Discovering Bolinao Pangasinan
Last summer, we decided to visit a place in the north called Bolinao. This peaceful town is located in the province of Pangasinan. Most of the tourists have probably heard about another town, Alaminos, where the magnificent Hundred Islands is located. Maybe only few would go for a 5 to 6 hour land-travel from Manila to Bolinao. However, I have read so much about this old-fashioned borough; I felt an itch to pay a visit. So without even making any hotel reservation or preparing an itinerary, I, together with my s.o., packed our bags and took a spontaneous 4-day trip to discover the marvels of Bolinao!
Our first stop was in San Fernando, Pampanga. We wanted to witness the traditional re-enactment of the crucifixion since it was the Holy Week during that time. Afterwards, we took a public bus from Gerona, Tarlac going to Bolinao.
We reached Bolinao around midnight and we had no place to stay in. Luckily, I was able to pick up an internet signal, so I immediately searched for a phone number of an inn or a motel. I dialed the first number that appeared and it turned out to be a local tricycle driver’s number. If you’re wondering whether we got worried, the answer is no. That time, all we wanted was a place to stay and take a shower.
The tricycle driver, kuya Sonny, picked us up at the bus stop and told us that he knew of an inn where we could lodge for the night. Canayon Apartelle is a home-turn-apartel. The rooms with regular fan costs Php 800/night, while air-conditioned rooms costs Php 1500/night. The rooms are not fancy but are decent enough to stay in for a few days.
Kuya Sonny became our tour guide in Bolinao. For a fee of Php 3000, he brought us to the hidden wonders of Bolinao and led us to discover the beautiful attractions of this town. We spent from late morning until noon in the majestic Bolinao falls. You will definitely appreciate its cool water and serene lagoon. They only charge Php 10/person for the environmental fee. At Bolinao falls, you are allowed to have a picnic by the riverside or take a quick dip into the pristine water!
In the afternoon, we hung out by the Patar White Beach, which another paradise in Bolinao. It is really a scenic view. Some even regard it as the Boracay of the North.
We left the beach to go to Bolinao Cape Lighthouse. It is the second highest lighthouse in the country. This is probably the best and most romantic spot to watch the sundown.
We also visited the Rockview resort to see the massive rock formation and clear water.
In the evening, we dropped by at Mugs Bar where the booze is the cheapest and food is satisfactory. No one will get lost in finding this restaurant since it is located at the heart of Bolinao’s town proper. People here get wasted because of 2 things: karaoke and beer. You don’t have to worry about the food in this town, because there are plenty around. Choose from Filipino, American, Mexican and European dining at an inexpensive price.
When we were leaving the town, we happened to pass by the Enchanted Cave. This is also popular among the tourists. Here, you can take a plunge into the cool water and be up close with flying bats.
Missing the Enchanted Cave gave me a reason to go back here! See you again, Bolinao!
Written By: Beth Javines, contributor