Monday, May 5, 2014

10 Pangasinan Tourist Spots Worth Wandering Through (Only in Lingayen & Calasiao)

I've been to Pangasinan once with my dad when I was a kid, and I remember enjoying my time in the province. So when an opportunity to visit 2 of its municipalities were given to us [April 26 to 27, 2014], I couldn't pass up the chance to explore its travel-worthy destinations.


According to Wikipedia: "The name Pangasinan means "place for salt" or "place of salt-making"; it is derived from the prefix pang, meaning "for", the root word asin, meaning "salt”, and suffix an, signifying "location." The province is a major producer of salt in the Philippines. Its major products include "bagoong" ("salted-fish") and "agamang" ("salted-shrimp").

LINGAYEN - CAPITOL TOUR

Lingayen is a first class municipality, and is also the capital town of Pangasinan. It's usually 5-6 hours away from Manila, and is 30 minutes away from Dagupan (all via bus). Lingayen also happens to be former President Fidel V. Ramos' place of birth.

1) PROVINCIAL CAPITOL BUILDING 

Out of all the "kapitolyos" that I've seen in the Philippines, Lingayen's Provincial Capitol Building topped my list. It was built in 1918, but was rebuilt in 1945 due to it being destroyed during World War II. It's an impressive structure (especially at night), given its exquisite architecture. But its beauty didn't end with its exteriors. The historic edifice also captured my attention with its wood furnishings --- from the grand staircase, to the walls and floors of the building. The Governer's Gallery and the roof deck are must-sees as well!


2) AGUEDO AGBAYANI PARK 

You'll also enjoy walking by the long pathway of Aguedo Agbayani Park, as it's situated right across the Provincial Capitol Building. The nature park was built to commemorate Governor Aguedo Agbayani. A picture of it can be seen on the top-left portion of the collage above.

3) VETERANS' MEMORIAL PARK

The Veterans' Memorial park is another historical site that is just across the Provincial Capitol Building. The park, which was built in 1995 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Lingayen Gulf Landing, holds several war relics.


4) URDUJA HOUSE

The Urduja House is the official residence of the Governor of Lingayen. It was built in 1953 by Governor Juan Rodriguez (he resided here while holding office in Pangasinan). You'll be able to see a painting of Princess Urduja when you enter the main door of the edifice. Urduja is recognized as a legendary warrior, who was said to have ruled the Kingdom of Tawalisi.


5) CAPITOL BEACHFRONT & BAYWALK

I particularly loved the fine, grey sand of the beach. Although visiting at night didn't give me much to admire, the very sound of the waves, the cool breeze, and the clean beachfront set a relaxing mood. The baywalk on the other hand exuded a chill ambiance. Since it was also Pistay Dayat that weekend, there were plenty of people roaming around the grounds.


6) SISON AUDITORIUM

The Sison Auditorium was another structure in Lingayen that immediately caught my attention. I was already swept away by the exteriors of the edifice, more so the base and pillars that supported it. But I was even more amazed when I entered the hall because of its magnificent interiors and high ceiling (just look at that beautiful chandelier!).

The assembly hall was built in 1926-1927, during Teofilo Sison's tenure as Pangasinan's 8th Governor. It was said to have been originally constructed as part of the Pangasinan Academic High School (also known as the Grand Provincial Auditorium).


7) BAGOONG FACTORY (BRGY. MANIBOC)

Given that Pangasinan is major salt producer in the Philippines, then it's a must to try the province's major products. These includes "bagoong" ("salted-fish"), "agamang" ("salted-shrimp"), and "asin" (salt) of course! You can buy these delicious goods at D.S. Bagoong Products by Maniboc.


8) FIDEL V. RAMOS HOUSE (PRIMICIAS ST.)

One of the highlights of my trip to Lingayen was our visit to the Ramos House. The reconstructed residence was filled with former President Fidel V. Ramos' memorabilias. It was lovely to hear stories of FVR's childhood and adult years through Mrs. Illuminada Vilda, the caretaker of the abode. You can experience a private tour around the house by contacting the Provincial Capitol Building.


9) EPIPHANY OF OUR LORD PARISH

Pangasinan had several towns that were instilled with Catholicism, and Lingayen was one of the first few that were introduced to the religion. The Epiphany of our Lord Parish was once called the Three Kings Parish, and it was also believed to have been built in 1710. I particularly loved the altar of this church, more so the devotional painting that graced it.


LODGING: If you're looking for an affordable hotel that's just an 8-minute walk to the beach, then check out The President Hotel. It's near several of Lingayen's tourist spots.

SIDE TRIP: One of the best times to visit Lingayen is during the months of April to May (month-long celebration). We were able to experience a bit of PISTAY DAYAT 2014 during our quick travel there, where the municipality's local thanksgiving festival was held near Lingayen's beautiful beach.

CALASIAO, PANGASINAN

According to Wikipedia"The name Calasiao was derived from the native word Kalasian, which means "a place where lightning frequently occurs", from the root word lasi, meaning "lightning". Upon the arrival of the Spaniards, they called the place "Lugar de Rayos", a literal Spanish translation of the word Kalasian.

It was named as such because it is said that Calasiao back in the day was always frequented by this natural phenomenon. Today, Calasiao is known as a First Class Municipality and is located at the very heart of Pangasinan. It governs 24 barangays and 31 sitios in a total land area of 5,339 hectares.[1] Calasiao's flagship product is the native rice cake known as Puto Calasiao."

10) PARISH CHURCH OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL

The Parish Church of Saints Peter and Paul can be found in Poblacion, Calasiao, Pangasinan. The Baroque Church, which was consecrated in 1588 was declared a National Cultural Treasure in 2001, due to its rich history and age. You'll want to get married in this place of worship as it had a long aisle, a classic altar, and a beautiful high-ceiling. There was so much to see in and out of the parish, that it'll make you want to stay and admire its beauty all day long!

The Calasiao Church is easily accessible from Lingayen (45-minute jeep or 30-minute bus ride to Dagupan, then another 15 minutes from Dagupan to Calasiao).

 

SIDE TRIP: Bring home some delicious variants of Calasiao Puto (rice muffin). The vendor strip is just across the Parish Church of Saints Peter and Paul. The plain Puto would usually sell for P20 per 1/4 kilo, while the ones with cheese are sold at P25 per 1/4 kilo.

*The famous Calasiao Puto is ceramic-oven baked.



HOW TO GET TO LINGAYEN AND CALASIAO, PANGASINAN

Victory Liner Inc. plies the Philippines' northern route, so you can definitely hop on their Lingayen-Dagupan bound buses daily, if you're traveling to Pangasinan (you can either ride from their Pasay or Cubao terminals). 

The bus company offers cozy chairs, and AC buses with TV's installed. Each of their vehicles also has free Wi-Fi access. Unfortunately, our Lingayen-bound bus had none. My friend and I had to access some connection from the other VLI buses that were parked beside us during our stopovers. But it wasn't a big deal. What mattered is that we had a safe and smooth travel that night. Plus, the office and field personnel (especially in Lingayen) were very accommodating --- so that's all I could ever ask for! :)


Anyway, here's Victory Liner's trip schedules in the afternoon:

Cubao - Lingayen = 6 PM, 7 PM, 8 PM, 9 PM, 10 PM, last trip 11:40 PM.
Pasay - Lingayen = 12:30 PM, 3 PM, 5:30 PM.
Lingayen - Cubao = Last trip 6 PM.

The afternoon trip took longer. When we left Victory Liner Cubao on a friday, we were able to reach Lingayen after 6 hours and 15 minutes. But their 6 PM trip in Cubao left on time. Their trip from Lingayen however had a shorter travel (5 hours travel to Quezon City), as we were able to leave the Capital town of Pangasinan around 6:20 PM. 

Before ending my Lingayen and Calasiao experience, here's my TRAVEL EXPENSE SHEET for our 2-day stay in Pangasinan. 

How about you? Have you been to other parts of Pangasinan? What was your experience like in the province? :)

Explore & Be Free!
Mai, Budget Biyahera

This is my contribution to Pinoy Travel Blogger's JUNE 2014 BLOG CARNIVAL entitled "Luzon Lavapalooza" hosted by Mervs of Pinoy Adventurista . You can check the previous monthly blog carnival topics by clicking this LINK.

26 comments:

  1. Did you get to see how bagoong is being done in the factory? I'm interested if they are using large machines and innovative systems.

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  2. We also visited Pangasinan last year (2013) but weren't able to do some of the things you mentioned here! I guess I need to visit the place again and take your adventure tips with me!

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  3. Seems like you have a great time. I love the Tupig and Romana's peanut brittle.

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  4. Saan makakabili ng Tupig at Romana's peanut brittle sa Pangasinan?

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  5. Hey Roch! We didn't get to see the Bagoong being processed in actual, kasi nasa fermentation process na siya. The ones we saw dun sa small factory that we visited (several in big plastic containers and parang concrete vessels) were around 2months old na.. And they didn't have any big machinery. Meron lang isa, medyo maliit pa. I think they used it pa for bottling purposes. Nonetheless, interesting makita yung mga ginagawa sa factory kahit may malansang amoy. :P

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  6. You should Marianne! I fell in love with Lingayen and Calasiao, so I intend to revisit these places soon! :)

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  7. What I missed visiting there was the Capitol beachfront. I was fortunate to check out the rooftop of the capitol, though, on a Sunday. From there I saw the beachfront.

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  8. I know so many people who've already had so much fun in Pangasinan and all I can think of is how far away from Manila it is. Definitely showing this to my dad for future trips as reference! :)

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  9. Really, I can't wait to visit other parts of our country...and this one's awesome!

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  10. Anak, to be Frank, ang alam ko lang sa Pangasinan, eh bangus.. Whah.. But I do have an in-law who keep on egging me to visit her province. Now I know, my hipag is telling the truth.

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  11. I couldnt agree more! the capitol building is exquisite... looks like its from other country. (dont get me wrong. im not undermining our own)

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  12. wow i learned a lot in this post . I never knew that Pangasinan reallycame literally from the tagalog word Asin.. and it is a revelation that this province is filled with beautiful structures . I envy you coz you'd been to Urduja Residence and Ramos'. I wish i could visit this soon.I want to taste the calasia puto . must be yum yum ...

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  13. Baka kailangan nio ng van for rent next time going anywhere in luzon.. text me at 09175180965.. :)

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  14. Hi Anne! I'll keep that in mind. Maraming salamat! :)

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  15. Thanks for visiting Lingayen and Calasiao! It was nice meeting you rin finally :) balik kayo at food trip tayo sa Dagupan! :D

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  16. No, thank you for meeting us, and for recommending The President Hotel to us, Mica. I really enjoyed our stay in Lingayen, as in! :) And yes, Dagupan naman next time!!! :)

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  17. Sayang Karl! Di bale, balik na lang ulit para naman magswimming sa beach. :)

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  18. Di bale, Dennis.. malapit lang naman ang Pangasinan. Pwedeng-pwede puntahan, anytime. And yes, masarap talaga yung Calasiao puto! Bigla tuloy ako nagCrave! :) Try mo soon.

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  19. I've only been to Lingayen. I didn't realize there is so much to see in Pangasinan. Hopefully someday I can go back and meet other bloggers din. :)

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  20. Hi Aleah! I was also surprised that there were a lot of noteworthy sites in Pangasinan, specifically in Lingayen and Calasiao. Hopefully, next time maMeet na din kita! :)

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  21. Hi jchp121! Pangasinan is around 5-6 hours from Manila.

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  22. Hehehehe.. your hipag tells the truth! :)

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  23. Did you get the chance to explore the interiors of the Capitol Building?

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  24. I'm planing to visit pangasinan But I'm alone. Hope to find friends here let tour together guys.

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