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Luzon : Pangasinan : Bolinao
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Patar Beach in Bolinao

Bolinao is a municipality in the province of Pangasinan. It is approximately 375 km by land from Manila.

Coordinates: 16° 18.434N, 119° 47.146E


Originally, Bolinao was a settlement composed of a little over a hundred families under Captain Pedro Lombi. Established in 1575 at a point called Binabalian, on the northern coast of Santiago Island. The rampant attacks and raids of Moro pirates urged Capitan Lombi to transfer the town-site to the mainland and accordingly, with the aid of Fr. Geronimo de Casro, he finally founded the town in 1596 near Libsong where a clear spring of about two meters in diameter kept lumping.

By this spring grew a "boli-bolinao" tree of the molave family with luxuriant foliage from which was derived the present name of the town. Under this tree the affairs of the town were administered while stone walls were piled nearby as corner-stone of the Roman Catholic Church which was finally completed in 1609, thirteen years after the transfer of the town site.

Up to now, records show no specific decree or law under which the town was created. Perhaps the natives had organized themselves for a common cause against Moro raids or by order of the "Adelantado" (title given to Spanish Governor General Legaspi) that the founding and/or transfer to the town site was undertaken.

Legends relate that during the first days of the Spanish era, a beautiful lass who answered to the call of "Anao" diminutive of Juana, lived in the present site of town. She used to bathed in the spring or leisured under the "boli-bolinao" tree for hours where she was first seen and wooed by a chieftain's son living across the channel. An early marriage followed with the condition among others, that the seat of government of the chieftain be transferred to where Anao lived and there, to stay as rulers, hence the name of Bolinao (Boli-bolinao and Anao).

Some say (nevertheless believable) that the name of the chieftain's son was Bolidnu (meaning round and robust) and the lass, Malinao (meaning clear as the Libsong spring), the combination of which became the name Bolinao.

Get in[edit]

Locator pangasinan bolinao.png
  • By land, it's a 5-6 hour trip by car or bus from Manila or 30-60 minutes by car or bus from Alaminos.
  • Victory Liner, Inc. [6] and Five Star, Inc. [7] offer trips from Manila to either Bolinao or Alaminos (P330 non-aircon, P400 aircon).

Get around[edit]

Local travel is usually by Jeepney or Tricycle. Otherwise, it's a long walk from anywhere in Bolinao if you decide to travel at night.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Church of St. James Fortress
  • Cape Bolinao Light House, the second tallest lighthouse in the Philippines, can be visited but cannot be entered/climbed. However, you can still enjoy the view from the base of the lighthouse.
  • Patar White Beach is a beautiful white beach close to the lighthouse. There is no entrance fee.
  • Enchanted Cave (P100) is an underground cave that has become popular in recent years, which is reflected in the dramatic increase in entrance fees. The facilities have been updated to include a swimming pool and various other areas on site. However, if you only want to experience swimming in an underground cave, the entrance fee might seem a rip off, as the underground pool is rather small.
  • Wonderful Cave and Cindy's Cave are alternatives to the Enchanted Cave.

Do[edit][add listing]

It's a great place to relax and unwind if you just want to get away from it all. Otherwise, you may take a swim, go kayaking, get a massage, and nap under the cool breeze of the sea.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Binuguey
  • Pinitpit
  • Sea Urchin

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Casa Almarenzo (16.360918,119.843491), 313 Sitio Cabange, Brgy. Estanza, 09228588450, [1]. This is a private resort.  edit
  • El Pescador, San Andres St., Poblacion, (075) 5542559, [2]. It's a beautiful hotel and resort and the staff is very friendly.  edit
  • Puerto Del Sol Beach Resort and Hotel Club, Ilog Malino, (075) 6960530, [3].  edit
  • Punta Riviera Del Mar Resort, Ilog Malino, (075) 6961350 / (075) 6961274, [4].  edit
  • Treasures of Bolinao Beach Resort and Hotel, Patar White Beach, (0920) 3818888 / (0921) 5592732 / (0910) 7836648, [5]. (16.306128,119.780738) edit

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