Every summer, we go on an out-of-town trip with our high school friends. This is an opportunity for us to bond and update ourselves with what's going on with our busy city lives. And as a tradition, we are designated to organize the trip. This year, we chose Zambales as destination for our 3D/2N weekend trip. First on our itinerary was Magalawa Island located in the town of Palauig in Zambales. We booked a 2D/1N package with Magalawa Island Armada Resort which already included boat transfers, accommodation and four meals.
We left Manila at around 5:30am and drove north via NLEX and SCTEX passing through Subic. We arrived at the town of Palauig at around lunchtime. We were instructed by the resort to proceed to their parking area where we can park our van and where we would board the boat for Magalawa Island. The boat transfer to Magalawa Island is already included in the package. To set the expectation, the waters near the parking area is a bit smelly as it is also used as a fish port.
|Lunch at Magalawa Island Armada Resort|
When we arrived at Armada Resort, we were welcome by the owner Maam Grace Armada and showed us to our rooms. We booked two air-conditioned rooms with private shower room. Maam Grace told us that while we unpack our stuff, she would have our lunch prepared at the restaurant. We really find Maam Grace very hospitable and despite the number of visitors that day, she made sure that she attended to every guest herself.
|onse-onse crab: (L) cooked; (R) live crabs|
One of the things that we liked the most about Armada Resort is their food, which is cooked by no less than the mother of Maam Grace. Their specialty is the onse-onse, a type of crab abundant in Palauig. It has eleven spots on its shell, thus the name onse-onse (eleven-eleven). Some of the dishes served during our stay were adobo, escabeche, sweet & sour fish, lato (seaweed salad), calamares, gambas, menudo and tinapa.
|Sunrise at Magalawa Island|
The following morning, we woke up at 5:00am to catch the sunrise. Part of the morning scene on the island were fishermen getting ready for the day's work. The resort's staff were also busy cleaning the shoreline. Breakfast was served at 7:00am and by 8:00am we were called by Maam Grace for our schedule snorkeling activity.
We boarded Armada Resort's floating cottage which was then towed by a motorized boat to the snorkeling area. The water was clear and very calm, truly ideal for snorkeling. We spent about an hour swimming around. It was really a fun-filled morning for our group.
Lunch was served at 11:00am to give us enough time to prepare for check-out. At 1:00pm, we said goodbye to Magalawa Island and continued our weekend escapade to our next destination.
Magalawa Island Armada Resort
Palauig, , Zambales, Philipines
Website: www.magalawaislandresort.com (see Rates)