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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Pangasinan Province

TRAVEL DATE: April 7 - 12, 2009 

"Pangasinan is the the third biggest province in the whole Philippine Archipelago, derived its name from salt or “asin” in the vernacular. Owing to the rich and fine salt beds which were the prime source of livelihood for the province’s coastal towns, PanagASINan or “Pangasinan” which means “where salt is made” came to be its name", [source here].

Province of Pangasinan travel_02

Pangasinan is 5 to 6 hours drive from Metro Manila by bus and there are available daily bus trips from several bus liners such as Victory Liner Bus and Five Star Bus.

TRAVEL TIP: The earliest bust trip to Lingayen, Pangasinan is 2:30AM and the bus fare is around PHP 374 via Victory Liner. Don't worry because their buses are fully air-conditioned and has WiFi on-board so you will surely not get bored during the trip.

I've visited 5 places in Pangasinan: Lingayen, Dagupan, Alaminos, Mapandan, and Manaog. Each place has its own tourist spot and specialty but the common denominator for all the places is the people's warm hospitality.

TRAVEL TIP: The language widely spoken here is Ilokano due to its proximity to Ilocos Province, and the local people here are called Pangasinense.  


Mapandan is only a small municipality comprised of about 30,000+ people and their main industry is sugarcane. They also have mango plantations though and the quality is at par with Guimaras'.

We stayed at the house of my aunt's friend and it was nice knowing more locals... well on a personal level, though sometimes I don't understand what they're saying. They toured us on their corn and mango plantation and it's nice to have a breath of fresh air.

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The local bibingka that they served us during the afternoon merienda was delicious. It was topped with red egg and the taste was just perfectly right! Too bad I haven't had the chance to take a photo of it.


When someone talks about Alaminos, Pangasinan, you'll surely hear the place "Hundred Islands". Hundred Islands is famous because as the place speak for itself, it is composed of hundred plus islands (may it be small or big). We rented a boat that was about PHP 2,000 for a whole day tour of the islands. The day will surely not be enough to pass by every island so we only went to the famous ones.

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TRAVEL TIP: Some notable islands were the Manuel Quezon Island, Governor's Island, and Children's Island. Stop by these beaches and have yourselves bask on these seashores under the heat of the sun. You may grab your lunch at Children's Island to which more visitors gather.

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Children's Island, Alaminos

TRAVEL TIP: It is recommended for you to bring your own cooked food or some raw meat for grilling because there are not much stores in the islands for food and drinks.Try Kayaking also and kayak around some of the islands. It's a fun experience!

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Lingayen is famous for its "Lingayen Gulf" or locally known as "Gulpo ng Lingayen". You will surely enjoy the sunset by the seashore found beside their town plaza. It's nice to see children bathing on the sea beside their town plaza. Too bad we arrived Lingayen at around 6PM already and it was dark but the good thing was that their municipal hall was all lit up!

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They also showcased some army tanks used during the World War. I am not sure though if it's authentic or not but anyhow, the tanks are still nice!

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Dagupan is a haven for milkfishes or locally known as "bangus" and the restaurants here serve delicious milkfish dishes. Dagupan is already considered a first class city and it shows how their economy is slightly better than other nearby municipalities. Of course since we consider ourselves as travelers, we did not miss the chance to taste their famous Bangus Sisig....crunchy, tasty, and perfectly right!

TRAVEL TIP: You can also drop my Binmaley and they have a popular restaurant there, Severino's, that also serve delicious bangus dishes!

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To all Christian believers and faithfuls, Manaoag is a popular place for sacrilege and prayer visits. The Manaoag Church know as "The Shrine of our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag" is said to have some "miraculous power" because a lot of believers had their dreams and wishes granted after praying here.

They have the status of Mother Mary carved on wood and a lot of candles lit-up can be found below. Some offer prayers for their family, some for their studies, and some for their good fortune.

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TRAVEL TIP: The line going up the altar is really long so be patient if you really want to take a glance at the church's altar.

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Pangasinan is definitely a promising province that surely offers a lot of interesting destinations may it be for food, leisure, and entertainment. Given the chance, I will surely re-visit the places again!

Good thing we had a personal car again to roam around the province. Don't worry though because it's easy to navigate through these places via bus or jeepneys so transportation is not a problem.

Ask a local, they're surely willing to help!


  1. This place is one of the top Philippine travel destinations and I want also to visit and travel in this place soon.

    -------> Greg @ philippine travel destinations

    1. Hi Greg,

      Yes, Pangasinan's a province with lots of destinations to go. By the way, how are you connected to Phil. Daily Inquirer?

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