A Day in Bolinao
Whenever I plan a trip I usually looked for a place somewhere in Visayas or Mindanao. I don’t know but sometimes I forgot to pick places in Luzon. Maybe because I have a perception that it’s near and and it could be traveled overland. Therefore, I can get there anytime because it’s just a bus ride away. But anyway, last month me and my family (including my cousin and her friend) visited Bolinao for a day tour. Bolinao is a municipality in the province of Pangasinan. As I recall, the last time I’ve been to Pangasinan was three years ago when we visited Hundred Islands. Bolinao is 6 – 7 hours away from Manila but we were able to enjoy it even for just a day.
Going to Bolinao
We rode a Five Star bus in Pasay bound to Bolinao at 11:00 PM. The fare costs PHP 440.00 one way. There’s no ticket reservation needed for this as all are walk in passengers. The bus actually leaves as soon as it’s already full. Good thing my Mom was already there at 9:00 PM and she was able to reserve seats for us when the bus arrived. We’re running late to the terminal and she kept on calling me because the bus was almost full and passengers are kept on asking her on the reserved seats. Despite of those little misfortunes and shame we were able to make it.
I wasn’t able to sleep well. When we arrived in Alaminos at 4:00 AM, most passengers disembarked. Then, I transferred to the last seat so I can stretch up and lay down to have a good sleep, at least. After an hour, the bus arrived in Bolinao. We went to the public market first and bought the things we needed and food to cook for our lunch. We had our breakfast at the bakery located in the market. Their pandesal is really good as it has dairy cream spread on it. Yum!
When we’re done, we looked for a tricycle who can take us on a quick tour then get us to Puerto Del Sol afterwards. We saw this tricycle lane besides the market, so me and my cousin talked to the tricycle drivers and asked them if anyone can take us on a tour. We opted to visit Bolinao Falls and Cape Lighthouse only as these spots are the places that looks exciting and worth our time. I know there are still a lot of places to visit in Bolinao. There are caves but the pictures of those caves that I’ve seen online were not appealing at all. Kuya driver (can’t recall the name) agreed on the places we wanted to visit for PHP 600 per tricycle. We hired 2 tricycles for the 6 of us.
Our first destination, Bolinao Falls. It was like 30 minutes drive away from the Bolinao public market. I never thought it’ll be that far. The ride was too bumpy as the road going to the falls is not yet paved. When we arrived the drop off point, we walked 5 minutes or less towards to the falls.
We’re the only tourist that time. Our driver / tour told us that this fall was used back then as setting for bold films. No doubt as it was like a paradise. We were tempted to take a dip because it was really tempting. I attempted to take a swim but my Mom kept on scolding me. She’s worried that I might get drowned. Too bad, I can’t be too adventurous when my family is around.
After a few shots we moved to our next destination, Cape Lighthouse. It was like 45 minutes away from the falls. It was a long and bumpy ride. I was already feeling bored as it was like a never ending rough ride. Then I got excited when I got a glimpse of the Cape Lighthouse.
It was already 9:30 AM when we got there. It was uphill so my Mom just stayed in the tricycle. But when we’re all up there, my Mom followed us.
We took some shots first at the overlooking area. The panoramic view is so relaxing. It’s nice to have some fresh air. The wind is just so good that it carried our stress and tiredness away. We took a few jump shots. These jump shots looks funny for us that it made us laugh loudly.
We wanted to go up to the lighthouse but it was closed. The care taker was not around. Nevertheless, we just took some shots of it.
It was already 10:00 AM so we decided to go. But before we get to the resort, our Kuya driver brought us to Patar Beach (without extra fee). He insisted that we need to see the beach. He wanted us to see how beautiful their beach is. Actually, he kept on promoting their place for the entire trip. I felt that he really loved his hometown and he was proud how beautiful Bolinao is. I also felt his hospitality.
And Kuya driver didn’t disappoint us. The beach was so irresistible. It was so enticing that I wanted to take a swim that moment.
The sand is white and fine. They say it was like Boracay but for me there’s no basis to compare one beach to another as each one has its own identity and beauty.
Souvenir stalls are also available here.
Puerto del Sol
After a while, we moved on then off to Puerto Del Sol. It was like 30 minutes ride to get to the resort. This was the last jump off point for our tricycle tour, so we parted ways from here. If you want to take the service of the Kuya driver here’s his contact, 09199496468. We arrived at Puerto del Sol at around 11:00 AM. We’ll not check in here for overnight but for a day tour only. I purchased a voucher online for PHP 900 for a Day Tour for 5. I’ll post a separate entry for this resort. At 5:00 PM, we checked out from the resort. We took a tricycle outside the resort to get to the town proper. Fare costs PHP 150.00 per tricycle. It took us about 30 minutes to get to the town proper.
When we got to the town proper, we visited the St. James the Great Parish Church, also known as Bolinao Church.
After the quick visit, we walked towards the Five Star Bus Terminal to check for bus schedules. There are bus trips to Manila hourly but schedule may change so better ask someone at the Five Star office when you get there. The next air conditioned bus to Manila is at 7:00 PM. We still had few time left so we roamed the market area and had ihaw-ihaw at the street.
My Mom told me that one of the favorite delicacies in Bolinao is the Bamboo rice cake (rice cake in Bamboo / bamboo cake). It is being sold outside the church but unluckily there was none that day. 7:00 PM came and we boarded the bus. We were all tired so we’re expecting a good sleep in the bus, then so we had.
It was a great travel with my family. It’s hard to be adventurous when my Mom is around. I know she cared and worried about me, and I understand that. But obviously, my Mom doesn’t know how I travel. 😉
Bolinao is a great place to travel to, a treasure of Pangasinan. I hope I can come back to experience Patar beach!