port to Radio Veritas
P 451.00 - Radio Veritas to Manila

P 2,500 per person.for 4 pax.

  • If you are going back to Manila there are few bus passing in Radio Veritas, if don't want to wait you can ride on non air conditioned bus going to Iba Zambales or Olongapo and just go to the Victory Liner going to Manila.
  • The price from above is a bit pricey for me, so if I will go back to Magalawa Island I will choose not to avail the package and just choose Ruiz Resort, pitch my tent and bring and cooked our own food. Although the serving of food in Armada Resort is generous for me P1,400 per person is too much. If I will deduct the fee of round trip boat ride for P200 and another P 200 for pitching tent. P 1,000 for food per person is too much for 2 day and 1 night. 

But all in all, I really enjoy my Magalawa Island Adeventure and definitely go back here.

So what are waiting for, add Magalawa Island to your list this summer!

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