Balaki Island in Infanta | Things to do in Infanta-Pangasinan
|Open:||Everyday, 6am-6pm. Coordinate with the local tourism office before visiting the island.|
|Address:||Balaki Island, Infanta, Pangasinan|
Visiting this bagoong (fermented fish sauce) factory is almost like taking a trip to a historical site. Locals from as far as the neighboring town make the effort to visit this small, non-descript shop-cum-factory, which is run by the sprightly Nanay Francia Abella, who learned the craft from her own mother. Their products–which include boneless bagoong, patis (another kind of fish sauce), and padas bagoong (a local favorite, where the sauce is not separated from the fish)–have become a Pangasinan institution.
With a tourism industry that's just about to go full-throttle, Infanta's attractions may still be underdeveloped, but as far as Nayong River is concerned, this is a good thing. Cruising this bright blue river can be done by request (just call the tourism office), and more often than not visitors will get the stretch of it all to themselves. Nayong River is especially attractive to those with an interest in ecology: its riverbanks give life to 22 true species of mangroves!
With a name that means "a place of making salt", Pangasinan has long been home to salt-making since the days of its ancestors. Travelers can take a glimpse of this local industry by visiting a salt factory in the town of Infanta. This salt factory is particularly cinematic, and a treat not only for the eyes but for all the other senses. Rays of light come through the factory's woven-leaf ceiling, casting shadows onto the tubs full of boiling salt water. As the steam rises from the tubs, the nutty aroma of burning rice husks fills the air. If visitors are so inclined, they can try their hand at harvesting the salt. It's not as easy as it looks, so they need to exercise extra caution–though the satisfaction one gets after scraping a pile of salt from the bottom of the tub is well worth the effort.
Where to stay
Getting there and around
Balaki Island, Infanta, PangasinanGet directions