Top 10 Places to Visit in Pangasinan

Pangasinan is my province (countryside) in the Philippines, around summer or Easter time we used to (and still) love to roam around the various beaches and attractions, with whatever budget we have.

Here are my 10 personal  favourite places to visit in ascending order.

 

10th) Dagupan City

Famous for its Milkfish locally known as ‘Bangus’. Dagupan is the host of the famous ‘Bangus Festival which local people have a mass barbeque of the fish, some of which are given for free.

bangus festival.jpg

9th) Alaminos City

Alaminos city is hugely growing in this province, being the nearest city to the iconic ‘Hundred Island National Park’. Sometimes the province could be difficult to get the bare necessities a tourists wants or needs. Alaminos has big restaurant chains such as Mcdonalds, Jolibee, Chowking, Shakeys and more. Usually if me and my cousins get too bored at home we would roam the city and find something to do.

dsc_1720
Alaminos
8th) Surip Beach

Surip is our ancestoral beach, its awkward shaped rocks, beach formations make this beach unlike others. Although unknown to tourism, this place is improving year by year, lots of new attractions are being found like caves and cliffs for tourists to go and see. Lastly Surip has a pilgrimage walk which starts beachside and climbs the hill upwards to the peak where the cross is.

10400250_42840845817_7231_n
Surip
7th) (Anda) Tondol Beach

Tondol white sand beach is something different, the beauty here is not its white sands but its shallow waters. You could walk up to 1-3 km (in low tide) in this beach and the water would only be knee or waist height. However shallow waters don’t seem very interesting does it, but what if I say that you see colourful fishes as you walk around. Walking to other more secluded islands here is also possible. The bad aspects though are jelly fishes or stepping on sea urchins, however with its clear waters all you need is to be extra careful. Hiring a wooden raft is also very popular here.

97

6th)  Bolinao Falls

This waterfall is hidden, only known by the locals. It is free however undeveloped, so if your ok with walking on stones or through a jungle then visit here. Its refreshing fresh running water is cool and jumping off the small cliff is the best feeling. Do make sure you know how to swim as there are no attendants at this area.

1294296_10152015519965818_775373654_o
Waterfall Jumping
 5th) Enchanted Cave

Only just recently new caves are being found in Bolinao, here visitor are allowed to enter and have a swim, unlike any other place around the world.

enchanted-cave-bolinao-2

4th) Manaoag Church

Always a special place for the family, we always plan to visit here. The catholic church which has been officially declared a Basilica, sits on top of a hill in the town. Famous for some miracles relating to the Lady of Manaoag, are portrayed in various murals. This church is huge in various pilgrimage and for prayer purposes, whilst the history playing huge importance to the region.

our-lady-of-manaoag-church-in-pangasinan
3rd) Patar Beach

Patar beach to me is the most beautiful, the sand is soft and the water is clear. The beach can however get very congested at peak times but the scenery never gets old. We’ve been here a few times and watching the sun set here is magical.

10265299_10152381612185818_1221739514897441854_o
2nd) Puerto Del Sol Resort

Definitely one of the best classy resorts in Pangasinan,(or within the northern area anyway). This resort is expensive, but it is just on another class than any other resorts around. The breakfast here is on of the best in any of the resorts/ hotels i’ve had around the world. Puerto del sol has the best views and best part of Patar beach. It is my number 2 as you cant find any other place like this in the province.

1934658_10154047192515818_8616815018812073623_n
Puerto Del Sol Resort
 1st) Hundred Islands National Park

My personal number 1, simply an iconic attraction in Pangasinan, with a mixture of 100 large and small islands this picturesque national park is a place to visit. I have seen the evolution of this place, having little when I was young, to now having more and more to offer such as a camping facilities, water sports, snorkelling and cliff diving. Traditional Boats called the ‘Banka’ take passengers to a number of islands such as the ‘Quezon island’ and the ‘Govenors island’ where the Big brother house was situated, and many more depending on what activities you want to do. Excellent place for everyone and barbequing is usually popular.

16003004_10154927224465818_6653152412573327720_n
100 islands
Advertisements

Pangasinan

Type : Provincial, Beach Holiday
Best Date : November – January (warm weather), March-May (hot weather)
Expense :  Cheap
Things to do : Island Hopping, Cliff Jumping, Water sports
Points of Interest: 100 islands, Patar beach, Cape Bolinao Lighthouse, Manaoag Church, Surip, Antong Falls.

Brief

Pangasinan is a province of the Philippines, it is around 3-4 hours from Metro Manila. It is the 3rd biggest province in the Philippines, and is mostly famous for its Bangus fish, mango production and the famous fish sauce called (Bagoong). As a tourist destination, Pangasinan is widely known for the 100 islands, various Bolinao beaches, the Manaoag church, Enchanted caves and various waterfalls. I will only write about my area of Pangasinan and our neighbouring regions as there is much too many cities in Pangasinan.

The Place

Bani

As I mentioned, every Filipino has his/ her province to go home to, everyone seems to come from the country side to the city to find work or study. “Bani” Pangasinan is our families go to province, and its not a bad one for a break away from the city for some fresh air, food and even a vacation. Most notable in Bani is Surip Beach known for the Redeemers Cross and for the huge “Bani” tree which is said to have worked miracles. This area is usually used for local pilgrimage as you walk down/ up the mountain you will see a few religious stations. Newly discovered Nalsoc cave is considered to be the hidden wonders of Bani, however not open to the masses of locals and tourists, usually with permission professional caveneer or canyoneer may be able to enter with permits.

Alaminos

Bani’s neighbouring city Alaminos is arguably the most tourist attracted city in Pangasinan, notably for the Hundred Islands national park. I remember in my younger years when Hundred islands was just a haven for the locals unknown to the outer world, it was just local fisherman’s boats and the beaches we were allowed to go. However now perfectly timed, tourist population has rose and ever growing, the boats stayed traditional but more in quantity, more hotels were built but not yet to the scale of Boracay.  The islands themselves are now more interesting, with activities mimicking those of major beaches, cliff jumping, jet skiing, parasailing, glass bottom boats, snorkelling and even scuba diving are now available in Hundred islands. Camping is now also a popular choice, one of which I’ve tried with my cousins, tent rentals are 600php (£10) however if you own your own you just pay £3 for tent space.  Camping wa15965254_10154927228445818_8993633937231524174_n.jpgs a good experience, barbequing in the night with some beers and alcohol, only to sleep with the sound of the seas waves was unlike anything I could explain. Morning as a camper in Hundred islands though is not as pleasing in the morning as staff will wake you up at around 7am as you’ll need to pack your tents away as other visitors will arrive, understandable but tiring. Non the less the morning view was terrific.

Bolinao

Also neighbouring “Bani” Bolinao is known for its white sand beaches. Here you would find the more finer hotels and resorts in the region. The likes of Puerto Del Sol, Villa Solidad,  Casa Almarenzo, El Piscador and Punta Rivera are just some of the resorts that have been built there. These resorts are the go to places for vacation makers which is also next to Patar beach, the Enchanted Cave and the Cape Bolinao Lighthouse which prove to be popular for tourism. However Bolinao is best enjoyed on the day swimming, and in the resorts as when night comes, there is very little to do as we found out the hard way.

1934658_10154047192515818_8616815018812073623_n.jpg

Transport

It is advisable if visiting Pangasinan, you should have your own vehicle, as you will be moving around the place. There is no Taxis or Jeepneys, tricycles will only take you from village to village unless you pay a hefty fare. There are buses costing about 40php (60pence) from one city to the other, however times can vary. After taking a bus, tricycles can be taken to the desired resort or beach, but it is tough to do. I advise to get your own vehicle or join a tour.