Pangasinan is a province 250 kilometers north on Manila. The province is bordered by the provinces of Zambales and Tarlac on the south, Nueva Vizcaya and Nueva Ecija to the east, La Union on the north and the Lingayen Gulf to the west. The name Pangasinan was derived from the word "asin" or salt due to Pangasinan's vast salt making industry. The province is also a major producer of mangoes, rice, milkfish and bamboo handicrafts.
Today, Pangasinan is more known for its most popular tourist attraction which is the Hundred Islands National Park. A cluster of more than a hundred islands off the town of Alaminos on the Lingayen Gulf. Of which, the biggest island is named Quezon. Most of the islands are small and uninhabited and are only occasionally visited during the day by local and foreign tourist. Most of the bigger islands have beaches where visitors can spend the day or camp out for a picnic.
However, only a few of these island have facilities. Those that offer facilities are: Quezon Island with viewing decks, toilets and picnic sheds, the Governor's Island has accommodation facilities for those who would like to stay longer and the Children's Island which has bathrooms, camping and sleeping areas.
Now, visitors to the Hundred Islands can better enjoy their vacation with water sports facilities offered for rent at Lucap Waterfront (Tel # +63 75 5512246) for activities like jet skiing, windsurfing, kayaking, snorkeling, parasailing and big game fishing.
Other Tourist Attractions of Pangasinan:
Places of interest in Pangasinan are: the 2 lighthouses in Bolinao: the Cape Bolinao Lighthouse in Barangay Patar and the Port Bolinao Lighthouse in Guigui-wanen in Barangay Luciente; the Tara waterfalls in Bolinao; the pristine Balingasay river; Antong Falls in the town of Sison; the Urduja House in Lingayen; the Salasa Church in Bugallon; Mount Balungao in Balungao; Manleluag Spring National Park in Mangatarem; Bolinao Museum; Sanctuario de Senor Divino Tesoro in Calasiao; Redeemerís Cross; Agno Umbrella Rocks and the Lingayen Gulf War Museum in the town of Lingayen.
For the adventurous, there are several caves in Pangasinan waiting to be explored. There is the Cacupangan cave in the town of Mabini, Cindyís cave in Bolinao and the 200 meter Villacorta Caves in the town of Villacorta with waterfalls, pools and rock formations.
Aside form the beaches found on the Hundred Islands, one need not get a boat ride to get to a beach in Pangasinan. The coastline of Lingayen Gulf is blessed with numerous beaches for tourist and vacationers. There is the Bonuan beach, videoke stalls to match and other beaches that dot the coastline of Pangasinan.
Best Beaches of Pangasinan:
Beach in Bolinao has huts for rent for the budget conscious and several resorts for those with bigger budgets.
● Arnedo Beach also in Bolinao offers several resorts, some with surfing facilities with reasonable rates.
How to get to Pangasinan:
Catch a bus from Manila going to Alaminos, Pangasinan. From the town proper of Alaminos, there are tricycles and jeepneys that ply the 3 kilometer route to Lucap town where the Public Assistance Center for the Hundred Islands National Park is located. The center also accepts reservations for accommodations to the islands. From the center, motorized boats (banca) can be hired for a trip to the islands.
Buses that ply the Manila - Pangasinan route:
● Dagupan Bus Line (Quezon City to Dagupan) New York St., Cubao Tel # 929-6123, 727-2330
● Victory Liner (Quezon City to Dagupan & Alaminos) Cubao, Q.C. Tel # 727-4688, 727-4534
● Five Star Bus Line (Pasay City to Dagupan & Bolinao) Tel # 833 8339, 833 3009
● City Trans (Manila to Dagupan & Bolinao)
● Philippine Rabbit (Quezon City to Dagupan & Bolinao) EDSA, Q.C. Tel # 734-9838, 734-9836
● Philippine Rapid Manila to Dagupan & Bolinao)
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