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Plan Your Soul-Searching Getaway: A 3-Day Pangasinan Itinerary Edit

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Colleen Cabili  • Contributor
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Home of the Hundred Islands National Park, Bangus (milkfish), and Alaminos longganisa, Pangasinan serves as a sunny vacation spot for families, couples, and even single travelers. A six-hour drive away from the Metro, Pangasinan is readily accessible for commuters via Victory Line, Five Star Bus, and Dagupan Bus Lines. The fare costs approximately 470 pesos for a one-way trip. 

History and Bagoong overload in Lingayen!

Known for being former president Fidel V. Ramos' birthplace and a strategic point during the World War II, Lingayen is a first-class municipality of Pangasinan. The newly renovated Pangasinan Provincial Capitol Complex, a government facility and a tourist destination, is also located at the heart of Lingayen. The city offers Capitol Heritage Tours which involve watching a cultural show by the Danggoan Cultural Group and day tours around the complex.


Here are our favorite stops:

Urduja House


Also known as the official residence of the governor, Urduja House is one of the main attractions in the Capital Complex of Lingayen. This Balinese-inspired house is rich with the history of the legendary warrior princess of Pangasinan, Princess Urduja. Upon entering the house, Antonio G. Dumlao's painting of Princess Urduja greets guests. Princess Urduja serves as the symbol of a heroic Pangasinan woman: brave, principled, and strong!

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The Urduja House's grand facade.
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Urduja House's receiving area is just as majestic. (Photo courtesy of Jay Ermitaño.)

Sison Auditorium


Also called by the Pangasinenses as the Cultural Center of Pangasinan (CCP), Sison Auditorium is a frequent venue for the city-wide events of Lingayen. This neo-classical auditorium showcases the Manaoag Festival, musical concerts, cultural shows, theater plays, government functions, and the renowned ASNA Awards which recognizes the most outstanding Pangasinenses in specific fields. 

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The auditorium is also the go-to venue for large celebrations and events. (Photo courtesy of Jay Ermitaño.)

J.E.'s Bagoong Factory


Just hearing the word bagoong tickles the nose and reminds you of that pungent, familiar, fishy smell. Filipino dishes like Pinakbet and Kare-Kare never fail to miss getting partnered with bagoong simply because every dish tastes better with it. J.E.'s also offers new products like Padas (fermented rabbitfish) and Ginisang Alamang (sauteed shrimp fry).

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Workers hard at work to pack the finished bagoong. (Photo courtesy of Jay Ermitaño.)
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These bottles of bagoong are being prepared for delivery. (Photo courtesy of Jay Ermitaño.)

Agbayani Park


Gov. Aguedo Agbayani Park looks like a smaller version of Luneta Park with a lot of trees and benches designed for anyone who's looking for some peace of mind. It is situated just across the Capitol Building and is the perfect place to unwind right after a TMI (Too Much Information) tour from the ever-hardworking tour guides of the Capitol Building. The park was named after the longest serving Governor of the province of Pangasinan, Aguedo F. Agbayani.

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The Philippine flag stands tall in the middle of the park. (Photo courtesy of Jay Ermitaño.)
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There are a lot of trees at the park that provide shade to pedestrians. (Photo courtesy of Jay Ermitaño.)

Capitol Beach Front


Capitol Beach Front is a two-kilometer stretch of fine, white sand, welcoming anyone who has an itchy foot for the beach! A ten-minute walk from the Capitol Building, you will find almost a hundred cottages shaded by trees, free for everyone's use. Facing the Lingayen Gulf, at the far west side, you will get a view of the famous Bolinao Lighthouse.

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Sit back and relax to the sound of the waves softly crashing against the sea wall. (Photo courtesy of Jay Ermitaño.)

Did you know that this beachfront played an important role during the WWII? This is where the Filipino and American allied forces had their strategic bases for their military operations seven decades ago. Today, Pangasinan annually celebrates the Lingayen Gulf Landing in honor of the allied soldiers and veterans of the war.



Adventure Awaits in Alaminos!

Another exciting destination in Pangasinan is Alaminos, the home of Alaminos longganisa and Hundred Islands! From wall climbing, helmet diving, and ziplining, to snorkeling and kayaking, Alaminos offers exciting adventures for the fearless heart!

Rudy-Jing’s Eatery


A favorite local restaurant of the Pangasinenses, Rudy-Jing Eatery’s food taste like lutong-bahay (home-cooked) which instantly transports you back to your rural roots! Their menu is filled with seafood dishes like Kilawing Bangus (milkfish ceviche), grilled squid, and grilled and fried hito (catfish) that will surely leave you drooling! If ever you get to stop by, try their best seller, Sizzling Bangus!

Breakfast stop 😉

A post shared by Princes Carlos (@feggywappp) on

Hundred Islands National Park


Governor's Island is one of the most visited islands for its View Deck Area which is the highest peak of Hundred Islands. (It would take you 380 steps to reach the hilltop.) Everyone is encouraged to try the island's newest activity (aside from their helmet diving, mountain climbing, and snorkeling) which is the exhilarating 546-meter island-to-island zipline! You'll end up in one of the islets of the neighboring Virgin Island.

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Scared of heights? Not with this view. (Photo courtesy of Jay Ermitaño.)
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Island hopping through zip line because why not? (Photo courtesy of Jay Ermitaño.)


On Rivers, Caves, and Rock Formations: Bolinao

Located at the western tip of Pangasinan, Bolinao City is known for its spectacular attractions like the Bolinao Lighthouse, Balingasay River, and Patar Rock Formations!


Here are the other must-visits in Bolinao:

Wonderful Cave


Located at Barangay Patar, Wonderful Cave is one of the three famous caves in Bolinao. The cave is stereotypically called "Wonderful Cave" since it is literally 'wonderful' for its crystal clear water and mystical vibe. The cave's ceiling is filled with stalactites which thereby add wonderment to this secret hideaway. 

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The colorful entrance to Wonderful Cave. (Photo courtesy of Jay Ermitaño.)
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A small lagoon can be found inside. (Photo courtesy of Jay Ermitaño.)

Balingasay River


Balingasay River is known for being the cleanest river in the Philippines. Gracing the center of Bolinao, this river is just a ten-minute drive away from the town proper. A bakawan (mangrove) expedition via a banca (kayak) is what the people of Patar offer to the visitors of the immaculate river. Tourists also go to Bolinao Falls since it is accessible through Balingasay River. If you're on the lookout for a tranquil cruise, this is where to go.

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Balingasay River offers a calm retreat to tired travelers. (Photo courtesy of Jay Ermitaño.)
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Balingasay River flows through different elevations, like this brief drop at Bolinao Falls. (Photo courtesy of Jay Ermitaño.)

Rock View Beach Resort


This beach is far from ordinary. Once you sit on your rented cottage to drink in the view of the West Philippine Sea, you would be greeted by Rock View's sensational rock formations! Whether you setup your camera to capture this piece of paradise or just let yourself get lulled to sleep by the reverberating crashing of the waves, don't forget to revel in Pangasinan's version of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

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Rock View gives off major Castaway vibes. (Photo courtesy of Jay Ermitaño.)
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Rock View is littered with picturesque locations like this one. (Photo courtesy of Jay Ermitaño.)

Binungey


Binungey is the popular sweet sticky rice dessert made from Bolinao, Pangasinan. Also known as the 'bamboo cake', Binungey is a mixture of sticky rice, coconut milk, coconut meat, and water slowly cooked inside a bamboo shell (a healthy snack, indeed!). 

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Batches of warm Binungey are on display at this stall. (Photo courtesy of Jay Ermitaño.)
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These vendors wake up really early in the morning to prepare the delicacy. They have to cook a lot of these since they sell out fast! (Photo courtesy of Jay Ermitaño.)

Pangasinenses traditionally eat Binungey right after attending the mass that's why it is being profusely sold outside the churches. It is usually eaten with fruits, tea, or coffee as a dessert or as an afternoon snack. Don’t forget to try one once you get to visit Bolinao.

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This is what Binungey looks like. (Photo courtesy of Jay Ermitaño.)

That has been a long ride! But you see, you have to visit Pangasinan yourself to experience its authenticity. As I have said, create your own route! The province of Pangasinan is more than just a destination; it is a journey of a lifetime. Destinations and accommodations in other parts of Pangasinan can be found here.

3 Days/2 Nights Itinerary for Pangasinan


Day 1 – Lingayen City Exploration


Breakfast of Bangus Pasta at the Capitol Complex

Take a Heritage Tour at the Capitol Complex

Lunch of Pigar-Pigar at Gibb’s Ihaw-Ihaw in Bonifacio Street (2 kilometers away from the Capitol)

Stop by the Sison Auditorium (Located at Artacho Street)

Buy bagoong at J.E.'s Bagoong Factory for pasalubong

Camp and enjoy the sunset at the Capitol Beachfront


You can check out available accommodations in Lingayen here

Day 2 – Hundred Islands Tour


Brunch at Rudy-Jing's Eatery 

Explore Hundred Islands National Park (an hour-long drive via Olongapo-Bugallon Road)

Zipline at the Governor's Island

Snorkeling at the Coral Island

Helmet Diving

Dinner and check-in the hotel 


You can check out available accommodations in Alaminos here.

Day 3 – Hello, Bolinao!


Visit the Wonderful Cave (a 1.5 hour-long drive from Alaminos via Regional Highway V)

Take a dip at the Rock View Beach Resort (3 kilometers south of Wonderful Cave)

Brunch at the Rock View Open Cottages

Drop-by the Cape Bolinao Lighthouse (20 minute walk from Rock View)

Catch the Bolinao Sunset at Patar Beach (located 1 kilometer north of Cape Bolinao) 

Buy Binungey for pasalubong

Drive back to Manila


You can check out available accommodations in Bolinao here


Original text by Persis Flores


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