When Mrs. Ems Fausto invited me to Bolinao, Pangasinan to join her and some parents from Ateneo High School at their beach house, I readily said yes. I seldom visit the north and Pangasinan was towards northern Philippines. So, with my packed bag in tow, I headed to Bolinao, and I did not have any regrets.
Check out some of the places we visited, and allow yourselves to imagine a meaningful trip there. If you find yourself planning a Pangasinan trip, here are some places you would not want to miss.
The Balingasay River Cruise and Floating Restaurants
The Balingasay River Cruise was very much like the floating restaurants of Loboc River in Bohol. However, you had to order your food prior to the cruise. So, we just ordered halo-halo and some soda because we had breakfast and lunch was being prepared at the beach house. The cruise brought us to lines and lines of mangroves (which I love). But above all, it had been a great nature trip: fresh air, the relaxing sound of water, and communing with nature.
Cape Bolinao Lighthouse
Cape Bolinao Lighthouse is the 2nd tallest lighthouse in the Philippines; the tallest is Cape Bojeador Lighthouse in Burgos, Ilocos Norte. American, British and Filipino engineers built this 101 feet high lighthouse in 1905.
Patar White Sand Beach
I loved these scenes of a father and daughter enjoying the beach and the sunset.
Though the cascade was flimsy because we were there during the dry season, I still would recommend a visit to the falls but during the wet season.
St. James the Great Parish Church
Bolinao, Pangasinan was a mission territory of the Dominicans in 1594. Due to the vastness of their area and the lack of missionaries, the Dominicans left in 1607 and entrusted it to the Augustinian Friars. Under the Augustinians, Bolinao was canonically erected in 1609. The church tower is 75 feet, the tallest in Pangasinan. In 1788, an earthquake destroyed the top of the bell tower, and the convent was burned in 1819. The church is made of black coral stones.
The Enchanted Cave
The Enchanted Cave’s charm lies in its underground spring pool where you can swim or dip. The cave is made of limestone coral stones and the surrounding area has fossilized giant clams. It is a haven for nature lovers.
Short Stop at Binmaley, Pangasinan
A. Our Lady of Purification Parish Church
The Dominicans built this church in 1627 and completed by Fr. Barrozo OP in 1754. The Dominicans took care of the parish until the religious revolution of 1898. The parish is under the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan. Binmaley, Pangasinan.
B. The Bell Tower of the Church of Our Lady of Purification
Some photos along the way.
The Candaba Wetlands, Pampanga
Thank you very much, Ems and Gian!
The gang at the Fausto’s beach house.