Magalawa Island: Weekend Beach Escape

October 01, 2017

It’s my fiancé’s birthday! Automatically, it’s my job as “the adventurous girlfriend” to look for a place where we could celebrate his special day. This time, we also wanted to take my younger brothers to the trip as our “gift” for them for earning good grades. I know, right? Ate and Kuya duties!

I was thinking of exploring another beach in Zambales though the first beach trip I had there was horrifying! It was in Anawangin Cove. I felt like I never left the city when we went there, it was FULL of people and the trash all over the place gave me an eyesore.

I stumbled upon Magalawa Island on the internet and I was sold by the pictures, particularly because of the sandbar! Though the rates in Armada Resort are quite pricey for a weekend trip (added that we’ll treat my brothers), we gave it a go because the package includes food, snorkeling, and boat transfers – hassle-free if you’ll travel with KIDS.

To top it off, our weekend escape was amazing! Magalawa Island gave me a much-needed tranquility. Grace, our contact person, and the whole Armada Resort staff were very accommodating. The food was great (unlimited rice!) and my brothers enjoyed snorkeling. Also, visitors are strictly prohibited from making noises from 10:00pm onward. 

What I like the most is the serenity of the beach, it was not crowded. However, some tourists from Ruiz Resort visited Armada in the afternoon because of the sandbar. Yup, the charming sandbar of Magalawa Island is in Armada Resort.

I can honestly say that this island exceeded my expectations and it redeemed my bad experience in Zambales. 😊

Beachfront Fan Kubo good for 3-4 persons

Here’s our 2D1N Itinerary:

Day 1 - Friday night/Saturday
  • 1:30am – 5:00am – Bus to Olonggapo. Get down at Olonggapo terminal then ride another bus to Sta.Cruz.
  • 5:00am – 8am – Breakfast at Victory Liner Olongapo, then take a bus bound to Sta.Cruz. Get off at Brgy. Pangolingan, Palauig.
  • 8am – Take a tricycle to Armada Compound. Travel time is around 30 minutes because of the rough road.
  • 8:30 – 8:45 - Ride a boat to Magalawa Island. Travel time is just around 15 minutes.
  • 9am – As soon as we arrived in Magalawa Island. Miss Grace accommodated us and told us to go straight to the canteen for breakfast! 😊
  • 12nn – Lunch
  • 1pm – 5pm – Rest & enjoy the beach
  • 6pm – Dinner 
Day 2 - Sunday
  • 8am – Breakfast
  • 9-10am – Snorkeling
  • 12nn – Lunch
  • 2pm – Check-out, on board boat back to mainland
  • 2:30pm –Tricycle to highway, wait for bus bound to Olongapo/Iba
  • 3 – 6pm – Bus to Olongapo
  • 6 – 9:30pm – Bus to Pasay

Travel Guide to Magalawa Island, Zambales

Option 1

Take the Sta. Cruz route of Victory Liner from Pasay, Cubao or Caloocan Terminal. Travel time is around 6-7 hours.

Victory Liner Pasay Schedule & Fares: 4:00am - PHP466 | 7:00am - PHP493 | 11:30am - PHP493 | 4:00pm - PHP493

Option 2

The direct bus trip to Sta. Cruz is limited. In case you want to travel overnight, ride a bus to Olongapo or Iba. From either Olongapo/Iba, ride another bus bound to Sta. Cruz.

Since we missed the schedule, we took the 1:00am trip to Olongapo (PHP218).  We got off in Victory Liner Olongapo terminal then rode another bus bound to Sta. Cruz (forgot the exact fare but it was around PHP100 and it was a non-AC bus).

Tell the bus conductor/driver to get you off at Brgy. Pangolingan cor. Radio Veritas Road, Palauig (Luan Port to Magalawa Island). From Iba, it will only take about an hour to Palauig. You’ll see a tricycle terminal on your left and vegetable stalls on your right. 

Ride a tricycle to Luan Port (Oslet Armada Fishdealer Compound) – ride is around 30 minutes. They only allow two persons in a tricycle because the road is rough and there are steep parts. PHP150 per tricycle

Boat ride to Magalawa Island is around 15 minutes.

Travel Expenses

Victory Liner Bus from Pasay to Olongapo - PHP218
Victory Liner Bus from Olongapo to Palauig – *PHP100
Victory Liner Bus from Palauig to Olongapo – *PHP100
Victory Liner Bus from Olongapo to Pasay – PHP218
Tricycle to Magalawa Island – PHP300 (one-way PHP150. 1 tricycle is good for 2pax)
*Forgot the exact fare but it was around PHP100 and it was a non-AC bus.
Armada Resort’s 2 Days 1 Night Complete Package Good for 4 = 7,200 (inclusive of entrance fee, food, boat transfers, snorkeling)

Rates in Armada Resort - Magalawa Island, Zambales

Info from Armada Resort
Info from Armada Resort

Info from Armada Resort

Package inclusions:
Boat Transpo (2-way), Entrance Fee, Meals, Snorkeling, Accommodation

For further details, contact Grace Armada at +63920-948-3303 or check Armada Resort's website or Facebook page

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