Thursday, July 17, 2014

Surprising Bolinao

Coming from Alaminos, we drove further up north to Bolinao, Pangasinan. I wasn’t really expecting much since this Bolinao Day Tour was just part of the Hundred Islands Tour package we got. To my surprise, Bolinao has a lot to offer--even if it is not too popular like its nearby destination place, Hundred Islands.

First stop: Bolinao Falls
the trek going to Bolinao Falls 2
After a short trek on what looks like a countryside or a farm, we arrived at the Bolinao Falls. You have to manoeuvre on the makeshift bamboo bridges to be able to get to the wooden cottage of your choice. This cottage, of course, comes with a rental fee. If you weren’t able to bring food, you can buy cold bottled water or softdrinks and snacks like bananaque.

Word of caution tho—be very careful when approaching the falls because the stones you will be stepping on are really slippery (Well, I actually slipped and made a spectacle!)
Bolinao Falls 2

The locals told us that we should see “the other falls”. But after hearing that is a more difficult and a longer trek than what we’ve already done, we just decided to stay where we are.

After a while, we headed back to where our van was parked. There was a table selling halo-halo (PhP 15 for a small plastic cup). We ordered because the driver said that going to Patar Beach would take a while and it was already lunch time.

Next stop: Patar Beach
As we are nearing Patar Beach, I noticed that there are plenty of resorts along the way to choose from--to the luxurious accommodations up to budget lodges.

We settled on the “public beach” area where you can rent a cottage or a picnic table. Souvenir shops abound. The pay restrooms however are disappointing. Aside from the long queue, it’s not that clean.

Since it is a Saturday, plenty of families are having their picnics here. We didn't bring any food so we had our super late lunch in the carinderia near the entrance.

The creamy sand beach facing the West Philippine Sea is not yet that commercialized. There’s no mobile phone signal here. Nobody from our group attempted to swim because it was too hot (it was already mid-afternoon). I wasn’t able to take a photo of the beach because i was too busy looking at the fresh catch that was just brought in by the fishermen. 
fresh catch!

We were advised to wait for the “famous sunset” but we were in a hurry as we have to go to Cape Bolinao before heading on a long drive for Manila.

Last stop: Cape Bolinao

Just some minutes of uphill walk on a Bougainvillea-lined pavement from Patar Beach is Cape Bolinao, the second tallest lighthouse in the Philippines. Unfortunately, you can’t go inside or climb to the topmost portion of the lighthouse. I just contented myself at the overlooking deck with the paronamic view of the sea while the sun is about to set.
with the sun about to set!

Definitely a day is not enough for what Bolinao has to offer. Other must-see places like the caves, rock formations, more falls, etc are enough reasons to be “surprised” and stay here for another day. 

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