The Hundred Islands National Park (Pangasinan: Kapulo-puloan or Taytay-Bakes) is in the province of Pangasinan in northern Philippines. It is located at Alaminos, Pangasinan. The islands (124 at low tide and 123 at high tide) are scattered in the Lingayen Gulf and cover an area of 18.44 square kilometres (4,557 acres). They are believed to be about two million years old. Only three of them have been developed for tourists: Governor Island, Quezon Island, and Children’s Island. The islands are actually ancient corals that extend well inland, in an area previously comprising the seabed of an ancient sea. Lowering sea levels have exposed them to the surface and the peculiar “mushroom”-like shapes of some of the islands have been caused by the eroding action of the ocean waves.(Wikipedia)
MYTH: The Greed that Created the Hundred Islands
Another legend tells how the islands were created by man’s greed for power and other worldly things. The story goes that a kingdom just lost their king in ill health and his people were left without a leader. There were two datus from two warring tribes who are legitimate successors. They were not only rivals to the throne but rivals to the love of a princess named Liglioa who was also a ward to the kingdom’s priestess and for a mystic huge pearl which would give wealth to anyone who possesses it, but is mysteriously un-gathered from the bottom of the sea. These two rivals had been fighting for a long time now that the priestess finally consulted the ancestors and the oracle gave her what ought to be done to attain peace and unity for the whole kingdom, which she in turn instructed to the princess. Liglioa then told the two warring datus that whoever wins in the last battle shall win her hand in marriage and the pearl in the bottom of the ocean. The two datus and their tribes prepared long and hard for the upcoming sea battle and by night, bodies and swords were clashing each other. And before daybreak, something strange can be noticed on the dead warriors’ bodies and their upturned bancas. They were immobile; and soon grass began to grow on them and became a hundred small islands. The priestess then told Liglioa what happened and the truth about the huge pearl. The real pearl was Liglioa all along, sent to the people by the gods, as they foresaw that the kingdom would be without a ruler when the former king dies. The huge pearl at the bottom of the ocean was a mere illusion made to test the character of that rightful ruler. Fishermen of today still swear that a bit farther of where the islands are now, one can see the mysterious huge pearl mystically gleaming under the clear waters of the sea, beckoning, then disappearing just as swiftly as it came.
Reference: Tales from the Land of Salt by Emmanuel Sison
*More legends abound about the islands. Some say it was formed from the tears of a giant with a broken heart. Still other tales tell of the mermaids that once mystified fishermen in the area. These and countless legends and myths, so old that it finally drifted off of the people’s consciousness, only add to the Hundred Islands charming aura.