Bolinao, Pangasinan | May 2016

“Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints,
keep nothing but memories, kill nothing but time.” 

It has been a while since the last time I blog and my writing skills might get a little rusty but anyway just bear with me as I try to show you my recent whereabouts. 🙂

So here it goes…

My boyfriend and I have been contemplating where to go this summer. Our first option was in  Zambales, either Anawangin, Potipot, Nagsasa or Talisayen, but after reading reviews, saying that it would be very crowded, no electricity and accommodation (only tent pitching), we end up going to Bolinao.

Since that was our first time to go out of town together, we chose to have a room where we can leave our belongings and just enjoy everything-under-the-sun. I was a tad-bit excited — nah!! ( who am I kidding :D) I was so excited, so exuberant, so alive, I couldn’t even contain my happiness (try to picture me with a 32-teeth-full-wide-grin). Plus, that was my first time to set foot on a creamy gold/white sand beach and not onto a typical grey sand. Yes, my FIRST TIME, you heard me right. 😛

BOLINAO is a hidden bliss situated in North Western part of Lingayen Gulf in Pangasinan, where you can find Patar White Beach Resort, considered as the ‘Boracay of the North’ or  ‘Hidden Jewel of the North’. A definitely go-to location for travelers, wanderers and beach bums for weekend getaways considering you don’t have to do much planning on this trip.

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HOW TO GET THERE:

From Makati, head straight to Five Star bus terminal in Pasay, you can also go with the one in Cubao, in Trinoma or Victory Liner via bus, MRT or taxi. Going to Pasay, we opt to go with Grabtaxi since it was a Friday night and we don’t want to get late and miss the last trip which was 12am, the next trip would be at 4 in the morning. Upon arrival, we were welcomed by a queue of passengers waiting to be on-boarded on their respective bus. The terminal offers transit to the following locations: Nueva Ecija, Dagupan, San Carlos, San Fabian, Tayug/San Quintin, Pangasinan – Agno, Anda, Bolinao, Alaminos, and Talugtug. Bus arrives at an alternative pattern, ordinary-air-conditioned-ordinary, I suggest you go for the air-conditioned trip,after all, you’ll be travelling for approx. 6-7 hours. There were no reservations needed for 5 star bus terminal, compared to Victory Liner, it would be better if you’ll give them a call before heading there.

  • 5 star, Pasay – 02-853-4772/851-6659/851-6614
  • 5 star, Cubao – 02-911-7359/421-4716/421-4717
  • Victory Liner, Cubao – (063) 410 8986

BUS SCHEDULES AND RATES:

Five Star Bus

Victory Liner

ACCOMMODATION:

At the bus terminal, there were lots of tricycle drivers piling your way, offering a ride to your destination. You’ll hear them utter names of resorts such as Casa Almarenzo, Punta del Sol, Punta Riviera, Treasures of Bolinao, SCL, El Pescador and many more. Prior to our arrival, I made some calls from budget-mid-quite expensive types of resort, but unfortunately, the rooms were fully booked. Luckily, I got one from Bing’s resort which offers a standard type of room with AC and bathroom for 2500php/night.

However, we end up with a different place as our tricycle driver, Kuya Regie, helped us find a room which was way closer to the beach proper. Thus, we found Niña’s Holiday Inn – 2500php/night, though the price was relevantly the same with Bing’s, Niña’s Inn is just a 5 mins walk from Patar’s White Beach. The room could possibly house 5-6 pax, air-conditioned, with bathroom, a queen size bed and there’s an extra mattress, you could easily spot a sari-sari store around the area as well.  The only con would have to be the absence of television, as there are some travelers who prefer to have it.

The cheapest places to stay are mostly run by local families, and almost, if not all, don’t have a website. (I’ll  be posting a photo of the overall accommodation in Bolinao 🙂 )

You don’t actually have to worry where to stay, just asked the tricycle driver and they’ll help you find one.

Aside  from the transients, inns and rooms, there are also open cottages along the beach, or you could just pitch a tent if you love the idea of watching the sun rise-set, star-gazing, morning sea breeze and the sound of waves.

Con: Staying at the beach front or in the open cottages would mean no electricity from 8am to 6pm.
There are public restrooms but don’t expect too much. (emphasize on the PUBLIC)

Kuya Regie’s Contact #:
+639057575399 (globe)
+639212206288 (smart)

Niña’s Holiday’s Inn
+639083441823
+629172071044

PLACES TO VISIT/THINGS TO TRY:

If you are planning to scout around Bolinao, you can ask the tricycle drivers, since they offer rides to various tourist spots. The package would cost around 1000-1500php for 2 pax, excluding the entrance fee, parking fee and other fees. (Remember: You can always haggle. 🙂 )

  • St. James Church
  • Patar White Beach Resort
  • Cape Bolinao Lighthouse
  • Tara Falls
  • Bolinao Falls 1 (20ft)
  • Bolinao Falls 2 (20ft) – I had my first cliff-dive at this falls without wearing any floaters, so proud of myself. 😀 – bucket-list: ✓✓✓
  • Enchanted Cave (Must-see!)
  • Rock Formation
  • Binangayen
  • Restaurant near Patar Beach

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SAMPLE ITINERARY:

Day O
2230 – ETD to Bolinao via 5star bus

Day 1
0530 – ETA Bolinao
0700 – Checked in at Nina’s Holiday Inn
0730 – Breakfast
0845 – Rest/Power Nap
1100 – Roam around and quick dip at Patar White Beach
1200 – Lunch
1600 – Buy souvenirs/pasalubong
1645 – Beach time/watch sunset
1900 – Dinner
2000 – Back at Nina’s Holiday Inn

Day 2
0530 – Woke up/Wash up
0630 – Breakfast
0700 – Checked out
0800 – ETA Enchated Cave
0930 – ETA Bolinao Falls 2
1200 – Roam around St. James church
1215 – Lunch at carinderia
1330 – ETD to Manila via 5star bus
2000 – ETA Manila

APPROXIMATE BUDGET/COST:

For 2days-1night (2 person)

  • Makati to Pasay terminal via Grab – 300php
  • Pasay to Bolinao via 5 Star Bus – 459php x2 = 918php
  • Bolinao Terminal to Niña Inn, trike fee- 200 php (You can have it at 100php if you have a particular destination, but since Kuya Regie helped us find a place to stay, it goes up to 200php)
  • Niña’s Inn – 1000php/night
  • Food for 2 days – 1700php (2pax)
    Total Estimated cost = 5618php

NOTE:

  • Haggle, haggle, and haggle every time you can.
  • Other food expenses and souvenirs/pasalubong expenses are not yet included.
  • Make room reservations 2-3 weeks prior to your trip, especially during peak season.
  • It would be best if you’ll bring extra cash, since ATM machines are very handful at the area.
  • There aren’t much water sports aside from swimming, diving and boating.
  • There are no cellular signals unless you’ll go near the shore.
  • If you are fond of watching sunrise, be sure to set your alarm. ?
  • Allot one whole day to scout around the area.

Safe travel y’all! 🙂

With love,
 Alyjane ?


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