Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Zambales : Weekend at Isla Magalawa

Island Life
Early inhabitants of the place refer to this place as “MAG-LUWA” that means “about two places”. It was siad that in the early century, MAGALAWA was a part of sitio Luan, Barangay Lipay. The said sitio was bi-sected by a small body of water crossable by people wherein the current flows southeast during high tide and northward during low tide.

The current that runs in this area is about to 2 to 3 knots. In that situation erosion made this body of water wider and wider, which later on became a sea. The land was isolated far from sitio Luan, so the inhabitants called in their native word Mag-Luwa. This word passed through generation to generation and was later changed to “MAGALAWA”.

Bench at the Beach

Magalawa Island Ride

So armed with a backpack full of overnight gears with a tent in tow, the four of us blogkada, hopped-in to Dong Ho's battle-weary Toyota and zoomed out of Manila and into this island-paradise, that is Magalawa. With Bob Marley playing on the background, we left Manila thru NLEX then SCTEX all the way to the Subic Bay Freeport Expressway then to the National Highway in Olongapo. From then on, we head north passing the City of Iba and heading towards the town of Palauig where the jump-off point Luan Port is located.
Branched Out

Sloping Shoreline

After parking Dong Ho's car in town plaza and getting some subsistence at the local market, we head to Magalawa Island via an uneventful 20 minute boat ride. Upon arriving at the island, you have a choice of staying in the western side where Armada Resort is located or in the eastern side where Ruiz Resort is located. If you do your research, you will gather that there are two factions in the island which to date remains to be in a legal stand-off. And choosing one means you are prohibited from roaming around the other - unless you use that good old charm of yours to let the care takers/owners let you roam in their place. Otherwise, just pay those killjoy s.o.a.g.

The Warning

Why roam? The western side has the better beach and the tip of the island forming a sandbar resulting to a two-sided beach shore. The eastern side, on the other hand, has the scenic mangroves and pretty decent beach too. Each resorts offer basic accommodations and packages but since we bought our own tents, we decided to pitch our tent on the grounds of Armada where we are protected by the shades of trees. We paid a minimal amount for the entrance and space for our tents.
Resident Star

Star Kid

Magalawa is in Masinloc

All in all, it was the consensus of the group that Magalawa Island is a good weekend getaway. We were half-expecting a back-to-basics experience only to found out that there are basic accommodations in the area such as canteen, store, rooms and others. However, the seascape provide good opportunity to take memorable photographs specially the sandbar on the western end and the mangrove on the eastern side of the island. But what I love most about the place is that you cab chillax all you want under the shades of trees and watch the branches of these trees silhouette in your photos as you wait for a beautiful sunrise.


  1. What an amazing place, Oman! Wonderful captures as always! Thanks for sharing!!

    1. You are very much welcome Sylvia. Enjoy your weekend :)

  2. luzon is full of weekend destinations. thanks for educating me about them.

  3. I agree, especially Zambales, there are still islands and cove in there that is waiting to be explored :)

  4. The last time I went to a beach was in Gumasa, a month ago, after 10 long months, so I grabbed the chance to indulge in the fun, like 5-6 times on our 2 night stay. How beach-hungry was i? Teeehee, dropping by to say Hello.

    1. Hi Sheng, my experience with Gumasa in Glan is so very brief that I need to go back there again. Hopefully next year.

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  6. Your post reminds us that there are still a lot of beatiful places in Zambales that we all need to discover. Ayos! Malapit lapit pa sa Manila.

    1. Thanks Jon, a lot of places indeed and i haven't even been to half of them :)

  7. This is a lovely spot and thank you for sharing how to go there.

  8. Another beautiful place you show us. I wanna go there.