When I inquired with Bridgeway Travel and Tours about their Bolinao/Hundred Islands tour, they presented me with three package options: Promo (Php 3,850), Standard (Php 3,950), and Special (Php 4,200). The only difference I could see was the accommodation; promo joiners would be housed in a transient property within Alaminos, and standard and special joiners would be booked at Island Tropic Hotel and Vista De Las Islas Hotel, respectively. Oh, and hotel guests would get complimentary breakfast, too.
After yesterday’s island-hopping tour, Day Two in Pangasinan was spent hopping across Bolinao to a few of the city’s main attractions. I set my alarm for 5:30 for the obligatory sunrise photo, and went back to Vista De Las Islas Hotel at 7 for a complimentary breakfast of Alaminos longganisa (which I found tasty enough, but made me long for Lucban longganisa even more). By 8AM, the other tour joiners and I were at the lobby to check out (so we could head straight back to Manila after the day’s tour), and Paul the tour van driver came to whisk us away to our first stop: the Cape Bolinao lighthouse.
“Lima lang po kayo, ma’am,” (“There will only be five of you, ma’am,”) the tour driver, Paul, said as I climbed into his van and asked how many were taking the Bolinao-Hundred Islands tour. It was a little past 10 PM when he picked me up at McDonald’s in Blue Bay Walk in Pasay. Apparently I was the only one there, and we’d be picking up everyone else at QC. Traffic was a bitch on the way there and Paul was obviously livid, which I tried to ignore by napping to Bon Iver. Between this and Pangasinan were hazy, sleep-filled events like Paul taking a wrong turn somewhere, picking up the other four passengers, and stopping at Bridgeway Travel and Tour’s office to pay the balance and we were on our way.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to Pangasinan, and it was one of the most memorable trips I had ever gone on in my life for two reasons. One, I had never been there before and I’d always wanted to go. Two, it was my first time traveling alone.