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Palauig, Zambles-- Magalawa Island is where you'll find a small fishing community and a slowly developing white sand beach resort. A slightly off-the-beaten-path travel destination, it has already caught the attention of some tour groups or travel companies that offer regular guided  tours here in the Philippines. But, compared to the more popular Potipot Island, also in Zambales, this beautiful island is not as well known to many individual or independent tourists, backpackers, and travelers. And, if you're the type who only hit the beach once a year during the summer, chances are, you've probably never even heard of this place.


Around the 3rd quarter of this year, Lakwatsera and I visited this place and had one of the most unforgettable travel experiences, so far.
After a short boat ride from Oslet Armada Fishdealer Compound in Brgy. Luan, drop off point for tourists en route to Magalawa Island Resort ,we found ourselves disembarking on the island's white sandy beach and beautiful landscape surrounded by sparkling turquoise waters. Several bamboo made cottages line up on its coast, and a thick vegetation of varied trees and plants serve as  the natural backdrop.


Magalawa Island's white sandy beach reminded me Potipot island. I remember telling Lakwatsera how similar The island's sand is to Potipot's. Appearance wise, I probably wouldn't have noticed the difference beween the two island's sand quality, but, after I've tried walking on barefoot on Magalawa's sandy beach, I realized that the Potipot sand is is finer and less coarse. And, although bearable, sand in this island gets hot from the sun's heat. Unless, the sun is down, sprawling or lying on the beach without a beach mat is probably not advisable.




Immediately noticeable upon our arrival to the island is the expansive picnic and camping grounds. Wooden benches and tables are scattered all over. Ample space is also available in case you wanted to set up your own tent instead of renting a room .  Tents can be set up under  wide array of huge trees that serve as shade and protection from the sun.



Since we brought our own tent and did not book a room, our attention was momentarily taken away from the breathtaking and peaceful view of the island by our search of the perfect camping spot..It seemed like the  perfect idea at the time.We had the perfect weather. The sun was shinning and at its peak, and the heat coming from it was negated by the cool breeze blowing from the South China Sea. We set up our tent on the island's tree shaded grassy coast fronting the white sandy beach, several meters away from  another tent by two other visitors of the resort.
Just right beside our tent, wooden benches and a wooden picnic table. 
Everything seemed perfect.
But, around late afternoon, ominous dark clouds blanketed the sky.
I tried to stay positive, I didn't let the dark clouds dampen the good experience we were having at the island, so far.  It drizzled a little bit but I remained optimistic. I even  walked around the island hoping to catch a glimpse of the sun and get a decent photograph while it sets on the horizon. I headed out all the way to the other end of the island where a small fishing community can be found. I took pictures here and there but the sun remained elusive. The persistent dark clouds kept getting in the way of  the romantic sunset shot I was hoping to catch. After 5pm,  I went back to our tent with nothing but dark photos of  gloomy landscapes. Lakwatsera spent the whole time sleeping inside the tent while I was out chasing the sunset.


Later that night, the inevitable came. Rain came pouring down and strong winds started blowing. We were already inside the tent, done with dinner and  fixing to go to sleep. We were kind of hoping that the bad weather would be short lived and and we'd both be sound asleep in no time. Unfortunately, the bad came to worse, and in just a few minutes rain started leaking inside the tent.  The wind blew so hard, I thought the tent would roll over and be blown out of the island toward the sea. I had no choice, I went outside and looked for the owners who were already sound asleep, at the time. We had no other alternative  but to get a room and desert our cheap, wimpy tent. It became a very long night. Everything that we brought along  to the island was not spared from getting wet. Including one camera. Sigh! Thanks to the kind people who run the resort,and  who were very helpful, Lakwatsera and I still managed to get plenty of sleep in one of the resort's bigger rooms reserved for larger groups.
Here's the scene the following morning (all of our things, wet and dripping, were scattered all over, as we try to dry them up under the early morning  sun) :


We intentionally did not book a room to stay at for the pure and simple reason that we wanted to camp out. Thus, the TENT. But the resort has several available rooms, mostly beach front cottages. Pretty basic but  comfortable accommodations .No AC, no TV.


Rates:
Open Cottage - 500/day grp of 5pax sharing/day;
3 door Cottage - 2K/day grp of 15-20 pax sharing;
Dining Area/Hall - 300.00 grp of 15-20pax sharing/day
Table/Chair under shaded Trees - 100.00 grp of 10-15pax sharing /day
For those who prefer to use tent, kindly bring your own tent and pitch it ONLY under the shaded trees inside the island resort.

-with 2 common toilets and shower rooms
-with 4 common cooking area
-Native Banig and Lampara will be provided at night
- Generator is open from 6pm-10pm for light use only.
(source: Magalawa Island Resort Facebook Fanpage, visit:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magalawa-Island/204336016808  for updated rates )


Magalawa Island Resort  is basically an on-the-rise travel destination where not everything is accomplished or exciting, yet. Don't expect everything to be perfect.
Food here  is neither good nor bad, but mediocre-verging-toward-almost-bad.
We already knew prior to our trip here, that it is an all-seafood type resort. If you're a seafood lover and is the adventurous type when it comes to food, good for you. If not, good luck. For some reasons, people who run the resort decided to make ordering food less complicated by not having a menu. All you have to do is say any one of these 3 words: breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and food will be served.The good: this saves you the trouble of thinking what to eat and how much it would costs.Everything is  at an affordable set price. The bad: you have no idea what seafood dish will end up on your table until it's served.  On our 2 days and 1 night stay at the resort, we ate 10 different seafood dishes under 5 set meals. The only  food that mattered to me were the huge aligue-filled crabs which we were served for breakfast on our first day. Everything else was mediocre. Well, probably not everything,  the sweet and sour fish  lunch on our first day  was decent.But, everything else turned completely disappointing starting dinner. The staff brought us paksiw na bangus,  which I never even bothered with,and two dishes of squid: adobo and grilled pusit. I  had high hopes on the squids when it was first laid down on our table But, after the first bite, I soon realized we were doomed. The adobong pusit was rubbery, and the grilled squid was worse than  leather.I never even cared about the meals on our second day. We barely even touched our seafood breakfast and lunch. One thing that the people who run the resort should seriously consider is that not everybody eats seafood and not everybody likes bringing or cooking their own food when on vacation. 
Things would have been a little less bad for us if we had at least a list of seafoods we could have chosen from. Like a ...MENU!


Now, mediocre food is just one aspect of an otherwise perfect vacation spot. Our short weekend getaway did not turn out disappointing, at all. Aside from the heavy rain which exposed how weak below standard our tent was, and, of course, ruined Lakwatsera's camera, it was still a completely relaxing trip for us.
Magalawa Island has an inviting relaxed-laid-back-almost-lazy kind of vibe. Perfect for the stressed and tired-of-everything.


What impressed me the most about the Island Resort are the kind people who run it and their staff. They are warm, welcoming, and attentive in an unobtrusive kind of way. Not only did I get the chance to see an impressive and amazing island, I was also able to meet impressive and amazing people. 
Magalawa Island is probably one of the may places I wouldn't hesitate to go back to.



TRAVEL DIRECTIONS:
 Commuting: 
From Manila, take a Sta. Cruz, Zambales -bound Victory Liner Bus. Tell the bus conductor to drop you off at Radio Veritas Road in Brgy. Pangoligan in Palauig, Zambales. Every Victory Liner Bus conductor should be familiar with the drop off point. At the drop off point, you'll see a waiting shed and a small road just right beside it (see picture below). You won't find too many tricycles here. Just talk to any trike driver parked near the waiting shed. Tell the driver to bring you to Oslet Armada Fishdealer Compound in Brgy Luan. Fare is 25 pesos per head, i.e, if you're riding with 3 other passengers, otherwise, fare is really 100 pesos per trike.



If everything went well between you and the trike driver,  this is where you should end up (see pic below). You'd find at least, one of the resort people in this house. From here you take a boat ride to Magalawa Island.


Driving:
For driving directions, just visit the Magalawa Island Resort Fanpage in Facebook where detailed driving directions ( including maps ) can be found

Post a Comment

  1. Wow, the photos look really great! The beaches in Zambales are really nice as what I have seen on other blogs as well.http://www.cdokay.com/

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  2. 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.
    http://libot.blogspot.com/2006/05/sandflies.html

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  3. 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

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  4. By the way, I just 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!

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  5. @demeter, although we've heard about it, we're not really privy to the details of the dispute over the island's ownership. At one point during our short visit to the island, one of the locals approached me while I was taking photographs near the area where the local community is. The local asked if we were guests of the resort.I said, yes. He also asked how many guest were there, at the time. Not a lot, I answered. He then declared that he used to run the resort and was the former caretaker. He also mentioned an on going court case over rights to the resort. Other than that, the locals left us alone. We found most of them nonchalant, if not welcoming. We had an enjoyable and peaceful stay. Hopefully, the issue-- whatever it is-- can be resolved peacefully.

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  6. @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. Did you go with lakwatsera when she went to Tambobong? How did you like it?

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  7. just went there this weekend and everything looked okay. even the food, well, i am not a seafood lover but food served was not bad at all. ms grace will even ask you if you're allergic to it and they will gladly change it.

    regarding the land dispute, i think it is not the guests' problem anymore, as long as we are safe, i don't think, we should meddle.

    I will surely be back to magalawa soon. everything is perfect to me, accommodations, the raft and snorkeling activity, the food, the huts and most especially, the armada's, ms, grace, tatay boy and nanay auring. They are so efficient, nice and truly hospitable!

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  8. @katkwin, very nice that you had a perfect stay. Thanks for the update on the food. I hope to revisit Magalawa Island soon.

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  10. @demeter--interesting.Now,I'm intrigued. Can't wait to go back...is LIBOT back on track? Can't wait for the full story.

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  11. hi there. my friends and i’re planning to go there this weekend.. april 23-24. i’s just wondering which’d be better? to stay at the armada’s or that of ‘mang mulo’s'? which, i texted and informed me that there’re no available cottages as for that day. (mang mulo’s, that is) and we’re required to bring a tent which i guess would be pretty hard to go about (since the majority of us’re girls). :/

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  12. Magalawa island is a very safe place, regardless of where you choose to stay. Unfortunately, it may be difficult to book a room at this point, so you may have to camp out if you really want to go there this week.

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  13. I was here in the 80's, 90's and recently in 2010. I don't know the Ruiz's. I enjoyed each and every stay when the sun started to shine and when it sets in the afternoon. We always left some money to the locals who attended to us - I think it is only right to pay what you use.

    My colleague here in Spain was the broker for Alejandro Manuel Hector Ruiz for the Magalawa island. Apparently Mr. Ruiz is a distant relative of former President Marcos and his family had owned this since the Spanish era. I hope this sheds a light on this issue a bit.

    I dont't think it is fair for demeter to make those claims without the knowledge of Mr. Ruiz.

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  14. @caluntad - I don't know the Ruiz's either. All I know is that their interests are now represented by this Mrs.Lourdes Ruiz who visits the island once every few years. I have also tried numerous times to get an audience with her via the island caretaker Mang Mulo to clarify some of the details. Like all the others however, I have to wait until she decides to talk to me. One thing for certain is that this dispute between the Armadas and Ruizs is very real - not a claim or an allegation. Why would Mrs.Lourdes Ruiz talk to the villagers and reprimand them for not defending the island after she has let them stay there for so long? Why would the Armadas claim a small part of the island and then secretly expand the borders of their barbed wire fences in the middle of the night? If your colleague was the broker for the Ruizs acquisition of this island 4 centuries ago then why not ask exactly when the Armadas came into the picture? Was the island still connected to the main land then? Did the armadas really purchase land that is now washed away?
    Finally I'm afraid your comment did not shed light on the dispute at all but merely affirms the Ruizs ownership of the island. Something I have already, repeatedly "claimed". You would know that if you actually read what I wrote here.

    @lakwatsero - not really back on track yet but I did manage to post some pics and a few thought. Please do visit. Thanks

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  15. @demeter, I read your post regarding your most recent visit to Magalawa Island. Again, I am not privy to the details of the dispute between the two parties claiming rights to the island and I hope you understand why I cannot really comment on some of the things you mentioned on your post. I haven't been on the other side of the fence yet, so to speak. Now, based on what you have posted and based on what's being posted on the island's Facebook Fanpage, it appears that there are now two parties actively running two separate resorts in the island. I just hope that the safety of visitors doesn't get compromised regardless of which side of the fence they choose to be at.

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  16. @lakwatsero - thanks for your kind comments. And yes, I understand your predicament naman of course. All I wish is for readers and beach-goers to have a choice, an option to practice responsible tourism. Also, I think a little competition is healthy diba? It means more reasonable prices and better services for us who go there. Regardless of where you stay, I don't think aawayin naman kayo by either party kasi masisira ang interests nila pareho kung magkagulo right? I'm sure every manileno knows his/her rights pag sinabihan na huwag maglakad sa isang beachfront or another. Nobody can own the waters up to 20 meters inland from any body of water. (unless the island is private of course) Or... was it 50 feet inland ba?... sorry, not sure on the distance eh.
    Thats it and thanks so much for visiting my blog.

    UPDATE: I just learned that the tricycle ride from PAMOLINGAN to LUAN really costs 150 per tricycle! wow... everyone please be advised and exercise judgement. Kung dalawa lang kayo and the tricycle will cost 300 roundtrip then better go down sa Masinloc nalang, walk the short distance to the port and pay the extra 100/head for pickup there para mas mura.

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  17. hi, just doing some research on magalawa island since i am interested in going there in the future. The confusion of who the owners are made me consult mr. google. and this is what i found -

    http://www.scrulings.com/ruling.php?no=30416

    apparently, there is a legal battle for ownership of the island. But the original owner is Mr. Hector Ruiz. I hope they settle all this soon so as to avoid confusion

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  18. @anonymous - thanks for that link. It was very informative. So yung mga nang-gancho pala was this Siojo and Caluntad by, I quote... "That unknown to Ruiz, respondents, by conniving with one another, succeeded in getting TCT No. 25102... "

    Interesting... the plot thickens eh? No mention of the armadas though... later addition na siguro? - so anything else to say commenter @CALUNTAD ? haha

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  19. ady here

    Was at the ruiz resort last weekend. we were a group of 11, hired a van from sulit.com for 9k all in.
    The place was bustling with local and foreign tourists (korean and japanese). They have alot of nipa huts and cottages now ranging from 1-2k per night. We got the big cottage (roofed table surrounded by benches) for 2k and slept in tents. was also surprised that they have electricity there at night. looks like they're upgrading the amenities already. would have loved it if they had a decent toilet though :)all in all it was a perfect getaway from the polluted metro. would definitely be back.

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  20. I've been intrigued with Demeter's numerous, continuous, consistent, persistent and aggressive way of blogging and spreading negative comments against the Armadas. So I made my own research and gathered some facts. Here's what I've got.

    You may want to click on this link re: Magalawa Sketch Plan as prepared for Hrs of Ruiz and Tax Declaration of Armada as assessed and declared by the Municipal Assessor.
    http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150202019621809.304894.204336016808
    (I am looking forward to Ruiz Land Title as indicated at the bottom of album description "scan docu soon to follow")

    These somehow help us clear out issues relating to Armada's legality in occupying and operating resort at the East Part of Magalawa Island and as against to Demeter's "Armada as Illegal Squatters"

    Another thing, the Armadas are using facebook fanpage to market their resort business and to promote tourism in Magalawa.
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magalawa-Island/204336016808

    In just a short of time they have made Magalawa a new tourist destination in Zambales. Check out Magalawa Island First Featured Travel Magazine and browse on their fanpage photo section http://www.faceboook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150201899291809.304852.204336016808.

    Going back, since Armada is using Facebook, they are visible to Public most to government sectors. And should they are operating illegally then they should have been stopped immediately. But they're NOT so I presume that they are operating legally and with consent and support from the concerned govt sectors. Check out again photos of Zambales Tourism Officers
    http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150194617951809.302762.204336016808

    Now where does this leave us? Lets find out and make our own intelligent judgement.

    Ciao!

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  21. @anonymous (again) - whoever you are. This sounds suspiciously like someone working for or with the Armadas... The above documents are presented by the LANDGRABBERS THEMSELVES. I can buy those from RECTO for 150pesos. Please naman. Do not insult my intelligence nor of the readers.

    As for promoting Magalawa Island. No harm in that. But how many posers have been seen and had their picture taken shaking hands with the President? Having your picture taken with an official does not equate to ... what were the words you used???... "consent and support from the concerned govt sectors" -- utterly preposterous!



    ANYWAY! ....


    UPDATE November 2, 2011

    1. Good news! The Ruiz Resort in Magalawa Island is NOW OPEN for Amihan season 2011-2012!!! Please call Raymond Tordillo for reservations now!!! 0922 268 8111 or (02)983 0432

    2. Parking at LUAN PORT in Pangolingan has been raised to a whopping 200pesos / night. However, there is now a guarded parking area in Masinloc Port, Town proper at only 100pesos/night. Please choose which option is right for your group.

    3. GATE 3 in Subic Bay Freeport Zone is now OPEN ! (hooray!!!)

    Everyone have a safe trip and enjoy. Keep the island clean! God bless.

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    1. i went in magalawa and i do like it!!it was really give u a peaced of mind..the way they serve u foods it was really good..masyado silang maasikaso,,ate grace was the best and her dad help us a lot.i wanna go back again there next year...and go to coral was the best...

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  22. @lakwatsero - thanks for dropping by pre! I really hope you go back there soon. I was just there recently and iba talaga ang peace and tranquility. Sana hindi pa rin maingay pag punta mo dun. Cheers!

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  23. Hi. Great photos! Ask ko lang kung magkano yun bangka papunta sa island? Meron din ba mga airconditioned rooms? Wala kasing website yun resort. Thanks!

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  24. @anonymous I am not sure which resort you are referring to. If you are referring to the resort run by the Armada's, last time we were there we paid 500Php for the boat ride. The fee is for the two-way trip of going in and out of the island. They actually have a facebook fanpage. I suggest you check it out for the updated rates. If you are referring to the Ruiz resort, better ask Demeter of www.libot.blogspot.com. But I'm guessing there is a standard boat fee no matter which resort you chose to stay at.

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  25. Thanks for the information, I think it will be a big help for me to be able to get there.

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  26. how much is the usual rent for the boat that would take us to magalawa island? were planning to leave this weekend. please reply asap.

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  27. @ for your ice only- The resort has updated rates which you can find at the Magalawa Island Armada Resort Facebook fanpage.
    All packages are inclusive of boat transpo.
    here is the link: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=485694973687

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  28. thanks for this info! i thought there wer only 1 resort here,, well anyway at least i have an option where to stay now. Thanks @lakwatsero & @demeter :)

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  29. which place is better?? does both resorts have snorkling area?? where can we see lots of starfishes?? thanks..

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    1. I haven't been to the Ruiz Resort yet. We did see a lot of starfish when we stayed at the Armada Resort.

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  30. Nice info about Magalawa Island, the rightful owners and the landgrabbers .

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  31. Magalawa Island is truly a hidden gem! :) Thanks for sharing. I actually like less populated beaches so this is perfect. I hope my friends will be free in the summer. I would love to stay in the open cottage and the huge trees are a nice touch! :D

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    1. bad experienced d2 sa magalawa island.bakasyunista kme galing manila..2pm, pagbaba pa lng namin ng trycle sa Oslet Armada Fishdealer Compound, ang baho-baho na ng place..then pagbaba nmin ng boat sa Armada Resort, hindi cia ganun kaganda ndi tulad ng mga pics sa internet..ung tipong ndi mo na cia babalikan pa..wla man lng ng-iintertain sa amin..bad trip tlga..after namin kumain ng lunch, picture2 na ginawa namin.nglakad2 kme.then my 1ng guy na pasigaw na nagsabi sa amin ng ganito, "BAWAL KAU JAN, HINDI KAU PDENG MGPICTURE JAN, SA KANILA KAU NGBAYAD TPOS ETO UNG PIPICTURAN NYO"..ngtaka na kame, bkit gnun?bkit bawal picturan ung view na un?..after that, lumayo kame sa guy na un..bumalik kme sa Armada, picture2 na nman, bigla na nman my sumigaw sa amin ng ganito, "SINABI NANG BWAL KUMUHA NG PICTURE JAN EH"..pra bang hayop ang trato sa amin, ndi mga turista..anu bang mga view ang bwal picturan, bkit wla man lng cnasabi sa amin ung Armada na maraming bwal, grabeh, nkakasira tlga ng mood..pde nman nya kme sabihan ng ayos, ndi ung sisigawan kme..bkit gnun?galit na galit mga salita nya sa amin, ultimong iexplain sa amin bkt bawal, ndi nya ginawa..as in SINIGAWAN kme, ang layo2 ng binayahe nmin, tpos gnun lng mngyayari sa amin..ncra tlga mood nmin, mga 5pm bumalik na kme sa restobar nila, kinausap ko ung Richie, sbi ko, "bkit nman po ganun d2, ang dameng bwal? sagot lng s amin, "Aware nman ho kau dun at nabasa nyo sa fcebook nmin"..un lng sgot nya, gs2 ko magalit at sabihan cla, pro ndi ko ginawa kse nga dayo lng kme sa place na un at ng-aalala ako na bka my mngyaring msma sa amin..gusto ko mgmura, ang gagandang comments nkalagay sa fb nila, ultimong away sa pgmamay-ari ng resort na un eh ndi nman nklagay sa fb nila..mga 530pm, same day, ngpaalam kme na aalis na lng kme dun..kng accommodating cla, e d sna tinanung man lng kme nung Richie kng anu ba ngng problema, kng anu ba ung ndi nmin nagustuhan sa place nila?wla man lng nngyaring gnun, kinumpute nya n mgknu ba2yaran nmin, nka-package kme 1800 per head, cningil kme ng 1400 din, wla man lng consideration sa amin, kesyo nka-package dw kme, kesyo luto na raw ung dinner nmin..tlgng nid na byaran cia..ilang oras p lng kme ng-iistay dun, 2pm-6pm, ndi pa nga namin naga2mit room nmin eh, tpos 1400 pa rin cnicngil sa amin..ndi na kme ngsalita, ngpigil na lng kme kse nga dayo lng kme at nsa liblib na place pa kme..ndi nmin nagamit ung ksma sa pckage na snorkle, bamboo rafting as in wla pa.nabawas lng sa pckage nmin eh ung breakfast at lunch sna nmin kinabukasan..6pm hinatid na kme ng boat pabalik..natakot din kme kse nga gabi na..7pm nkalabas kme sa hi-way, ng-abang ng bus..ang tagal dumating kya ginawa nmin, ngjip na lng kme papuntang IBA terminal ng bus..khit my byahe pa ng caloocan, ndi na muna kme ngbyahe, kumuha na lng kme ng hotel at dun ngpalipas oras hnggng umaga..isusuka ko talaga tong Magalawa Island na to.

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    2. Hi, alam mo kaya ayaw nilang mag picture taking kayo kasi ayaw nilang ma identify yung location kung merong mangyari don sainyo. what do you think, does it make sense?

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  32. alam mo i'm here in zambales pero di ko pa eto na explore.. haha... hopefully soon!! dami ko pang pwedeng galaan.. yehey!

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  33. cno po nkakaalam ng number ni mang molong dito ung caretaker ni misis ung sa ruiz po? ppnta po kc ko sa saturday sana po my mg response thanks

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  34. I inquired with Raymond today. They now charge P1600/pax for 2days 1night kubo accomodation stay with 4set of meals inclusion, snorkle with island hopping tours too and 2way boat transfer.

    Hmm

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    1. hmmmm pwede naman po hindi iavail un package kasi kami nun friend ko 2 lang kami pupunta dun this coming Sunday. I asked if pwede hindi muna iavail kasi medyo low budget. =D Sabi naman niya ok lang. So ang package na binigay samen was pick up ng boat and entrance for 600 2 na kami... so 300/pax =D 100 boat 2 way, 100 entrance, 100 un para sa pagtatayuan ng dala namin na tent. not bad if ganun summer naman na kasi! expected na un mga ganung event. Just want to see lang the place para atleast if ever pwede ko na iendorse sa iba =D

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    2. kamusta naman ung naging experience nyo?

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    3. @-Chl How was your stay? I want to know because we are booked on April 12-13 with Grace Armada as contact.. Any input guys??

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  35. How many hours po ang travel time from MM to Magalawa Island? (?hours on bus, ? minutes on tricycle and ? minutes by boat?)...thanks!

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    1. 3 to 4 hours- bus, around 15 to 20 mins- trike, another 15 to 20 mins- boat...

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  36. Wow! Another place to add on my list para puntahan! thanks for sharing. Magalawa is such a visual delight.

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  37. Hi. I was born and raised in Garreta,another barrio opposite Magalawa and I remember going to Magalawa island everytime my father wants to, cause he owned a baloto (boat)then. I've never been in my birthplace for 10 years or more, I'm just surprised to know on what's going there, the disputes and everything. I wanna visit the island someday. Will they allow still the boats coming from the Garreta side?

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  38. hi we will be going there sa magalawa by may 6. how much ba ung trike fare kasi accdg sa nakausap nmn 25 lang daw e accdg sa blogs na nababasa ko its more than 100 pesos. anyone na recently nakapunta dun who knows how mch ung trike fare? thanks guys!

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  39. Hi. We plan to avail of the package. We just want to know if May 12 n 13 is still open for booking>? Would also want to know what best numbers we can reach you aside from posting here.
    Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Unknown,

      Thanks for dropping by our site. Better visit their facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magalawa-Island

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  40. We just came back from Magalawa Island for our weekend getaway. I t was really nice. Quite similar to my experience in Potipot 2 yrs ago.

    We stayed in Armada Resort. I contacted and made a reservation with Ms. Grace despite all what I've read already in travel blogs. Ms. Grace was really nice. She was very accommodating, as well as the other staff. Yummy food! Di namin lagi maubos sa dami ng sine-serve. We took the tent accommodation (kasi fully booked na ung kubo and A/C rooms) with 4 meals (lunch-dinner-breakfast-lunch) and snorkeling for only 1200/pax. We were 7 in the group.
    Hope to visit the island again with another circle of friends naman para ma-promote yung island.

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    Replies
    1. Panu ung tent accomodation?irerent sa kanila ung tent?we'll go there kasi sa 28-29. thanks

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    2. p'wede magrent ng tent sa resort, as far as I know, Vincent; but it is safer to bring your own tent since summer months na, baka magkaubusan kung maraming guests.
      Or make reservations early para sigurado.

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  41. Hi lakwatsero! I'd like to ask if u know a reputable van for rent contact person? Saw one of the above comments that they got one from Sulit.com. Too many search results from sulit, I like sana the that is recomended.thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Thanks for dropping by our site. I know someone who rents out his van. We used the van to Batangas last year. I have no idea though how much is his rate if your destination is to Magalawa. Better ask him - 09396332502 (Joe).

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  42. Hi Lakwatsera, I just want to let you know of a dreadful experience we had at the Magalawa Island Resort. On January 28, 2012, my family went on "All Day Fun" at this resort, Magalawa Island Resort. My three grandchildren drowned, Ed Rendell, Ellison James, and Robert Jigram. Ellison James and Robert Jigram survived, but, Ed Rendell did not make it, he died. That day, there was no lifeguard on duty to rescue my grandchildren; no experienced or trained personnel around, no medical staff on duty as it was on a week end that there are more customers at the resort, no medical supplies or equipments, etc. My son, my son-in-law, and my son's employees who joined my family on that week end out, were the ones who tried to rescue them.Obviously, the resort was operating illegally for not in compliance with the Department of Tourism's Rules and Regulations. They are in grave violation of Rules and regulations implemented as a law. They violated a law that caused a human life, my grandson's life and so as almost my other two grand children's lives too. These operators should be liable for the death of my beloved grandson. They did not even spend a little time of contacting my family in courtesy and to show compassion in our great loss. They shrugged their shoulders and obviously ignored this dreadful accident that happened at their business establishment.They did not care! There is no statute of limitations on this crime....

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    Replies
    1. iReport nyo po sila sa DoT or sa NBI or kung san pong pwedeng pagreportan ng illegal na gawain. tsaka its their responsibility to help in his burial kasi di sila nagprovide ng lifeguards nila. better close their resort for that. -__-
      anyway, condolence po kahit na matagal na po nangyari yun.

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  43. Hi Ms. Aida, I feel bad for your lost, my condolences. we had the same experience in another beach/island resort in zambales, anawangin. Fortunately for us, our friend survived. however, the experience is just the same as yours. We were even treated badly by the natives. The bangkero who took our friend off the Island to pundaquit overcharged us, telling us that it was an emergency, the people who were "managing" the resort did not even show the slightest compassion and even charged us for our half-a-day stay in "their" resort. The trike who brought us to the nearest hospital (which was almost an hour away, with no traffic, from pundaquit) also overcharged us. We tried seeking help from barangay officials, but to no avail. We were even warned not to speak about the incident (because during that time ANAWANGIN was becoming popular to tourists). After the incident, we wrote to the mayor reporting the incident but we did not get any response. then we gathered information regarding drowning incident in the area and found out that there were already quite a few who experienced the same traumatic incident that we did, some even worse. After finding that out, we, again wrote a letter to the mayor requesting for lifeguards to be present in the "privately" owned island as the safety of the tourists are really a matter of concern. We also put up a tarpaulin in the area warning swimmers about the water condition. The incident happened 4 years ago, I, personally, go back to anawangin yearly to see if our request was granted and if the resort is already well-managed. Seems like the mayor listened as there were already some lifeguards who were in duty everytime I visit the place.

    You have an option to do the same. I really don't know if the Rules that you mention apply to places like these as they are not really operating "LEGALLY" (kindly verify this, i mean if this place is DTI registered, issues OFFICIAL BIR Receipt etc.) I travel a lot and I go to a lot of places like this, and, personally, based on my experience, the rule for this kind of places has always been: TRAVEL AT YOUR OWN RISK. I sympathized with you. may peace be in your heart soon. God bless madame and best reagrds.

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    1. huwag po kayo sa mayor magreport kasi kahit na nasasakupan nila yun kung ang gusto nila ay magpayaman walang magagawa yang report na yan. sila rin naman nakikinabang sa pera nung resort eh. diba sabi niyo nga po illegal yun tapos twice na po kayo nagreport pero wala paring response so better na sa higher official nalang po kayo magreport.

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  44. Who are the owners of Magalawa Island Resort? Are they knowledgeable of running an island resort? When they applied for their license to operate this establishment, were they aware of the rules and regulations of operating an island resort? Are they fully aware of liabilities they would encounter in case of incidents that had happened on January 28, 2012, that caused the life of 17 year old Ed Rendell Salud who had a great future ahead of him that was taken away because of the grave negligence of the Operators/Owners of this establishment? This is a clear Illegal operation of an establishment who did not comply with the rules and regulations that was implemented by the Philippine Department of Tourism.

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  45. Magalawa Island Resort is an embarasssment to the Philippine Tourism. This will affect popularity of the beauty of the Philippine Tourist Spots. The Department must take this seriously.

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  46. Hi july! Anyway, thank you for your kind words of condolences. My family really went through a lot due to my grandson's passing especially my daughter, his Mom. Ed Rendell my grandson, was supposed to graduate in High School with high honors last March. He passed the entrance exams at PUP for Civil Engineering course. He was very excited for his supposed to had been his new phase in life. It was really sad and a big blow to all of us. He was such a good kid and very, very handsome, 6'2" tall and an MVP at his school basketball Team. There is a very good future ahead of him that was taken away. Up to now we are still mourning and trying to move on. However, I just pray for his peace up there.

    The Republic of the Philippines Department of Tourism implemented the Rules and Regulations to govern the accreditation of Hotels, Tourist Inns, Motel, Hotels,RESORTS, and other Accommodation Establishments. Order No. 120 in relation to Republic Act no.7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991 on the devolution of Department of Tourism's regulatory over Tourist Establishments. Resorts Classifications and standard reuirements fall under Chapter 3 Section 13 which is the General Rules on the operations and management if Resorts and Island Resorts. CLEARLY and OBVIOUSLY, Magalawa Island Resorts is operating their establishment illegally by not complying with all the rules and regulations which are as follows:
    CHAPTER 3 SECTION 13 (b) - LIFEGUARD AND SECURITY
    All resorts shall provide the services of a sufficient number of WELL TRAINED LIFEGUARDS duly accredited by either Philippine National Red Cross, the Water Life Saving Association of the Philippines, or any recognized organizations training or promoting safety objectives, and adequate security whenever there are guests.
    (c) - MEDICAL SERVICES
    All resorts shall provide the services of a physician, either on-call or full time bases depending on their volume of operations and accessibility to hospitals or medical centers. In addition, resorts shall employ adequate FIRST AIDERS who have completed a course in First Aid duly certified by the National Red Cross or any other organization accredited by the same. ADEQUATE FIRST AID MEDICINES, NECESSARY LIFE SAVING EQUIPMENTS SHALL BE PROVIDED within the premises.
    (e) - SIGNBOARDS
    Appropriate sign boards shall be conspicuously displayed in front of the establishment showing clearly the classification of the resort as determined by the Department.
    (h) - PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES
    Management shall post SUFFICIENT and VISIBLE SIGNS in strategic areas in the resort or at the beach to warn gusts or customers of the presence of artificial or natural hazards, danger areas, or occurences threats.

    These are the RULES and REGULATIONS that were not complied on by the management that proved the Magalawa Island Resort's grave negligence that lead to the death of my grandson, Ed Rendell Salud. If they are not registered during that time of the accident, they are far more in deep trouble.

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  47. Magalawa Island and other islands mentioned are remote area, why look for 5 star services, if there are none, you can see from the photos accommodations are "bahay kubo" bamboo houses. Cottages/resort are run by locals, its risky if your not really the kind of person going out on those kind of places. Go to 5 star resort in Palawan or Boracay where toursits are served well. Backpackers and low-budget bakasionista would surely thank those people who set up kubo for them.

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  48. I think it's the tourist's or bakasyonista's responsibility to check out the place first for any safety concerns before going out there. if they have issues, then go look for another more equipped and reliable place. if this paradise just happened to be right next to your house without any lifeguard and tragedy struck, who is to blame?

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  49. Nice post! I'm planning to celebrate my birthday here in November.

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  50. anonymous has a point the place in not yet fully develop, its parents responsibility to look after their kids especially in the beach. We understand and sympathize for those who lost their love ones but don't forget you too is to blame for not watching over those kids

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  51. Hello Mrs A Ignacio. It is quite tragic, what happened to your family, and we are all sorry for your loss. However, we cannot simply put all the blame to the "operators" of the place where you stayed.

    As one previous post mentioned, you had a choice to proceed or not with your vacation. Obviously this is quite remote, and ideal for "experienced" backpackers who knows the dangers and risks of such places, as well as some knowledge on how to deal with emergency situations.

    The place is absolutely not for "family picnics" wherein you could let kids run around unsupervised. We, as parents, adults, should also be somewhat responsible ultimately for events in our lives such as this, since no one forced us into this situation.

    I for one, wish that Magalawa retains its pristine setting, and not become another Boracay.

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  52. Mrs. A Ignacio, just to be clear, this tragedy occured at the Armada resort, not the Ruiz resort right? The waters between the Armada resort and the Luan port is treacherous. It is a passage to the open sea. This is a well known fact especially by the Armada resort owners. It is indeed very irresponsible of Grace and Boy Armada not to use the proper precautions where their guests are concerned. I condemn this act of carelessness and irresponsibility by the Armada's and offer my condolences to you mam. God Bless you and may you obtain justice for your loss.

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  53. dementer, oh no parang nawalan naman ako ng ganang punta sa magalawa. after seeing all the beautiful pictures at the Armada and after hearing the incident with Mrs. Ignacio, may i know if it is really safe to stay where Armada or Ruiz. our group is planning to have our team building this end of this month supposedly. i am now in the dilemma which resort to choose. baket may nagaaway dyn ;( are the photos posted in armada resort for real????

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