You’ve probably heard of Bohol, Boracay, Siargao, and Palawan before. While these destinations are no doubt beautiful and worth the visit, you’d also encounter lots of tourists and have to deal with overcrowded hotels. If you’re looking for a quiet place to head to for a vacation, then you might want to check the magical tourist spots in Pangasinan.
The Northern province is known for its salt production, with its name literally translating to “a place where salt is made.” There are multiple bus lines that offer daily trips from the metro to the city of Bolinao, Pangasinan, so you won’t have any problems reaching the area. You might want to brace yourself for a long ride, though, as each trip can go as long as 6 to 7 hours, depending on the amount of traffic you’ll encounter.
But you can ask anyone who has been to Pangasinan and they’ll say the long journey is truly worth it. And the different yet equally mesmerizing spots that await you are enough to prove that true.
Pangasinan is decorated with the most beautiful tourist spots and untouched landscapes. Some you may already be familiar with, as they are often featured in magazines and other international publications. Beaches, caves, islands, waterfalls, Pangasinan has it all! Below you’ll find a list of the best places to visit in the province of Pangasinan to help you plan your next adventure.
The Philippines is home to 7,107 islands, 123 of which are scattered around the southwest of the Lingayen Gulf. The unique, mushroom-like islets and picture-perfect shorelines of Pangasinan’s Hundred Islands draw in a lot of guests each year, making it one of the most famous tourist spots in Pangasinan.
Just don’t expect to have the chance to visit each of them, though, since not every islet has a white sand beach for docking. The most popular islands are Quezon Island, Children’s Island, Governor’s Island, and Marcos Island. You can book an island hopping tour or enjoy camping overnight in one of the islands. Other daytime activities include helmet diving, zip-lining, and banana boat riding.
You can take a bus directly to Alaminos, Pangasinan, from Pasay City terminal. From there, take a tricycle from the city to Lucap Wharf.
Pangasinan has multiple beaches that rival that of Boracay and Bohol, sans the huge crowds of course. Patar Beach is a huge stretch of fine, au naturale sand and crystal-clear waters. Surrounding this secluded spot are the most stunning rock formations you’ll ever see. Since it is a public beach, expect to see a lot of locals and tourists settling in for the weekend. You may also spend overnight here to make the most of your stay. Choose from a variety of budget to luxury accommodations around the area and make sure you get a room overlooking the beach.
Patar Beach is a 40-minute drive from Bolinao town center. Although entrance is free, parking fees may apply.
Bolinao Falls has three waterfalls in its vicinity, all of them deserving to be included in the list of the most enchanting tourist spots in Pangasinan. The first one is the eponymously named Bolinao Falls. It is a short 20 feet drop of cascading waters from the elevated stretches of the Balingasay River. The falls are a perfect place to unwind and be one with nature. Guests can enjoy activities such as cliff jumping and bamboo rafting. There are also nipa huts and life vests available for renting.
Bolinao Falls is located 19 kilometers from the town center. As of 2015, a ₱50 fee is required for guests.
Lighthouses are always a great way to get a glimpse of the past. The Cape Bolinao Lighthouse was constructed in 1903 by Americans passing through the shores of Pangasinan. It stands proudly on top of Punta Piedra Point, offering guests a stunning view of Patar Beach and the West Philippine Sea. Throughout the decades, the lighthouse has prevented accidents at sea by serving as an international marine passage to Hong Kong, Japan, USA, and other countries.
Travelers who have been to Pangasinan have a lot to say about Enchanted Cave, but thing’s for certain: all of them will agree this is one of the most beautiful tourist spots in Pangasinan. The centerpiece of this natural wonder is a turquoise blue natural pool that lives up to its name. It is said that Bolinao Cave had been submerged underwater since a million years ago as evidenced by the number of coral formations and fossilized clams.
The depth of the pool is estimated to be around 3 to 6 feet deep. Getting to the pool is easy since tourism officials have constructed a man-made staircase to help visitors venture inside. Not every section of Enchanted Cave is open to the public, though, there are certain areas that are off-limits.
Enchanted Cave is located in Bolinao, Pangasinan. An entrance fee of ₱150 will be collected from guests.
For all you starry-eyed romantics, nothing sounds better than a weekend getaway with the person you love. But not everyone has the time or resource to hop on a plane and travel halfway around the world. Fortunately, there are dozens of local scenery that’s just waiting to be discovered. So come Valentine’s day, treat the person who makes your heart skip a beat with a trip to one of these romantic Philippine destinations.
The journey to these places might be long, but they all offer a scenery worth the tedious trip.
The island province of Bohol is filled with natural wonders, from the world-famous Chocolate Hills to the wonderful beaches and scenic shorelines. Panglao Island is no doubt the most popular beachfront destination in Bohol. Right before Panglao City is the Alona Beach, an area frequented by tourists for its perfect white sand beach, rocky cliffs, and homegrown entertainment. If you and your partner are looking to amp up the romance, book a room at Linaw Beach Resort to enjoy a lovely sunset dinner by the shore.
Batanes is often called an elusive travel destination due to its inaccessibility. While it isn’t virtually impossible to get there, booking a trip can be expensive. That is until Cebu Pacific happened. That’s right, the budget airline just recently opened a Manila to Batanes route. Since the company is famous for its year-round seat sales, you won’t have to worry about paying 7,000 Php for a one-way trip anymore.
There’s just so much you and your adventure-loving partner can do in this northern Luzon province. You can check out the many historical sites or ride bicycles across the many unique shorelines Batanes has to offer.
If you’re looking to escape the hot weather, then Baguio is the destination for you. The province is a three-hour bus ride from Manila, but go ask anyone who’s been there and they’ll say the journey is worth it. The temperatures tend to drop to as low as 19°C this time of the year, so expect a lot of cuddling between the sheets with your significant other. If you want to conquer the outdoors, you can go pick out strawberries together, enjoy a cup of warm tsokalate, or take a romantic walk around Camp John Hay.
The Farm in San Benito Batangas is one of the best romantic Philippine destinations for couples. Situated a few kilometers from the metro, this boutique resort lets you try different wellness activities such as yoga classes, massages, and more. Food is strictly vegan, meaning the resort doesn’t serve any dishes containing dairy or meat.
The Bukidnon-Davao (BuDa) road has been the go-to place for people wishing to escape the city. The area sits 4,000 feet above sea level and is filled with mountainous terrains and long, winding roads. The temperature may not be as chilly as that in Baguio, but a 20°C environment really doesn’t sound bad when you’re scorched by the merciless heat of the sun all year round.
Although not as popular as the other romantic Philippine destinations on this list, Zambales is slowly becoming a top vacation spot for those residing in the Metro Manila. A five-hour trip away from the capital, Zambales gives you a chance to walk on some of the most unspoiled beaches around the country. There are a lot of water sports to try in the province too. If you’re in a couples getaway, your group may rent a banana boat or island hopping trips. You and your lover may also enjoy some much-needed R & R by going kayaking, scuba diving, parasailing, and surfing.
Siargao isn’t exactly the best place for couples because it draws in huge crowds all year round. Mati, on the other hand, is a similar destination that tends to get overlooked by travelers. Of course, couples use this as an advantage because it gives them the chance to enjoy white sand beaches and natural sights minus the crowd.
Dahican Beach in Mati is known for its large waves, making it one of the best spots for surfing in the south. You can sign up for surfing lessons, check out the pawikan conservation site, or see the enchanting sunset with your loved one.
When you were a child, you probably marveled at the mere thought of a tree house. Tree houses ignite the imagination of children, who often love picturing out what it would be like to spend a day high up there. These fairy tale–like houses have them creating new worlds filled with enchanting forests, a princess who rules a kingdom, and secret hideaways that they can share with their peers. If you don’t have a tree large enough to support a tree house, don’t worry, indoor tree houses are actually trendy nowadays—not to mention they cost less and are a lot easier to maintain.
If you want to build an indoor tree house, then you’ve come to the right place. Let your imagination run wild by using these magical designs as inspiration. Start your tree house journey by checking out the dreamy designs below.
An indoor tree house that comes complete with a rock climbing wall and a slide? Yes, please! Imagine all the fun your kids will have going up and down the mini obstacle course.
A cute tree house for little girls and boys. There’s also a small area that looks perfect for learning and discovering new things.
A minimalist indoor tree house will fit right in a modern home. It’s a design that even adults will love!
Let your inner kid loose with a tree house that looks straight out of a storybook. Add a few quirky accessories and you’ve got yourself a real-life Hundred Acre Wood.
Rosie’s tree house! If you’re looking for something unique and luxurious, try this romantic design below.
Orange may not be the first color you think of when it comes to interior designing. But this tree house proves that the shade can create bold and beautiful pieces like this!
If pink is more your thing, you can create this cute and feminine space for your little mermaid.
If you can’t bring your tree house to the outdoors, then bring the outdoors to you! This beautiful design has all the elements for a rustic feel.
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Chicken pandan is a dish which roots trace back to the Southeast Asian nation of Thailand. It is prepared by seasoning a variety of chopped chicken pieces such as the wings, breasts, and drumstick. The pieces are then wrapped in pandan leaves and deep-fried until golden brown. Other people opt to cook the chicken through grilling and baking.
You might be wondering what’s so special about pandan. The tropical plant grows in abundance all over Southeast Asia, making it a popular flavor enhancer in Thai, Chinese, Indonesian, and Filipino cuisines. In the Philippines alone, pandan is used to make cake rolls, ice cream, and salads. It is also used to add a flavorful aroma to rice.
The chicken pandan recipe you are about to read leans more on satisfying Filipino taste buds. So expect lesser spices than its Thai counterparts. Don’t worry, you’ll still get that sweet and savory taste chicken pandan is best known for. The key to getting the right flavor lies in the marinade, so you are best off marinating the chicken overnight.
6 pieces of chicken (wings, small chicken drumsticks, and sliced boneless chicken breasts)
6 pieces fresh or frozen pandan leaves
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2–3 minced cloves of garlic
1 piece of ginger, minced
1 tablespoon lemon or calamansi juice
2 cups cooking oil
A sweet and salty sesame dipping sauce is often served with chicken pandan. It is a simple mix of dark and light soy sauce with toasted sesame seeds. The taste of the sesame perfectly complements the subtle flavor of chicken pandan.
The island of Cebu is known for so many things. The start of the month of January ignites the excitement for what would be one of the biggest annual festivals in the country, the Sinulog. The event attracts millions of visitors from all around the world and gives guests a glimpse of what Cebu has to offer. But with this comes the misconception that what you see during Sinulog is everything there is to see in the province.
Which is entirely wrong. The whole island is a different paradise with a rich history and a lot of tourist attractions that are worth visiting. And although a few other places like the Osmeña Peak, Magellan’s Cross, and the Basilica de Sto. Niño are all gaining attention, there’s more to Cebu than these popular spots.
You don’t have to forget about dried mangoes and Magellan’s Cross, you just have to lengthen your must-try activities and must-see places when you visit Cebu again. Here are unsung tourist spots in Cebu that are equally deserving of attention.
The municipality of Argao is perhaps best known for its annual La Torta Festival, which celebrates the place’s tradition of making torta, a popular delicacy. While it is true that the torta cake is Argao’s best asset, this income-class municipality hides beautiful places that are worth visiting too, and one that is truly a must-visit is the Balay sa Agta.
If you’re fond of exciting outdoor activities, the Balay sa Agta is the perfect stop for you. The trek to this hidden paradise might not be too easy, but when you get inside the cave, everything will pay off. The inside of the cave is actually very cold, so you might want to bring a little cover-up.
Malubog Lake is one of the biggest lakes in Cebu, but it’s also the subject of hearsays about a scary creature. Called the mantalaga, this mythical character is believed to be capable of showing unimaginable rage if people do not respect the place. A number of paranormal activities are also observed in the area.
Nevertheless, the lake remains to be one of the most eye-pleasing tourist spots in Cebu attracting spectators from all walks of life. But it seems like it hasn’t been gaining the amount of attention it actually deserves. So if you’re still in the middle of completing your travel bucket list, make sure to leave a spot for Malubog Lake. If you still have time, you can also visit the equally beautiful Malubog Falls.
Outdoor trips are almost always about beaches. Well, if you think so too, then one of the best tourist spots in Cebu to visit is the Carnaza Island. The crystal-clear waters of the island will make you want to extend your stay. Not to mention, the island has hills and caves that are simply very enchanting.
The Carnaza Island is found in the northernmost part of Cebu. While it is true that there are more popular places in the area, specifically the Malapascua Island, the island of Carnaza is just as worth the visit.
As it has always been, Cebu is famous for the white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters, and if that’s exactly what you came to the province for, Panagsama Beach in Moalboal should be on your list. Not only is it the perfect place for a good rest under the sun, you will also get to see a bunch of sea turtles in the area! Now that’s an experience you wouldn’t want to miss out on.
If it’s the history of Cebu you’re more curious about rather than the amazing works of nature, here’s a tourist attraction that best fits your interest: the Cathedral Museum of Cebu.
Opened in November 2006, the museum is one of the tourist spots in Cebu really worth visiting. It has attracted researchers, students from faraway cities, and just about anyone with a curious mind. The museum mainly houses artifacts and other items that are reflective of how life was during the Spanish era. Among its most notable parts are the galleries.
The first gallery at the Cathedral Museum has photographs that show the spread and growth of Catholic faith in Cebu. Second gallery has memorabilia of the highly revered Cardinal Ricardo Vidal. The third one contains photos of ancient churches. The fourth gallery introduces visitors to the saints recognized by the people, complete with statues from different parishes. The fifth one has a display of chalices and ciboriums, and the last gallery has a sample bedroom of a priest.
When one hears the word Badian, almost always, the very first thing that comes to mind is the Kawasan Falls. Little do people know, the city is home to several tourist spots in Cebu that are rarely visited just because they are unheard of. One is the Lambug Beach.
With its clear waters and powdery sands, a visit to this beach is bound to be unforgettable and worth the long travel. And with a tourist destination as enchanting as this, you’d expect to pay at least a hundred pesos, but here’s the thing, you can enjoy the amazing view it has to offer without paying a cent! Yes, it has no entrance fee. More reason to spend that much-needed break at this alluring place.
You don’t have to delete Osmeña Peak off your list, but maybe it’s time to lengthen it and add another summit: the Candongao Peak. True, Osmeña Peak will always be more popular, it’s the highest point in Cebu, after all. But that should not stop you from climbing another peak. And if you’re up for that, this equally beautiful wonderland in Dalaguete is the best place to be.
It should be noted that this one is for the patient and the brave, as the climb can take up to two hours, and there are rock formations that are hard to climb. But once you reach the peak, the breathtaking view that will greet you will make you forget all that.
Another less-explored treasure nestled in the uplands of Cebu is Mt. Kan-Irag. For hikers and adventure-seekers, this hidden paradise is a must-visit. The trek to the top of the mountain requires strength—and bottles of water—but it’s definitely worth the sweat and tears. It makes a great camping site, and it offers and unobstructed view of Lapu-lapu City and Mandaue, something you don’t get to see anywhere else.
The island we’re on is a big secret garden just waiting to be discovered. Just like these unheard-of tourist spots in Cebu, there are a number of places out there that nobody talks about but are unbelievably captivating. Next time, you might want to widen your search.
Viva Pit Senyor!
The iconic phrase choruses across the streets of Cebu City during the country’s grandest festival. So if you’re en route to the Queen City of the South to experience Sinulog for the first time ever, you need to be well-informed in order to survive the busy streets and large crowds. Sinulog, after all, is a celebration of the Child Jesus known as Sto. Niño, a religious icon very dear to the people of Cebu, so a huge crowd should be expected.
To learn more about this religious celebration as well as the extra festivities such as street parties and competitions that come with it, make sure to check out this comprehensive guide before joining Sinulog this year.
Filipinos love celebrations, and to kick off the year right, they start it with the month-long fiesta known as Sinulog. Events such as the Sinulog Fun Run, Sinulog Idol (Cebu’s local version of American Idol), Sinulog Festival Queen, and more happen on each Sunday of the month. To really immerse yourself in this very joyful annual celebration, try booking more than one weekend!
The heart of Sinulog is Señor Santo Niño de Cebu, sometimes referred to as the Holy Child of Cebu. The original statue is one of the oldest Christian relics in the Philippines gifted by Ferdinand Magellan to Rajah Humabon and his wife. To this day, the statue and its likeness are regarded miraculous by many. On April 28, 1965, Pope Paul VI issued a papal recognition of the image and raised Sto Niño church to basilica status.
Other than the religious aspects of the festival, there are rave parties for the young and the young at heart to enjoy during the Sinulog festival season. Raves are huge dance parties held in open fields. Famous local and international DJs have graced the shores of Cebu, including American-Japanese DJ Steve Aoki. The most notable rave parties in Cebu are Plus 63, LifeDance, and Elektro Mundo.
The Sinulog festival may be as vibrant as ever, but since it is still a religious activity, everything must be enjoyed in moderation. Visitors and participants are expected to respect traditional religious customs observed during Sinulog and avoid making unnecessary commotions.
Sinulog festival started out as a small gathering to celebrate the rich history of the Philippines. But as the years go by, it has become a festival that has drawn in people from around the world. In 2016, an estimated 3 million showed up to celebrate the festival, and this year, organizers are expecting even more. Congestion, crowding, and pushing are bound to happen at busy intersections, so always stay alert and familiarize yourself with roads and landmarks so you don’t lose your way.
The main Sinulog competition will happen at the Cebu City Sports Center. If you failed to get tickets, don’t be disappointed. Street dancing is done by contingents themselves following a set route. The key is to get a good view by securing a spot in the bleachers where the judges are located.
Other than the Sinulog dance competition, one of the most exciting parts of catching the Sinulog Grand Parade are the floats. A whole line of huge and colorful floats will take the designated route before they head to the Cebu City Sports Center. While some of the floats compete head to head, others feature local celebrities and other attractions just for people to enjoy.
Face painting and henna tattoos are everywhere during Sinulog. You can sport everything from a tribal design to a symbol of your choice. Henna and face paint easily wash off, but you’ll have to be careful, as they tend to stick to linens.
For the Sinulog grand finale, a stunning 30-minute fireworks display is held at the Cebu City Sports Center. Other than signaling the end of the competitions, it also marks the end of yet another successful Sinulog season in Cebu.
As stated above, local celebs are commonly seen gracing sponsored floats down the carousel route. Some of the most popular celebs who have made appearances over the years are Coco Martin, Marian Rivera, Angel Locsin, and Kim Chiu.
The Sinulog Grand Finale is held at the Cebu City Sports Center. For this year’s celebration, the final dance will feature a lola telling her young kids the history of Cebu. Other than the final performance, other Cebuano artists and personalities are expected to make an appearance as well.
Commuting is nearly impossible during the Sinulog season. Major roads are blocked, and expect all jeepneys to take a different rout. To get from one place to another, expect to do a lot of walking. This is why comfortable clothing is recommended, so opt for some comfy sneakers and loose shirts.
Sinulog festival gained a lot of international exposure in 2011 when National Geographic came to Philippine shores to cover the festival. Since then, the number of international tourists has increased. Most of these tourists remain in the city to enjoy the rest of the splendors Cebu has to offer.
Food kiosks are available throughout the city for festival goers. You can enjoy everything from traditional Filipino food to souvenir items! Refreshments are also available, so you don’t have to worry about getting washed out as you explore the city during Sinulog Sunday.
Want to watch Sinulog and immerse yourself in Cebuano culture? Then secure a ticket and join the festivities inside the Cebu City Sports Center. A valid Sinulog ticket runs along the lines of ₱500 to ₱2000. Make sure to come early as some areas are on a first come, first served basis.
Make your first Sinulog experience a memorable one by abiding by the rules and regulations of the city. All the rave and street parties may sound like a blast, but make it a point to respect the religious aspects of the Sinulog festival as well. Till then, hope you enjoy your Sinulog 2018. Viva! Pit Senyor!
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