THE HEAT IS ON!
Initially, my office mates planned this two-day getaway as early as February 2018, days before I left for a cameo appearance in LBC Ronda Pilipinas 2018.
Originally, we set our short vacation on Calaguas Island in Camarines Norte, but due to emerging weather disturbance on Luzon’s Eastern Seaboard, we diverted our plan from Cam Norte to Zambales Province.
Though, it is a historical province. Still, Zambales Province is an unfamiliar place for me as I do not ply this territory. I only frequent the province when my parents ask me to go with them, like in Subic. Frankly, I have visited the coastal area four times in my life.
As far as the beach in Subic, Zambales is concerned, I have never experienced it ever since. I inhibit myself to be exposed to reported toxic, poisonous and harmful chemicals excreted and dumped by barges and chemical cargoes docked there.
On the other hand, Zambales has still many fascinating places and pristine islands and unspoiled beaches to show off—one of which is the well-known Potipot island.
Regarding Hermana Menor Island, I have never been to the said island until it was discovered online by Maray, our itinerant office mate, after browsing the internet and making a last-minute arrangement in our itinerary.
Hermana Menor or “little sister” is one of the two enchanting islands off Sta. Cruz Municipality in Zambales Province.
Compared to its “elder sister” Hermana Mayor, Hermana Menor is much less inhabited and more pristine with silky fine white sand. Moreover, Herman Menor has an ephemeral sand bar.
Little did we know, the island has an airstrip. The landing strip was only discovered when Maraya’s DJI drone hovered overhead within the island. By all reports, the Alvarez clan of Palawan owns the private island.
The entire island has no access to electricity yet hospitable caretakers manning the island had provided ice for our drinks and other cutting tools. Still, wondering where did they get it (just a quip).
Hermana Menor is approximately 30 to 40 minutes off Coco beach resort in Sta Cruz Municipality in the Province of Zambales.