It’s dubbed as the “Land of More Than a Hundred Wonders” and known as the center of agriculture of the North ― Pangasinan.

Official Seal of the Province of Pangasinan exhibited in the Capitol Building–Lingayen.
Bounded by great natural reserve, there’s really no excuse for a rover not to visit Pangasinan’s famous sights and tourist spots.

No other time of the year more suited to an exciting adventure in a famous white sand beach but in the summer. Hours of travel through the winding roads of Pangasinan, it’s mapped at the endmost of Bolinao ― the Patar White Beach.

Patar White Beach
Patar, named as the “Boracay of the North,” is carpeted with beads of white sand and crystal clear water along a background of mountains fenced by greens, old shrubs and ancient trees.

The place has a clean wide shoreline adorned with sea grass and coral stones in which several small fish and sea urchins live. The first visit in the place happened years ago, our family had an absolutely fun–filled summer and out of town in Bolinao.

We stayed in Patar for about two days to unwind and ease the heat of the scorching sun. Packed with great memories, not only the family gathering made the visit so special but the surprising out of the usual celebration of a rover's birthday.

Coral Mountain of Bolinao
Patar really has a potential when it comes to eco-tourism. The white coastline, the picturesque landscape and the Bolinao people, are just some of the reasons why tourists drop by to stay and keep on visiting the place.

Through a friend’s invitation, my visit in Bolinao was then followed by a bloggers’ tour supported by the Tourism Office of the province. As part of rediscovering Pangasinan, the one–day tour showcased the heritage of the province, from the delicious food, great tourist spots and its hidden jewels.

Scenery on the coastline of Patar every sunset.
Aside from the beautiful seaside and stone formations scattered off the shore of Patar, you can as well visit the famous tower of Cape Bolinao Lighthouse on the peak of the Punta Piedra Point wherein a deck area is situated for travelers to see the panoramic view of the place. The said lighthouse still sends signals to ships and vessels near and or passing by the Bolinao coast.

Cape Bolinao Lighthouse soaring at a height of 351 feet and has a total of 134 steps.
The Enchanted Cave is also a must see site in Bolinao, the famous location where some of the most popular fantasy–themed productions and movies were filmed and shot. The cave is located in a hill of coral stones which according to the locals was naturally lifted out of the sea through periods of time. It has a narrow entrance and passage linking the cave’s dark chamber with a quite deep lagoon as well as an unexplored channel said to be connected throughout the nearby sea.

Stalactite formations found in the chamber of Enchanted Cave.

Another interesting showcase in the cave grounds are the fossils of giant clams found in the Coral Mountain with estimated about millions of years of age.

Pangasinan is beyond doubt rich in natural resource along with the people’s culture and traditions. In our tour itinerary, our shuttle bus dropped by the old church of Bolinao, the St. James the Great Parish. Not like the timeworn bricks of the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary in Manaoag, the Bolinao church is made of a combination of corals and limestones which stood there for about 4 centuries.

St. James the Great Parish was constructed in 1609, in which the mission territory was instituted by the Augustinian Friars.

According to our tour guide, Bolinao was in fact the first town to celebrate a Mass and baptized natives in 1324 set in the municipality’s church and on Santiago Island headed by the Franciscan missionaries and Italian priest Odorico. Through memorial markers donated by an Italian priest from Odorico’s hometown, as proof, the town challenged the historical fact that the first Holy Mass was held in Limasawa, Southern Leyte on March 31, 1521.

Aside from history and religion facts, let us also taste one of the town’s favourite delicacies ― the Binungey.

Binunguey sold in front of the Bolinao Church.
It’s made out of diket (glutinous rice) and gata (coconut milk). The rice treat is much like the kakanen but differ in taste, not too sweet but with a hint of salt and aroma of the banana leaf. It's recommended that it's best eaten with a sugar dip. The binungey or binunguey is cooked not the usual way but in a bamboo.

As a Pangasinensi, you will be proud of what the town of Bolinao has in line, not only because of its ample natural reserve and scrumptious food but the culture and traditions that are still practiced by the natives.

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