Saturday, September 28, 2019

Pangasinan Trip 2019

A few weeks ago, I decided to take a 2-day trip to the province of Pangasinan. It was my 2nd time, the first being in the Bangus Festival a few years ago. This year, I started with Pangasinan. The bus I took was Solid North and we left the EDSA station around 2:00 AM.

Before 6:00 AM, I was already at Dagupan City. I was able to take a picture of its church at daybreak. Recently, I’ve been taking pictures of the town’s Poblacion (city center) including the main church, the municipal or city hall, the public market, the public park, Rizal’s monument, ancestral houses and Jollibee stores.

From Dagupan, I took a jeep to the nearby town of Mangaldan. Same routine – walk about the Poblacion, take a picture of the main church, plaza, municipal hall, Rizal’s monument, Jollibee store and some ancestral houses. Then I’m off to the next town of Manaoag, Pangasinan.

From Manaoag, I travelled to Pozzorubio, Pangasinan. It was already afternoon when I decided to go to Pozzorubio and there were no longer jeeps plying to the town. Luckily there’s a tricycle terminal. In Pozzorubio, I did exactly the same thing – go to the town proper (Poblacion), visit the main church, some ancestral houses, municipal hall, Rizal’s monument and public park. I had difficulty finding the Pozzorubio Public Market.

Travelling from town to town is pretty simple especially if the town/province is from Spanish-era period. The design is simple – the church is usually the center of the town. In front of it is usually the Plaza and just a few meters would be the Munisipyo (Municipal Hall) and the Palengke (Public Market). Ancestral houses are usually located around the church. The closer your house is to the chuch, the more prominent your family is. A monument to Rizal is almost, always, present in the Plaza.

From Pozzorubio, I took another jeep to Urdaneta but I stopped by at the crossroads to Laoac and Binalonan. I took a jeep and went to Laoac, which is a a very quiet and small town. The church is simple and the municipal hall is being renovated. I also can’t find the public market of Laoac but there’s a plaza. From Laoac, I rode the Manaoag-Binalonan jeepney.

There’s a Jollibee and McDonalds by the way at the crossroads. The town of Binalonan is also quiet. I was surprised that they have GrabTrike colored green. It’s probably a collaboration of the town to the riding company and it’s applaudable. Binalonan has wide streets around the town hall (municipal hall). There are some ancestral houses near the church and it’s lovely to walk around the Poblacion.

Around 5:00 PM I’m back at the crossroads and rode another jeep towards the City of Urdaneta, Pangasinan. I’m surprised that the church of Urdaneta is not as grand (or big) as in other cities. It’s like Cabanatuan or any other big city in the province. I decided to sleep over in this city but I had difficulty finding accommodation via the Agoda app. Eventually I asked a tricycle driver to take me to the nearest, least expensive inn.
I have visited 7 towns today.

Day 2

I left Urdaneta City early in the morning. I took a bus to Dagupan City and from there, I took another bus to Alaminos City. I had breakfast in one of the town’s ancestral houses repurpose into a cafeteria (the 1st fllor). I was surprised at the sheer number of ancestral houses in this city especially along the street going to the Hundred Islands Park. It was rainy when I reached this town so there were no boats going to the Hundred Islands.

Alaminos City both has Jollibee and McDonalds. I can’t find Rizal’s monument but instead, there’s a monument for Andres Bonifacio in front of the church. From Alaminos City, I took a grueling 2 hour jeepney ride to the northern-most town of Bolinao.

Bolinao is a bit chaotic since the public market extend to the area in front of the municipal hall. Rizal is depicted along with other National Heroes. The church of Bolinao is awesome with its painting on the ceiling. Almost all popular stories of the Bible and about the life of the Virgin Mary is depicted in the ceiling. It was one of the most beautiful churches I’ve seen visited.

Of all the towns I’ve visited in Pangasinan, only Bolinao has a group of vendors selling the town’s unique product – bamboo (rice) cake. It’s like our local suman but instead of being wrapped in banana leaves, it’s cooked in bamboos. It comes with a very sweet syrup similar to that found in Baguio. I commend the local government of Bolinao for marketing a unique product of the town. I hope all other towns will follow their example.

From Bolinao, I took the Bolinao Express bus and went to the capital of Pangasinan province – Lingayen. I was able to take some photos of the towns along the way – Bani, Sual and Labrador. Lingayen is a huge city. Rizal’s monument here is remarkable. There’s Jollibee as well. From the church of Lingayen, I took a tricyle to the Provincial Capitol grounds. The complex is huge and has a lot of trees. It gives the feel of being in Baguio.

From Lingayen, I took a jeep to the quiet town of Binmaley. It’s another small and quiet town. I love the feel of Binmaley. The church is unique because it is surrounded by statues of the Virgin Mary with some of her famous titles. Too bad both the church of Binmaley and the Museum of Binmaley were closed during my visit (Saturday morning). From the statue of a fisherman at the town plaza and from the wide ricefields in town, I can say Binmaley is a farming and fishing town.

My next stop was the city of San Carlos. There’s no direct jeepney route to San Carlos City. I rode the jeep to Dagupan but took off at a tricycle station for San Carlos. I had my lunch here. The city is huge as well. There’s a Rizal Park near the church. The City Hall is right across the street. The public market is not in the vicinity. There’s a Jollibee San Carlos and this city is where publick transportation are located. From San Carlos City you could visit other towns to the West side of Pangasinan. I decided to go to Malasiqui.

Malasiqui is another quiet town. The town hall, church, Rizal Park, and public market are all adjacent to each other. There are a lot of buses coming from Dagupan en route to Manila. I left Malasiqui around 4:00 PM. By 10:00 PM I was back in Manila.

I visited 6 towns today for a total of 13 towns in 2 days. I would post more pictures of the towns I've mentioned here. I would also love to visit the province of Quezon next.

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