travel

Discovering Pangasinan: Cape Bolinao Lighthouse

Bolinao is a first-class municipality in the province of Pangasinan and is fast rising as a new summer destination in the region. Despite the fame of its neighboring town, Alaminos, the humble municipality of Bolinao can still capture the hearts of tourists with its multitude of cascading waterfalls, century-old lighthouse, mystical caves and other wow-ing attractions.

Summertime is not exactly my preferred period to go out and travel especially when everyone is on their vacation breaks. I believe a congested paradise, no matter how beautiful, could turn into a tragedy. But again, it is inevitable during the peak season so my friends and I decided to brave a 6-hour travel to Pangasinan in hopes of a crowd-free getaway. Bolinao was the right decision.

 

Getting There

April 14, 2018 — One of the exciting things to look forward to when traveling with a group is the opportunity of meeting new people. In this instance, my heart was thrilled for my high school best friend to mingle with my buddies from the church. The small talk among the newly introduced acquaintances kept us busy while waiting for the arrival of the Bolinao-bound airconditioned bus at the Fivestar Terminal in Pasay. However, two hours have gone by so quickly and there was still no update regarding the whereabouts of the Fivestar bus. Out of tiredness and time practicality, we decided to take the Alaminos-bound Mhel Bhen airconditioned bus that took a brief stop in front of the Fivestar terminal.

After multiple bus stops and shallow naps, we finally arrived at the Alaminos town proper at 7 in the morning. We easily spotted a non-airconditioned bus bound to Bolinao and took the windy ride while basking in the good view of the fields. By 8:30 am, the group reached the Bolinao town proper and immediately searched for a decent eatery where we had breakfast. (The tasty tortang talong I ate worked magic in me!) It didn’t take long before we found a tour operator; we talked to one of the tricycle drivers named Kuya Rovic and agreed to his arranged day tour for ₱1,000; the tour includes Bolinao Falls 1-2-3, Patar Beach, Patar Rock Formation, Enchanted Cave and Cape Bolinao Lighthouse. Since we were 5 in the group, we decided to hire two tricycles to take us around Bolinao.

 

Cape Bolinao Lighthouse

After a lovely afternoon at the Patar Rock Formation, we went to Cape Bolinao which was only a few feet away from Patar Beach. Our tricycle made a halt midway of the hill and Kuya Rovic signaled us that the steep path leads to the towering structure.

 

 

The Bolinao lighthouse is the second tallest lighthouse in the country, next to Cape Bojeador in Ilocos Norte. It boastfully stands at 351 feet atop Punta Piedra Point, granting anyone standing at the top a panoramic view of the West Philippine Sea. Even though the tower wasn’t open for tourists, I still enjoyed being at Cape Bolinao. The ruins beside the lighthouse were a charm to the place.

 

Cape Bolinao Lighthouse Pangasinan

Cape Bolinao Lighthouse Pangasinan

Cape Bolinao Lighthouse Pangasinan

 

There is nothing much to do in Cape Bolinao, but there is a satisfaction to have visited this lighthouse. The abandoned buildings served as a backdrop to the dramatic photos we took that afternoon.

 

 

 

Guide to Cape Bolinao Lighthouse

    • There is no entrance fee! But expect a crowd to visit during peak time.
    • Sunset viewing is nice here. If you come in the afternoon, it is scorching hot so prepare your caps and fans.

 

How to get there

  1. Ride an aircon bus from Cubao to Bolinao via Victory Liner for ₱459. If you’re coming from Pasay, you may also opt to ride an aircon bus via Five Star Bus for ₱469. (Or take the bus to Alaminos (₱400). After arriving at Alaminos, take the Fivestar non-aircon bus to Bolinao.)
  2. At Bolinao bus terminal, hire a tricycle to take you to your hotel or tour you around the area. One tricycle is good for 3-4 pax, the average price of ₱1,000 that covers the major attractions.

 

Contact Person/s

Bolinao Tour Operator (Tricycle)
Contact Person: Kuya Rovic Ongkit
Mobile Number: (0946) 055-6784

 

Itinerary and Budget

April 14, 2018 1:45 AM Rode Mhel Bhen bus to Alaminos from Fivestar Pasay Terminal ₱400/head (bus fare)
7:00 AM ETA Alaminos, rode Fivestar non-aircon bus to Bolinao ₱51/head (bus fare)
8:30 AM ETA Bolinao town proper, breakfast at Tiblon Grill, arrange tour with tricycle drivers
9:30 AM ETD Bolinao Falls 1
10:00 AM ETA Bolinao Falls 1 ₱20/head (entrance fee); ₱20/tricycle (parking fee)
10:15 AM ETD to Bolinao Falls 2
10:20 AM ETA Bolinao Falls 2, swim ₱20/head (entrance fee); ₱20/tricycle (parking fee)
11:30 AM ETD to Bolinao Falls 3
11:35 AM ETA Bolinao Falls 3, swim ₱20/head (entrance fee); ₱20/tricycle (parking fee)
12:25 PM Went back to Registration area to rest, eat halo-halo an Binungay ₱20/halo-halo; ₱50/Binungay
12:50 PM ETD to Enchanted Cave
1:40 PM ETA Enchanted Cave, swim and caving ₱200/head (entrance fee)
2:30 PM ETD to Patar Rock Formation
2:40 PM ETA Patar Rock Formation ₱75/head (entrance fee)
3:45 PM ETD to Cape Bolinao Lighthouse
3:55 PM ETA Cape Bolinao Lighthouse, take photos
4:30 PM ETD to Patar Beach
4:45 PM ETA Patar Beach, eat late lunch, swim, wash up
6:15 PM ETD to Bolinao town proper, settle tour fee ₱1000/tricycle
6:50 PM ETA Bolinao town proper, ride bus to Alaminos
7:20 PM ETD to Alaminos town proper via non-aircon Bus ₱66/head (bus fare)
9:00 PM ETA Alaminos town proper, check-in at Danna’s Inn, dinner ₱1,650/room (good for 5)
April 15, 2018 4:15 AM Wake-up, prepare
4:50 AM Ride Cisco bus to Sta. Cruz, Zambales ₱30/head (bus fare)
5:20 AM ETA Burgos, breakfast in Burgos market (with takeout for lunch), arrange tricycle service to Cabongaoan Beach
6:15 AM ETD to Cabongaoan Beach ₱350/tricycle (supposedly ₱250 only)
7:00 AM ETA Cabongaoan Beach, rent cottage, swim ₱500/cottage
7:30 AM Boat to Cabongaoan Death Pool ₱50/head (boat ride back-n-forth)
7:35 AM ETA Cabongaoan Death Pool
8:40 PM Ride boat back to cottage
8:45 PM ETA cottage, swim
10:00 AM Prepare food, wash up
11:15 AM ETD to Burgos via tricycle ₱350/tricycle (supposedly ₱250 only)
12:15 PM ETA Burgos town proper
12:20 PM ETD to Alaminos town proper ₱25/head (jeepney)
12:50 PM ETA Alaminos town proper, ride Victory Bus Liner to Cubao ₱393/head (bus fare)
1:25 PM ETD to Manila
8:00 PM ETA North EDSA, Quezon City

 

 

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