Day 1 - June 2, 2011 | The Town of Bolinao
We were very excited to start our day trip in Bolinao, though no one from our group knows this town, all were first timers. I only based our directions from the blogs I read from the previous days of preparation (I am the "punong abala" for this trip - meaning, it was I who made the IT's and the reservations).
| Bolinao Town is a 3rd class municipality found in the western most tip of the Luzon Islands. Part of the province of Pangasinan in Region I - Ilocos Region. People speak Ilocano, Pangasinense and Bolinao.
Destination #1 - St. James the Great Parish
From the bus terminal, I lead the several meters walk (I was not really sure where we're going that time). Then hurray, we found the Bolinao Church aka St. James the Great Parish.
| St James the Great Parish, built in 1609 by Augustinian Friars. One of the oldest in the country, its belltower was once the tallest in northern Luzon. Half of it was toppled by an earthquake in 1788 and its convent got burned in 1819.The church's facade was awesome, the details and sculptures were great, even the growing plants adds beauty to the old structure. There's nothing much to see inside though, the ceiling was under renovation and the walls are under a repainting job.
|photo from Roan. us at Bolinao Church|
|an old sculpture in front of the church, walang kamay|
|the sawsawan ng holy water|
|inside the church|
| Binungey is a sweet sticky rice placed in a bamboo, found only in Bolinao.
|binungey for sale|
|photo from Roan. Batang Lakwatsero buying binungey|
Exploring the town with heavy baggage is a bad idea, especially if you're with girls who are not used to backpacking trips. After our unsuccessful search for early morning carinderia, we just decided to head to Villa Carolina. I already made a reservation, so I believe they're expecting us already.
| Villa Carolina is a beach resort located at Brgy. Ilog Malino. They're complete with amenities like swimming pool, spa, jacuzzi, pool table and videoke. They also have car and tricycle rentals in case their guests don't have any transport. Rooms range from affordable to quite expensive.
Brgy. Ilog Malino, Bolinao, PangasinanMs. Carol: +639216983340
other resorts are:
Brgy. Ilog Malino, Bolinao, Pangasinan+ 63(2)637-8963 / 635-2547 / 6315103
Brgy. Ilog Malino, Bolinao, Pangasinan(63)756961350 / (63)756961274
Brgy. Patar, Bolinao, Pangasinan+63-908-227-2748
From the bayan of Bolinao, we rode a trike to Villa Carolina (P150.00). While on the road, I tried to make a deal with the manong tricycle driver, asked him how much would it cost if we'll hire his trike for a whole day trip around Bolinao, he offered a van instead for P1,500.00. We reached Villa Carolina and we're still not done with the negotiations, Ms. Carol who was already waiting for us overheard our deal with the manong driver. We agreed at P1,500.00 for a whole day trip, got his contact number before he leaves.
When the tricycle driver left, Ms Carol told us that they also have an SUV for rent, at first she offered it at P2,500.00, pero dahil I used my "paawa" charm we got it at extremely lower price. We quickly cancelled our first deal with manong tricycle driver. yey.
| Mr. and Mrs. Ore (John and Carol), owners of the the resort, are very friendly. The safety of their guests are their priority. Their service are the best. I highly recommend their place.I reserved a JC room, a fan room fronting the beach good for 4-8 persons. Each room costs P3000-3500 but I was able to haggle it again at lower price, yipee (off peak season na kaya madaling mag-haggle).
|the famous Venetian bridge of Bolinao, only in Villa Carolina|
|photo from Roan. herself and the view from our JC Room|
Destination #2 - Bolinao Falls 1 and 2
Our first stop was the Bolinao falls #1, thirty minutes drive from the resort. There were a lot of visitors when we arrived at around 11:30 am, some were doing picnic, some were jumping at the falls.
Bolinao falls #1 is great. The waters are clear, clean and rocky, some parts are mossy and slippery. The falls is very tempting, I wanted to jump but I don't know how to swim at the 12 feet deep water. There's the natural ambiance in the place.
|Bolinao Fall # 1, mabato at malumot|
|gusto ko tumalon, but I can't swim|
|photo from Roan. Batang Lakwatsero in action|
|photo from Roan. the muddy trail|
|photo from Roan. Bonn enjoyed the mud slide|
|photo from Roan. the stone stairway to the falls|
|photo from Roan. herself at the falls|
|inggit ako, gusto ko din tumalon sa talon.|
|Bolinao Falls # 2|
Still wet from dipping at the falls, we headed next to Bolinao market to buy goods for dinner and eat our lunch. Mr John parked the car somewhere near an Old Spanish Well, still functioning but not sure if it's still good for drinking.
|egg is not bad, it's rich in protein|
Destination #4 - Wonderful Cave
Bolinao has three caves to offer to cave-lover tourists. These are Enchanted Cave, Cindy's Cave and Wonderful Cave.
Originally in our IT, Enchanted Cave was our next destination, but according to some friends and to Mr John himself, the owner of Enchanted Cave charges the guests with heavy rates. And the owners themselves are not that tourist-friendly.
So Mr John brought us to another cave, not so far from Enchanted, but with friendly rates and owners. At the Wonderful Cave, we were welcomed warmly by the owner. She's very nice and friendly, we lover her. For only P40.00, we were able enter and dip at the uber cold and clear pool inside. So wonderful, the name is justified. We spent 30 minutes inside the cave.
|the super nice owner of Wonderful Cave showing us the way|
|Batang Lakwatsero inside the cave|
|this is Mr John, look how clear the water is|
|my girlfriends, gulat?|
|rock climbed my way out|
Destination #5 - Cape Bolinao Lighthouse
Just 20 minutes drive from the cave is the second tallest lighthouse in the country, next to Cape Bojeador of Ilocos Norte. This light house is one of the famous landmark in Bolinao. Photography enthusiasts would surely fall in love with this giant structure.
My girlfirends were enjoying jumpshots while I was doing my photography - introvert style.
|this is Cape Bolinao lighthouse, built in 1905|
|Wih and the lighthouse|
|Sariling Sikap #1. Batang Lakwatsero at the ruined house|
We finally reached Patar Beach, famous for its white sand and rock formations. But my batteries were already low.
I left again my girlfriends at the beach while I walked an estimate of 1 kilometer distance to reach the rock formations. I crossed a bed of smelly kelp, rock climbed a huge reef, and walked over a rocky shore with small pool full of marine life (crabs, sea urchins, shrimps, brittle stars, small fish, hermit crab). I returned to my friends as soon as I captured the rock formations. I still managed to capture some photos of the rock formations and the sunset before my batteries died.
|the Patar White sand beach|
|Patar Beach Rock formation|
|rock formation, a closer look|
|a bed of kelp|
|sunset in Patar|
We did jumpshots at Patar beach as the sun was setting.
We spent the night at Villa Carolina, consumed our dinner of a breakfast meal (composed of hotdogs and sunny side up), enjoyed the pool and the jacuzzi, and finally fallen into deep sleep at our JC room.
End of Day 1.
Day 2 - June 3, 2011 | Last Hours in Bolinao
As always, the nocturnal me woke up so early. It was still very dark outside, only 4 am.
I went up the rooftop (yup JC rooms have a rooftop), brought my camera with me and munched my greaseless peanuts while waiting for the sunrise. On the rooftop, I fell asleep for almost an hour, I woke up again around 5 am, this time the sky was getting brighter.
|sunrise seen from the rooftop|
|cow in the beach|
We checked out by 9:30 am and rode a trike to bayan of Bolinao. We were able to catch the 10 am trip (ordinary bus) to Alaminos City. The fare was only P40.00 from Bolinao to Alaminos City.
|photo from Roan. us with Ms Carol|
|photo from Roan. us with Mr John|
|photo from Roan. the archway of Villa Carolina|
|bus going to Alaminos City|
Read my Hundred Islands experience here.
Viaje Western Pangasinan Series Bolinao-Alaminos Trip for 3D2N (June 2-4, 2011)
Viaje Western Pangasinan | Not So Ordinary Six Hour Trip - Part 1
Viaje Western Pangasinan | Whole Day in Bolinao - Part 2
Viaje Western Pangasinan | Whole Day in Bolinao - Part 2