Showing posts with label Alaminos. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alaminos. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pangasinan: Hundred Islands boat tour in Alaminos, Pangasinan

Hundred Islands in Alaminos, Pangasinan is for me, Pangasinan's best beach attraction. While other beaches such as Patar Beach in Bolinao and Tondol Beach in Anda are equally great, there's more to do at the Hundred Islands than simply frolicking under the summer sun.

For one, there are a lot of islands to explore, over a hundred of them in fact. The two most visited islands would be Governor's Island (which has a view deck with a great view of the Hundred Islands and the Big Brother House) and Quezon Island (with its many water activities and rental facilities).

During our boat tour around the Hundred Islands, we got to see some unique islands including Bat Island, host to a population of nocturnal fruit bats, and Cathedral Island, with its large cave. We also saw several islands with secluded beaches which you could have all to yourselves, such as Lopez Island, where one could stay for the day without much fuss from other visitors who usually troop to Quezon Island. On weekends, you might have to choose some of the lesser known islands for your own private beach.

Quezon Island is where most of the facilities are including picnic pavilions, huts and kayak and snorkel rentals. There's good snorkeling around the island. Notice the giant clams around the area which are a result of the giant clam seeding project at the Hundred Islands.

We had a wonderful lunch at Quezon Island hosted by Dir. Martin Valera of the Department of Tourism. If you want to have a picnic lunch as well, our caterer was Gemma (0919) 6520570. She prepared a sumptuous spread of seafood, grilled pork, vegetables and seaweed, and fresh fruits for dessert.

Hundred Islands Visitors Center
Rey Livara (0917) 6104144

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pangasinan: Visita iglesia to Western Pangasinan churches

Pangasinan has a lot of heritage churches. And it being a really big province, the churches are scattered all over. One route is the Western Pangasinan route from Camiling, Tarlac to Bolinao, Pangasinan. I noticed old churches in the towns of Mangatarem, Aguilar, Bugallon, Lingayen, Labrador, Alaminos, and Bolinao.

The first stop is the church in Mangatarem. You can't miss the Mangatarem Church because of its large green dome. The convento beside it is also intact but renovations have been done to the interior.

Aguilar is a next town. The Aguilar Church is very much intacts since the simple ceiling paintings, its wooden retablo and the convento are still there. I hope it stays that way.

Bugallon does not seem to have an old church. That's because the old town church is not along the National Highway. You'll have to enter Brgy. Salasa to see this old red brick church. The Salasa Church even has remnants of its old perimeter wall still standing.

Since I started late in the afternoon, I stayed in Lingayen for the night. It's a coastal town and if you're very observant, you'll notice some colorful birds every now and then. The Lingayen Co-Cathedral (its co-cathedral is in Dagupan). This one is a depressing story. And it is a blatant example of Roman Catholic Church, Inc. which I mentioned in the visita iglesia in Batangas post.

The centuries-old convento was demolished and a commercial structure was built to replace it, all under the watch of Archbishop Oscar Cruz. I expected much more from Archbishop Cruz. This incident is very sad.

When in Lingayen, make sure to drop by the Pangasinan Capitol and Lingayen Beach which is famous because of the MacArthur Landings during the Second World War. Several years back, even the Spanish colonial Casa Real was still intact. But a typhoon blew off its roof and it's now in a very sad situation.

On the way to Alaminos, you'll pass by the town of Labrador. I noticed the church was a bit old but I wasn't able to stop to investigate it further. Alaminos Cathedral, just like many cathedrals, has been renovated inside. It's sad because many of the old houses are still intact. I wonder when they demolished the orginal municipio because the plaza would have made an interesting cultural tourism attraction.

I hope Mayor Hernani Braganza realizes the strong potential of Alaminos, not just as an eco-tourism destination, but as a cultural and culinary destination. I'd really enjoy it if some of those old houses were converted into restaurants that serve Alaminos longaniza among other things! It would be a great stopover when visiting the Hundred Islands or Bolinao.

At the end of the road is Bolinao Church. I'll talk more about Bolinao in a different post. But worth mentioning is that it is challenging the claim of Limasawa as the site of the first Mass in the Philippines. Records say that it was Italian missionary Blessed Odorico who, on his way to china, said the first Mass when he took refuge in Bolinao Bay during a storm in 1324. The claim further mentions that he even baptized several locals making him the first evangelizer in the Philippines.

You can also do the Central Pangasinan route which takes you to Manaoag, Calasiao, San Carlos and Binmaley among others.

Part 2: Hundred Islands in Alaminos, Pangasinan
Part 3: Tondol White Sand Beach in Anda, Pangasinan during high tide

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pangasinan: Hundred Islands in Alaminos, Pangasinan

Hundred Islands in Alaminos, Pangasinan is one of the iconic attractions of the Philippines. We've learned about it through our elementary text books and seen it extensively in our tourism campaigns. Ironically, I only got to visit it recently. But the visit, albeit short, was most definitely worth it.

Visiting the Hundred Islands is very simple. Just make your way to Barangay Lucap in Alaminos where boats are available. There are standard rates as well so no need to haggle. Just check with the dispatchers office as soon as you get there. You can do this as a day trip if you leave Manila early. But it's best to experience Hundred Islands by staying at least overnight.

Anyway, the boat will take you to Governor's Island where you can climb several steps to a view deck for the Hundred Islands. You can opt to swim there or proceed to Quezon Island where the white sand beach is much better or rent kayaks and snorkeling equipment. But if you want a beach all to yourself, you can ask the boat driver to take you to other islands with small beaches.

I actually enjoyed Quezon Island since there's a lot to do there. And if you get hungry, there are sari-sari stores as well. I had other beaches to visit that day so I was back in the mainland just in time for lunch. While you're in Alaminos, make sure to try their longganisa. The city also has a lot of ancestral homes and I really hope they preserve them.

Part 1: Visita iglesia to Western Pangasinan churches
Part 3: Tondol White Sand Beach in Anda, Pangasinan during high tide
Related Posts with Thumbnails