Mangaldan is one of the oldest towns in Pangasinan founded back in 1600. The name Mangaldan have different etymologies passed on from generation to generation. When visitors ask locals where the town’s name came from, they would probably hear one of the four known stories. The first one tells of a missionary who was passing by the town. He stopped to ask a local about the name of the place. The local thought the missionary was asking what he was doing so he replied “Mangalag-adan” which means Adan is fetching water. The second possible etymology comes from the first native chief of the town named Babaldan. Another known history is about people quarreling over the fruits of a mango tree. Quarreling is known as “Man-nga-ngal-ngalan” in the local dialect. The last origin of the name comes from Fr. Raymundo Suarez who wrote in his century old manuscript “Apuntes Cureosos de Pangasinan” that Mangaldan came from the root word “Alar” or “Alad” which means a fence made of bamboo. It is common in the local dialect to add “Mang” and “An” to name a place. 

Calling the place Alad comes from the fact that Mangaldan used to be a cattle ranch. Today, the town is known for its famous carabao dried meat locally called “pindang”. A visit to the town’s local market will lead to stalls of meat vendors selling carabeef (carabao beef) tapa. The town even has its own Meat and Fish Processing Center beside the local market. Tapa is a Filipino breakfast staple best paired with sunny side up egg and fried rice. Pindang is tastier and more tender than the typical beef tapa made from cow meat. Each year the town celebrates a Pindang Festival where the carabeef is cooked in different dishes and enjoyed by the town’s locals and tourists. Festival goers are welcomed by the town’s Carabao Mascot family named Ikong, Ikang and their child Isko. Mangaldan is also home to the Original Peanut Brittle of the North by the De Vera Family. Romana’s Peanut Brittle has been produced and distributed around Luzon including Baguio. The Angalakan River, Pangasinan’s cleanest body of water, is also within the boundaries of Mangaldan. Pilgrims would also visit the town to pray in the 417-year old St. Thomas Aquinas Church. 

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