I would say going to Bolinao in Pangasinan is totally a “Sulit Trip” when it comes to attractions. It’s like you throw a ball and you hit 5 targets. These attractions are absolutely reachable by just a trike and this tour would last for about 2 hours but if you have a deep affection in taking photos this would surely be longer than expected. This trip is actually one of my most enjoyed escapades.
Bolinao is 285 km from Manila and it took me almost 7 hours to reach this place by bus. Cubao to Agno is 4 hours and another 3 hours from Agno to Bolinao. Rock formations in Sabangan Beach is totally stunning that I couldn’t say no to Agno (check my post “Isn’t It An Awesome Agno?” for details and photos). But if you travel directly to Bolinao, the travel time would definitely diminish.
The first thing I did when I arrived in Bolinao Bus Terminal was to look for tricycle driver who would offer me the best rate! Most of the blogs I read about Bolinao Tour by trike, it costed them Php1500 (round trip transfer from terminal to the beach is not included here), not bad if you are in a group of 4 persons but in my case since I was alone, that fee was a total ambush (hahaha). Luckily, I found Kuya Marlon (09087379250) and he gave me the most competitive rate ever! He offered Php800 roundtrip transfers from terminal to Patar Beach plus the tour to Bolinao treasures!
C A P E B O L I N A O L I G H T H O U S E
This was my first stop, the second tallest lighthouse in the Philippines which is looking toward South China Sea. I was totally amazed how the sun rays gave an extraordinary outcome to the appearance, glow and background of the lighthouse. There’s a deserted structure beside it which is a cool location to angle your camera.
F A L L S
Due to weariness and excitement to savor the beach in Patar, I only visited 2 Bolinao Falls. These are actually the farthest of all the attractions here. From Patar Road expect a bumpy ride for about 20 to 30 minutes. I paid Php20 entrance fee upon entering Bolinao Falls #1. This falls is huge and its water-drop is so strong you can really feel the mist coming from the collision of waters.
Falls #2 is only few meters away from the first one. It’s more like a cascade type where water slides through a set of rock steps. No environmental fee is collected or perhaps the Php20 is good for the 3 falls. There’s a bamboo bridge which is a good location to gaze the lovely view. It seems very fragile so please exercise extra caution when stepping in this bridge.
C A V E
This cave is located inside a resort, you need to pay php150 for the entrance fee. The cave is small and the management allows tourists to soak their selves in the clear water. This place can be congested sometimes so if you arrive here with that setting you just have to enjoy taking photos. The ladder going down here is a little bit stiff, you should watch your steps to avoid any accident.
R O C K F O R M A T I O N S
My 4th station! This is unquestionably one my favorite Bolinao treasures. The view is absolutely amazing and the wild water here is perfect for video clips! This is just beside the Patar Road and its beach got a mocha-white sand. So scenic!
P A T A R B E A C H
The beach doesn’t have the real white sand, it’s more like white with shades of light orange and mocha. Having said that the beach still looks beautiful most specially during noon time. The beach water on the main station near the cottages is slightly opaque, there’s a clearer water roughly 50 meters away from that area, that’s where I pitched my tent.
It’s a public beach and according to the locals, the beach gets really crowded during summer. There are many cottages that you can rent for a whole day or an overnight stay. Pitching of tent is for free. There are also eateries and souvenir shops around the area.
Sunrise is not visible in Patar Beach but the sunset here is amazing. At 5:00 P.M. you should ready your camera to catch some superb shots of the sun descending on the horizon of the South China Sea.
In the morning when I woke up, I heard a lady was howling “Binungey! Binungey! She approached me and showed this sticky rice cooked inside a bamboo tube for only Php30, it is Pangasinan’s version of suman. You need to add a slight amount of caramelized sugar for a terrific taste (hahaha). I actually liked it. It is best served with coffee and in my situation it was 3-1 coffee (hahaha).
I was really filled with astonishment how Bolinao has a lot of fascinating treasures to offer. This is undoubtedly one of my most cherished get-aways of 2015. Beautiful beach and nice people. I even met some happy kids while I was resting inside my tent, all they did was to laugh and bully each other. I would definitely come back to this place!
How to get here?
Ride a bus in Cubao (Victory Liner or Five Star, Php470) going to Bolinao, Pangasinan. Alight in Bolinao Bus Terminal and then rent a trike to tour you around (Php800, this includes roundtrip transfers from terminal to Patar Beach).
If you have the same adventure, kindly share it on the comment section.