April 12, 2016

Bolinao: Treasure of Pangasinan

Bolinao is one of the treasures of Pangasinan. Six hours away from Manila by bus, you can experience the golden-brown beach and nice tender waves of Patar Beach. Patar beach is public beach 30 minutes away from the town proper of Bolinao.

Saint James the Greatest Parish and the Heritage Town of Bolinao
Before you hit the beach, you may opt to explore the town of Bolinao first. Visiting the 400 years old St. James the Greatest Parish in front of the red-bricked town hall of Bolinao may set the tone of your weekend in the beach. The old church is made up of black coral stones and was built by the Agustinians in 1609. The church and the town of Bolinao are featured at the Legoland Malaysia Resort.


 


 Convent



Not so surprisingly, Bolinao still have some old houses scattered all over the town center (Separate post). Unfortunately, most of these houses are just waiting for their time to be buried in old pictures depicting its glory. Although some of the houses’ ground floors are being rented by town entrepreneurs, still the owners failed to maintain the beauty of their houses. There are some good stories wherein the owners residing in Manila kept the aesthetics of the house and use the house for vacations.

30 Minutes Rides to Patar
If you did not charter for your transportation, you can hire a tricycle to proceed to the famous golden-brown sand of Patar Beach. Fare is Php200.00 one way and is good for 5 persons. You can also arrange to the driver to fetch you at your desired time the next day when you leave. The tricycle will also ask you if you want have tour an eco-tour in Bolinao. They offered me a Php1,000.00 whole day tour of chasing waterfalls and caving.
Cape Bolinao
Searching for Accommodation
When I reached Patar Beach, I immediately negotiated for my accommodation. Since this was a spontaneous trip, my goal was to search for the cheapest accommodation available. I was actually looking for a kubo that is less than Php500.00. To my disappointment, the first kubo was Php1,000.00. I tried to approached the next and they offered me Php800.00. I was able to haggle for Php600.00 arguing that I am alone and will leave early the next day. Whew…





You can also pitch tent for a fee. I am not sure how much but when I asked around they said that its Php300 per tent.

Sunset Watching



My plan that afternoon was to sit on the sand, watch the sunset and the people enjoying the wave. I just don’t adore the perfect sunset I was moved by the drama it created with the vessel passing through it. Sunset always gives me something new that I can cherish and remember whenever I look back.


Looking for Food!
After the sunset and the long day of mapping old houses in Alaminos and Bolinao I realized that I haven’t had a single decent meal that day. That’s normal with me whenever I travel. I always forgot to eat but when I eat, I will eat like a fiesta! I will only realize that I have to eat when I see that there nothing more to do for that day. I looked around and found some establishment selling goods at skyrocketing prices. Oh well, what can you expect from a famous tourist area?

There is a restaurant/eatery selling short order meals and all-day breakfast meal near my kubo. I ordered a pansit that is good for two and it cost me Php150.00.

The Rock and the Sand of Bolinao
The next morning, the plan was to catch the sunrise and swim till’ 9-ish. Unfortunately, I overslept in my cold kubo so I missed the sunrise. Anyhow, the sand is too gorgeous to be sad and the rock is too massive to be miss.





I walked over the fine golden brown sand of Patar beach to feel its relaxing effect on my feet. Walking in the sand is a little bit of a challenging because your feet will sunk whenever you step on it. The sand is compose of mini pebble that is why the composition can easily break whenever you step on it or when water splash on it. It no powder-fine like of Boracay and Calaguas or even the beaches in El Nido but it definitely a gorgeous sand perfect for beach bumming and sun bathing.




This buddy right here is catching small fish to sell in pet shops near by according to him. He was there for a long time and I was just watching him. According to him some tourist buys his fish that was shy his can was empty when I approached him.




Cape Bolinao
A visit to Bolinao is not complete when you do not visit its famous lighthouse. You can ask your chartered tricycle to stop at the lighthouse bend (road) and have a quick picture taking in the lighthouse.




People please stop vandalizing!

The 351 feet lighthouse was built by the Americans in 1903. It is considered a major lighthouse with visibility of 32 kilometers or 17 nautical miles at mid-sea towards the lighthouse.


Must Try:
Binuguey (Bamboo Cake) is  a must try delicacy in Bolinao. This sticky rice cooked in bamboo is a great snack before you soak your body on water or pasalubong for your love back home.


How to go to Bolinao:
  1. There are buses in Cubao (Victory Liner and Five Star) bound to Bolinao town proper. Travel time is 6 hours. Fare is around Php450.00.
  2. From Town Proper take a tricycle bound to Patar Beach or in any beach resort of your choice. Travel time is about 30-45 minutes. Fare is around Php150.00 to Php200.00

Note:
  1. Bring all the things that you need like food, water and toiletries. As I mentioned above, prices in Patar is skyrocketing. For example shampoo that normally cost Php5.00, its Php10.00 in Patar.
  2. You can use tent in Patar Beach but still expect to pay some dues to the Barangay. 
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If you do not want to go to Patar Beach, there is an alternatve resort hotel for you just minutes away from the town proper.

Here is my video of El Pescador Resort Hotel. 



To go there just hail a tricycle in the town proper and tell them to bring you to El Pescador or simply Elpes. Fare is Pho10 per person.