Nayong River | Things to do in Infanta-Pangasinan
|Address:||, 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 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.
Snorkeling, camping, swimming, and general beach frolicking are the main offerings on Balaki Islandâ€™s menu of activities. This 7.5-hectare private island is pretty much empty â€“ no commercial establishments, only rows of palm trees and golden-white sand. Balakiâ€™s shoreline and seabed is covered in ticklish seagrass, but before you find this cumbersome, realize that their presence indicates just how healthy the island still is. Plus, it means the marine life there is so rich and snorkeling is ace. At the moment, entrance to the island is free and there is no camping fee, though you will need to coordinate with the Infanta tourism office to get there. All it may cost for a trip to Balaki is gasoline for the boat, and maybe some food to share with the boatmen â€“ quite a good deal for a night or two on untouched tropical paradise!
Where to stay
For families and younger travelers, Dasoland is a
must-see. The massive property offers resort-style amenities, with cabanas, a
big pool, a mini-golf fairway, and a playground. More than that, the park also
offers attractions that range from educational to exciting: a mini-zoo,
butterfly garden, a World War II Museum housing fully-restored military
vehicles, an Ifugao village featuring several authentic Ifugao houses, and even
heritage houses that recreate colonial-era Filipino homes with authentic
century-old furniture. Even a day trip here would be an incredible experience
for any one of any age, though with so much to see, visitors will probably want
to stay for longer.
Getting there and around
, Infanta, PangasinanGet directions