Nestled on the western shores of Luzon Island, Pangasinan Province in the Philippines is a diverse and captivating destination.
From its pristine beaches to its historical landmarks and culinary delights, Pangasinan offers a wealth of experiences for travelers. Here’s your comprehensive guide to exploring the beauty and charm of this remarkable province:
The name Pangasinan means "place of 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".
|I Love Pangasinan signage at Lingayen Beach|
The Spanish form of the province's name, Pangasinán, remains predominant, albeit without diacritics and so does its pronunciation: [paŋɡasiˈnan]. The province is a major producer of salt in the Philippines. Its major products include bagoong ("shrimp-paste") and alamang ("salted-krill").
WHAT TO BRING FOR PANGASINAN
Here are some things you might consider bringing with you for your day tour / adventure:
- Water container/tumbler to rehydrate
- Sunscreen for skin protection
- Goggles for swimming or snorkeling
- Stylish Swimsuit
- Travel backpack / luggage
- Reusable vacuum storage packs
- Selfie stick
- Waterproof phone case
- Acion cam
- Camping tent
- WiFi kit
- Power bank
Shopee is my go-to app for things I needed like the ones above. If you'd like discounts and vouchers, you may get the best offers here:
Pangasinan in Details
Region: Ilocos Region
Founded: April 5, 1580
Largest City: San Carlos
Total Area: 5,451.01 km2 (2,104.65 sq mi), Rank 15th out of 81
Highest Elevation: (Mount San Isidro) 737 m (2,418 ft)
Total Population: 3,163,190 (2020 census) Rank 6th out of 81
Independent Cities: 1
Component Cities: 3
Districts: Legislative districts of Pangasinan (shared with Dagupan)
Time Zone: UTC+8 (PST)
ZIP Code: 2400–2447
Area Code: +63 (0)75
ISO: 3166 code PH-PAN
Ethnic Groups: Pangasinan (55%), Ilocano (44%), Bolinao (1%)
Languages: Pangasinan (official), Bolinao, Ilocano, Tagalog, English
In pre-colonial times, Pangasinan was inhabited by indigenous Austronesian tribes. These early settlers engaged in agriculture, fishing, and trade, creating a vibrant local culture.
Spanish Colonial Era:
During the Spanish colonial period, Pangasinan became a part of the Spanish East Indies. The province was a significant political and economic center, attracting Spanish missionaries who introduced Christianity. The influence of Spanish culture and traditions left a lasting impact on Pangasinan’s society.
American and Japanese Occupation:
Pangasinan, like the rest of the Philippines, experienced American rule after the Spanish-American War. During World War II, it was occupied by Japanese forces, leading to significant upheaval and suffering for the local population.
Post-Independence and Modern Era:
After World War II, Pangasinan, along with the rest of the Philippines, gained independence from the United States. The province played a vital role in the nation's agricultural development, particularly in rice and fish production. Today, Pangasinan stands as a dynamic province, celebrated for its cultural heritage, natural beauty, and thriving economy.
Pangasinan is not just historically significant but also culturally rich. It is known for its colorful festivals, traditional arts and crafts, and delectable cuisine, making it a hub of Filipino heritage and creativity.
Economic Growth and Development:
In recent years, Pangasinan has seen rapid economic growth, diversifying its economy beyond agriculture to include industries like tourism, information technology, and manufacturing. The province continues to attract visitors with its stunning beaches, historical landmarks, and warm hospitality.
Pangasinan is located in the west central area of Luzon in the Philippines. It is bordered by La Union to the north, Benguet and Nueva Vizcaya to the northeast, Nueva Ecija to the southeast, and Zambales and Tarlac to the south. To the west of Pangasinan is the South China Sea. The province also encloses Lingayen Gulf.
Land Area and Distance
The province has a land area of 5,451.01 square kilometres (2,104.65 sq mi). It is 170 kilometres (110 mi) north of Manila, 50 kilometres (31 mi) south of Baguio, 115 kilometres (71 mi) north of Subic International Airport and Seaport, and 80 square kilometres (31 sq mi) north of Clark International Airport. At the coast of Alaminos, the Hundred islands have become a famous tourist spot.
|The Hundred Islands in Alaminos, Pangasinan 2015|
The terrain of the province, as part of the Central Luzon plains, is typically flat, with a few parts being hilly and/or mountainous. The northeastern municipalities of San Manuel, San Nicolas, Natividad, San Quintin and Umingan have hilly to mountainous areas at the tip of the Cordillera mountains. The Zambales mountains extend to the province's western towns of Labrador, Mabini, Bugallon, Aguilar, Mangatarem, Dasol, and Infanta forming the mountainous portions of those towns.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) reported several inactive volcanoes in the province: Amorong, Balungao, Cabaluyan, Cahelietan, Candong, and Malabobo. PHIVOLCS reported no active or potentially active volcanoes in Pangasinan. A caldera-like landform is located between the towns of Malasiqui and Villasis with a center at about 15° 55′ N and 120° 30′ E near the Cabaruan Hills.
Several rivers traverse the province. The longest is the Agno River which originates in the Cordillera Mountains of Benguet and eventually terminates at Lingayen Gulf. Other major rivers include the Bued River, Angalacan River, Sinocalan River, Patalan River and the Cayanga River.
The province of Pangasinan is subdivided into 44 municipalities, 4 cities, and 1,364 barangay (which means "village" or "community"). There are six congressional districts in the province.
|Political map of Pangasinan|
The capital of the province is Lingayen. In ancient times, the capital of Pangasinan was Binalatongan, now San Carlos. During Japanese occupation, Dagupan was made a wartime capital.
- San Carlos
- San Fabian
- San Jacinto
- San Manuel
- San Nicolas
- San Quintin
- Santa Barbara
- Santa Maria
- Santo Tomas
Pangasinan has 1,364 barangays comprising its 44 municipalities and 4 cities, ranking the province at 3rd with the most barangays in a Philippine province, only behind the Visayan provinces of Leyte and Iloilo.
|Longos Amangonan Parac‑Parac Fabrica|
Longos Amangonan Parac‑Parac Fabrica is the longest named barangay in the Philippines. It is situated in the municipality of San Fabian, Pangasinan. The most populous barangay in the province is Bonuan Gueset in Dagupan with a population of 22,042 as of 2010. If cities are excluded, Poblacion in the municipality of Lingayen has the highest population at 12,642. Iton in Bayambang has the lowest with only 99 as of the 2010 census.
Roads in Pangasinan
Pangasinan, being a province in the Philippines, has an extensive road network connecting its towns, cities, and key destinations.
|MacArthur Highway in Urdaneta City|
While there are numerous roads in the province, here are some of the main highways and routes:
MacArthur Highway (AH26): Also known as the Manila North Road, it is a major highway passing through several towns in Pangasinan, connecting it to other provinces in Central Luzon and Metro Manila.
Bolinao-Alaminos Road: This road connects the municipalities of Bolinao and Alaminos, providing access to the famous Hundred Islands National Park.
Romulo Highway: A key road in eastern Pangasinan, passing through municipalities like San Manuel and Nueva Ecija, and eventually connecting to other major highways.
Daang Kalikasan: This road underconstruction in Mangatarem, Pangasinan, is a picturesque route winding through lush greenery and scenic landscapes, offering a tranquil escape into nature's embrace.
The Pangasinan language is an agglutinative language. It belongs to the Malayo-Polynesian languages branch of the Austronesian language family and is the primary language of the province of Pangasinan, as well as northern Tarlac and southwestern La Union.
The Pangasinan language is similar to the other Malayo-Polynesian languages of the Philippines, as well as Indonesia and Malaysia. It is closely related to the Ibaloi language spoken in the neighboring province of Benguet, located northwest of Pangasinan. The Pangasinan language along with Ibaloi are classified under the Pangasinic group of languages. The other Pangasinic languages are:
Aside from their native language, many educated Pangasinans are highly proficient in Ilocano, English and Tagalog. Pangasinan is mostly spoken in the central part of the province in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th districts, and is the second language in other parts of Pangasinan. Ilocano is widely spoken in the westernmost and easternmost parts of Pangasinan in the 1st, 5th and 6th districts, and is the second language in other parts of Pangasinan.
Ilocanos and Pangasinans speak Ilocano with a Pangasinan accent, as descendants of Ilocanos from first generation who lived within Pangasinan population learned Pangasinan language. Not all of Pangasinans speak Ilocano, as Pangasinan was part of Central Luzon before it was transferred to Ilocos Region. Bolinao, a Sambalic language is widely spoken in the western tip of the province in the towns of Bolinao and Anda.
Languages not native in Pangasinan (aside from Ilocano) are spoken by other minority ethnic groups, such as Kapampangan, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Maranao and Cordilleran languages to varying degrees by their respective ethnic communities within the province.
The culture of Pangasinan is a blend of the indigenous Malayo-Polynesian and western Hispanic culture with some Indian and Chinese influences as well as American influences. Pangasinan is westernized yet retains a strong native Austronesian background.
The main centers of Pangasinan culture are Dagupan, Lingayen, Manaoag, Calasiao and San Carlos City.
The dominant religion in Pangasinan is Roman Catholicism with 80% affiliation in the population. The Aglipayan Church comes in second with 10% of the population. Other religious denominations are divided with other Christian groups such as Members Church of God International. Iglesia Ni Cristo has 5 Ecclesiastical Districts (Rosales, Urdaneta, San Carlos, Lingayen and Alaminos).
Each town has already locale chapels and has 4% adherence in the province. Baptist, Methodist, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh-day Adventist. Few are strict believers and continue to practice their indigenous anito beliefs and rituals, like most of the people of the Philippines.
Spanish and American missionaries introduced Christianity to Pangasinan. Prior to the Spanish conquest in 1571, the predominant religion of the people of Pangasinan was similar to the indigenous religion of the highland Igorot or the inhabitants of the Cordillera Administrative Region on the island of Luzon, who mostly retained their indigenous culture and religion.
A translation of the New Testament (excluding Revelation) in the Pangasinan language by Fr. Nicolas Manrique Alonzo Lallave, a Spanish Dominican friar assigned in Urdaneta, was the first ever translation of a complete portion of the Bible in a Philippine language. Pangasinan was also influenced by Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam to a lesser extent before the introduction of Christianity.
Some Pangasinense people have reverted to their indigenous religion of worshiping Ama Kaoley or Ama-Gaolay, while the Sambal people of the west have reverted to their indigenous religion worshiping Malayari.
ATTRACTIONS TO SEE IN MANILA
Pangasinan Tourist Spots
Here are the top places to visit in Pangasinan and best things to do!
Explore the Beaches
Hundred Islands National Park: An iconic destination consisting of 124 picturesque islands and islets, offering opportunities for island hopping, snorkeling, and relaxation on sandy beaches.
Patar Beach: Known for its golden sand and crystal-clear waters, Patar Beach in Bolinao is a paradise for beach lovers. The beach is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and watching stunning sunsets.
Discover Historical and Cultural Sites
Bolinao Church: Visit the Church of St. James the Great in Bolinao, one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. Its historical significance and architectural beauty make it a must-see.
Enchanted Cave: Explore this unique cave in Bolinao, adorned with stalactites and stalagmites. It also features a natural pool where visitors can take a refreshing dip.
Indulge in Local Cuisine
Bangus (Milkfish): Pangasinan is renowned for its delicious bangus dishes. Try bangus prepared in various ways, such as sinigang (sour soup) and inihaw (grilled).
Bagoong: Experience the local flavor by tasting bagoong, a fermented fish or shrimp paste used as a condiment in many Filipino dishes.
Puto: Savor Pangasinan’s version of puto, a steamed rice cake often enjoyed with dinuguan (pork blood stew).
Enjoy Nature and Adventure
Asin Hot Springs: Relax in the natural hot spring pools of Asin in Villasis, known for their therapeutic properties. It’s a perfect retreat for weary travelers.
Tayug Eco Park: Located in C. Lichauco, this sunflower park is a haven for those who can’t get enough flowers. The park, as the name implies, is home to thousands of flowers, but not all are sunflowers.
Visit Lingayen Gulf:
Lingayen Beach: The provincial capital, Lingayen, boasts a beautiful beachfront perfect for picnics, beach sports, and leisurely walks.
Lingayen Capitol Grounds: Explore the provincial capitol grounds, which feature a park and a lagoon. It’s a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.
|Pangasinan Capitol in Lingayen|
Participate in Festivals
Pista’y Dayat: This annual festival celebrates the bounties of the sea and is held in Lingayen. Enjoy colorful parades, boat races, and a showcase of the province’s rich maritime heritage.
Agew na Pangasinan: Celebrated every April, Agew na Pangasinan marks the founding anniversary of the province. The festival features various cultural events, including traditional dances, music performances, and street processions, highlighting the province's history and heritage.
Binungey Festival: Held in the town of Anda, Binungey Festival celebrates the local delicacy called "binungey," a sweet sticky rice cake cooked in bamboo tubes. The festival showcases culinary competitions, street dancing, and cultural presentations.
Bangus Festival: Recognized as one of the most popular festivals in Pangasinan, Bangus Festival celebrates the province's renowned milkfish industry. Activities include street dancing competitions, a grand float parade, and various culinary events centered around the beloved bangus (milkfish).
Malangsi Festival: Held in the town of Dasol, Malangsi Festival celebrates the town's fishing heritage and abundant marine resources. Festivities include a grand fluvial parade, street dancing, and various contests, showcasing Dasol's vibrant coastal culture.
Respect Local Customs: Pangasinan has a rich cultural heritage; respect local traditions and etiquettes, especially when visiting religious sites and interacting with locals.
Beach Essentials: If you plan to spend time on the beaches, pack sunscreen, hats, and swimwear to protect yourself from the sun.
Local Etiquette: Filipinos are known for their warm hospitality. Engage with the locals with a smile and polite gestures; it will make your experience even more enjoyable.
The province's economy is mainly agricultural due to its vast fertile plains. More than 44 percent of its agricultural area is devoted to crop production. Aside from being one of the Philippine's rice granaries, Pangasinan is also a major producer of coconut, mango and eggplant. Pangasinan is the richest province in the Ilocos Region.
|Sual Power Plant|
The 1200 megawatt Sual coal-fired power plant and 345 megawatt San Roque multi-purpose dam in the municipalities of Sual and San Manuel, respectively, are the primary sources of energy in the province.
Pangasinan is a major fish supplier in Luzon and a major producer of salt in the Philippines. It has extensive fishponds mostly for raising bangus or "milkfish" along the coasts of Lingayen Gulf and the South China Sea. Pangasinan's aquaculture includes oyster and sea urchin farms.
|Salt-making in Dasol|
Salt is also a major industry. In salt evaporation ponds seawater is mixed with sodium bicarbonate until the water evaporates and the salt remains. This is their ancient tradition inspired from Egypt.
The major crops in Pangasinan are rice, mangoes, corn, and sugar cane. Pangasinan has a land area of 536,819 hectares, and 44 percent of the total land area of Pangasinan is devoted to agricultural production.
Health and Education
There are thousands of public schools and hundreds of private schools across the province for primary and secondary education. Many Pangasinans go to Metro Manila, Baguio, and the United States for tertiary and higher education.
|University of Pangasinan|
Pangasinan has 51 hospitals and clinics and 68 rural health units (as of July 2002). Although some residents go to other parts of the Philippines, Metro Manila, Europe and the United States for extensive medical tests and treatment, almost all Pangasinans go to the major medical centers in the cities of Dagupan, San Carlos and Urdaneta.
|Pangasinan Provincial Hospital|
ACTIVITIES AND TOURS IN MANILA
Transportation To and Around Pangasinan
Pangasinan, a picturesque province in the northern Philippines, offers a variety of transportation options for travelers exploring its beaches, historical sites, and vibrant culture. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate transportation to and around Pangasinan:
Getting to Pangasinan
The nearest major airport to Pangasinan is Clark International Airport (CRK) in Pampanga. Most of the travelers choose Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila, which are well-connected and offer various international and domestic flights.
Compare Air Fares
A quick and easy way to do this is to use flight search engines A.K.A airfare comparison sites. Get started by following the steps below:
Step 1: Visit the best flight search engines listed below (click the links to open a new tab).
Step 2: Enter your destinations and travel dates to compare airfares.
Step 3: Go back to this page and select another flight search engine.
Step 4: Repeat steps #2 & #3 until you visit all sites listed.
Step 5: Review the airfare results to find out which airline/site offers the cheapest prices. Take note of all the airlines listed. Use the “Filter” feature to see a list of airlines that fly to your destination.
TIP! You can also use any of the websites or apps to get flight schedules for your destination.
From Clark or NAIA, you can take a bus, van, or taxi to Pangasinan.
Several bus companies operate routes from Manila to Pangasinan. Victory Liner, Five Star, and Solid North Transit are reputable options. Buses are a convenient and economical way to travel the distance.
To know more about bus routes and schedule, check out my Manila to Pangasinan Bus Guide.
If you prefer flexibility, renting a car in Manila is a good option. The North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) connects Manila to major cities in Central and Northern Luzon, including those in Pangasinan.
Transportation Within Pangasinan
In Pangasinan, tricycles are a common mode of local transportation, especially for short distances within towns. They are affordable and can easily navigate through narrow streets.
Jeepneys are a staple of Filipino transportation. They operate fixed routes within towns and nearby areas. While they might be a bit crowded, they offer an authentic local experience.
Vans and Buses:
For longer distances within Pangasinan, consider using vans or buses. Companies like Victory Liner and Five Star operate routes connecting major towns and cities within the province.
Renting a Motorcycle:
For adventurous travelers, renting a motorcycle is a great way to explore Pangasinan’s scenic routes at your own pace. Make sure you have the necessary licenses and safety gear.
Pangasinan Hotels and Resorts
Here are the resorts and hotels you can book in Pangasinan:
Address: Patar Road, Bolinao, Pangasinan
Address: Bolinao, Pangasinan
Address: Barangay Ilog Malino, Bolinao, Pangasinan
Address: Long Beach Street, Bolinao, Pangasinan
Address: Ilog Malino, Bolinao, Pangasinan
Address: Arellano Street, Dagupan City, Pangasinan
Address: A.B. Fernandez Ave., Dagupan City, Pangasinan
|Punta Riviera Resort|
With its natural wonders, historical sites, delectable cuisine, and warm hospitality, Pangasinan Province invites travelers to embark on a memorable journey filled with beauty and cultural richness.
Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or a food lover, Pangasinan offers an array of experiences that will leave you enchanted and longing to return. Enjoy your time exploring this captivating province in the Philippines!
IMPORTANT NOTE: The rates, contact details and other information indicated in this post are accurate from the time of writing but may change without IMFWJ's notice. Should you know the updated information, please message us on Facebook.