Unang Hakbang Project or UHP is a non-profit group conducting outreach programs across the different points in Luzon. I’ve been part of this since December 2017 and I never regret joining UHP.
Aside from helping other people, UHP aims to reward the joiners or volunteers by letting us experience and enjoy a tourist spot near the area where the outreach program was conducted.
In one of my UHP experiences, I got the chance to visit Hundred Islands in Alaminos, Pangasinan. The Hundred Islands reminds me so much of my childhood not because I went there, but because I always see it being featured in my Sibika at Kultura books when I was still in elementary. Ah… those books filled with real and unbiased information. Gone are the days!
As usual with the UHP trips, the first day is dedicated to the outreach program, gift-giving, games, and all the fancy stuff. The kids and some adults enjoyed the activities and so are we. It’s really fun and fulfilling to be with the kids. To see them having fun. Truly, the joy of helping other people is way better. It’s a good experience.
After all the activities, we went to the school where we will stay for the night. Some of the volunteers set up their tents. I, on the other hand, chose a spot in the classroom and set my stuff there. We had a sumptuous meal. A delicious tinola I had to eat some extra rice.
A brand new day in Pangasinan
It’s another lovely day in Pangasinan. I can feel the heat of the summer morning and the chill vibe in the province. My heart says, “Hundred Islands, I’m ready for you! Are you ready for me?”
The trip from the school to the Hundred Islands took around an hour or less. Or maybe, I’m just so excited I made the bus go faster?
When we arrived there, I’m so excited to get a good seat in the boat. Of course, the window seat is the way to go!
We went to various islands- Governor Island, Marcos Island and Quezon Island. Oh and the best part of this trip is our lunch. We had our rice and daing na bangus. Our group opt to stay and eat in the boat instead because the island where we stayed in a little crowded and there are no shades for comfort.
After lunch, I enjoyed swimming with the other volunteers, took photos and snorkel a bit. The water near the shore is so clear. However, the corals are brown and dying. I did see a bunch of fish but it’s not as fancy as I wish it to be. Anyways, I think the Hundred Islands is a well-preserved tourist attraction and I hope it will still remain the same. Just a note, when we’re traveling back to the port, we saw a big plastic bag of fresh garbage. It seems like it was just thrown that very hour. It’s disappointing to see that kind of uninvited guest in this beautiful place.
Seeing one of my dream destinations when I was a kid feels surreal. Truly, the Hundred Island gave me one experience and it’s dream come true to be finally here.