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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Magalawa – the star fish island

The most awaited day has arrived, finally, we are at Magalawa island!

After a challenging night, we were even more challenged by a surprise we have to face- the insect bites, not by mosquitoes, but by sand fleas. We did not bring insect repellants because we knew that there is electricity in the island, but we were wrong. Nonetheless, the day has just begun and the mood should not be destroyed just by those tiny creatures (annoying as they may be).

A deep in the warm water of Magalawa Beach wrapped our morning. After that, breakfast was served.

Magalawa Island has a lot to offer. We tried snorkeling, island hopping, and boat ride. The food that was served though was a highlight, something worth the wait, as we truly enjoyed every dish that was served.

It was my first time to do snorkeling or diving because we don’t have snorkeling apparatus. I saw the beauty of the corals that still exist in this part of the Philippines.

We saw the whole island under the brightness of sun and it was worth the wait – undeniably breathtaking.

One thing that really caught my attention was the island of Bakawan – a type of island that submerges during high tide. If I am not mistaken, it is called sand bars. If you will spend the whole day in the island, you will see the beauty of it. Aside from that, the island was accented by a wooden-house where people can stay and take pictures. According to our tour guide, the house is owned by the Mayor of Zambales, and tourists are allowed to stay in the place, just inform the barangay people.

Visiting Zambales was worth it despite the insect bites. The eight hour travel paid off. I am definitely going back to that place (of course, with better armory).
If you want to detach yourself from the urbanized, hectic, crowded, and busy streets of Manila, Magalawa is definitely the place for you. The rate is truly affordable and the experience is worth remembering for a lifetime.

*special thanks to Ellen who edited this article :O


  1. waaah! punta din ako dito!! dito din ba yung Putiput Island?

  2. nicE pLace! gusto ko Marating yAn! i've bEen to ZambaLes and tLga nMang Maganda yung pLace! sanA makApunta ako jAn 1 timE.. love it

  3. ganDa ng kuhA ng mgA LaRawan! nakaKAakit tLga! puntA kMI jAn ng jowA ko! heehHEe

  4. @rome - see? haha

    @Mac Queen - uu ata. dyan un

    @inday - go day!

  5. Be careful of sandflies on this island as these are very small bloodsuckers that are abundant in their sands. I blogged about them last 2006 when I wrote about Magalawa Island. The island was very different back then. Totally no material about it on the net yet so I just brought my trusty GPS and looked for the place. The beach areas were very unkept because very few tourists went there. Thanks so much for your blog and updates. I can see that the group of boy armada has setup some small cottages already and are cleaning up the place? Incidentally, 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. The cottages as well as the website you mentioned in facebook are owned by the Armadas. However, a lot of locals feel and support the authority of this "Mississ" so do be careful when you stay at anything owned by the Armadas on the island.

    If you wish to read what I wrote back in 2006 then here is the link.

  6. By the way, bring fruits when you go there this summer. These will help augment the bland fare they have available on the island.

    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

  7. BTW, 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!

  8. Hi Demeter,

    I am not familiar with the problems that Magalawa are facing right now but i believe that the island is still intact to the owners of it. You can directly ask the to their facebook fan page. Btw, i love your blog. :)

  9. nice pics! sana mapuntahan ko din to :)

  10. Hi.. I just wanted to ask which resort you stayed at? Was it the Ruiz or Armada resort? Not sure if I missed it on your blog.. Sorry.. And thanks in advance :)