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8 Best Things to do when traveling to Alaminos, Pangasinan Edit

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Michelle Tobias  • Contributor
Opinions expressed by Explora.ph Contributors are their own.

Written by Alexis Betia and Michelle Tobias.


Every Holy Week, devotees flocking the Manaoag Basilica in Pangasinan can bloat to as much as two million. This is the Philippines' most visited destination during Lent. The Our Lady of Manaoag Shrine is said to be miraculous, granting wishes and healing the sick. Aside from this, a parade of locals make their annual penitensya (penitence) along the road, flagellating and crucifying themselves to atone for their sins. But what can you do after witnessing these two grand events in Pangasinan? Get away from the crowd to Alaminos City, the capital of the province, and have a unforgettable beach break with your family or friends!


Here are the 8 best things to do when traveling to Alaminos, Pangasinan:

1. Visit Lucap Wharf and climb the lighthouse

Home to the Alaminos Tourist Center, Lucap Wharf is located at the heart of this bustling seaside municipality. The wharf serves as a jumping point for a Hundred Islands boat tour. You can find restaurants and homestays along the road, but make sure to go for a walk through the plaza at night, especially during the holidays, when it's streetlights, decorations, giant Christmas tree, and various hawkers and vendors rival those of Manila's Roxas Boulevard.

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The lighthouse at Lucap Wharf. Photo by Jay Ermitaño.
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You'll see this statue too near the wharf. Photo by Jay Ermitaño.
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The night lights at Lucap Wharf are similar to those in Roxas Boulevard in Manila. Photo by Mario Davila.

2. Get a spectacular view of the Hundred Islands National Park by zipline

You can make the 380-step climb up to the 546-meter zipline that connects it to Virgin Island, or cross the 120-meter pontoon bridge. There’s also a viewing deck which provides spectacular views of the Hundred Islands National Park, along with a breathtaking statue of Joseph the Carpenter by the sculptor Cyril.

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Volunteers at Explora.ph try out the zipline. Photo by Jay Ermitaño.
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What a stunning view from Governor's Island! Photo by Jay Ermitaño.
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The zipline leads to Virgin Island just across. Photo by Jay Ermitaño.
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The view includes the statue of Joseph the Carpenter by the sculptor Cyril. Photo by Jay Ermitaño.

3. Check out the beach and cave in Virgin Island

Virgin Island is the perfect location to stretch out on the beach, have a picnic, or spend an idyllic night at its guest house (P5,000, good for 8 pax). The reef surrounding it is currently being rehabilitated, but visitors can look forward to a special surprise: Inside a cave lies a gorgeous statue of a mermaid named Cyril, commissioned by the town's current Mayor, Arthur Celeste.

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This serves as the loading dock of Virgin Island. Photo by Mario Davila.
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This is the white beach near Virgin Island's loading dock. At the left, you can see the zipline from Governor's Island. Photo by Jay Ermitaño.
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The mermaid in the cave, commissioned by Mayor Arthur Celeste. Photo by Mario Davila.

4. Drive by a local industry that produces bamboo-based products

For a tourist stop that’s truly off-the-beaten track, visit the E-Kawayan Manufacturing plant, where you can take a tour to learn how they process and create amazing bamboo items and furniture. Learn all the steps, from cutting, stripping, and boiling, that lead to these proudly Pinoy creations. Make sure to stop by their souvenir shop and bring home one of your very own!

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You can learn about how bamboo, the Philippines' most versatile wood, is processed in this workshop. Photo by Mario Davila.
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Local craftsmen will gladly share how they come up with bamboo products. Photo by Mario Davila.
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Here are some of the products they make out of bamboo. Photo by Mario Davila.
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Plaques and trophies can be carved out of bamboo too! Photo by Mario Davila.

5. Jump into the blue lagoon in Marcos Island

Named after a former Philippine president, Marcos island is home to comfortable accommodations (P5,000, good for 8 pax) and a welcoming stretch of beach that just begs you to relax. A short trek will bring you to cliffs where you can take the 12-foot plunge. Don’t worry, the lagoon below is around 12-feet deep depending on the tide, and opens out into the open water, where a quick swim will lead you back to the beach.

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Our arrival at Marcos Island. Photo by Monte Corpuz.
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This guy just couldn't resist sleeping on the beach. LOL. Photo by Jay Ermitaño.
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Climbing a hill can lead you to this view. Photo by Jay Ermitaño.
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The lagoon is a bit dark but when your eyes adjust to the light inside, the lagoon is wonderfully clear and blue, with little fish swimming around. Photo by Jay Ermitaño.
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The lagoon inside Marcos Island. Photo by colololz.com.

6. Pick your own delicious fresh fruits and herbs at Elia Kaakbay Farm

From the sweetest exotic dragon fruit to common herbs used in everyday cooking, much is grown here, including melons, apples, bananas, rice, mongo, and salad tomatoes. A farme is more than just a place to grow fruits and vegetables—it’s an entire lifestyle—especially when the word itself stands for “Farm Alaminos for a Rich Mother Earth". Despite being in their then-mid-50s, Tita Leilia and her husband left their city jobs and moved back to Pangasinan for the fresh air and to start a garden, which quickly evolved into the three-hectare intercrop organic farm that it is today.

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Dragon fruit, one of the many things cultivated in the farm. Photo by Mario Davila.
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Tita Leilia left the city together with her husband to start an organic farm. Photo by Mario Davila.
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Tita Leilia's greenhouse of herbs and seedlings. Photo by Mario Davila.
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Here you can tour the site and learn more about organic farming! Photo by Mario Davila.

7. Go swimming and snorkeling in Quezon Island

Boating to Quezon Island is enough to bring a smile on anyone’s face. A statue of former Philippine president Manuel Quezon welcomes all its visitors, while accommodations for rent sit comfortably on one of the island’s little perches. A mini zip line spans from one end of the island to another, while a two-floor restaurant caters to your every need and whim as you stretch out and relax on its pristine white sandbar.

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Our arrival at Quezon Island. There's a walkway that leads to the next islet. Photo by Jay Ermitaño.
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The cabanas and clear blue water on Quezon Island. Photo by Jay Ermitaño.
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This is the platform for diving and snorkeling on Quezon Island. Photo by Jay Ermitaño.
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The water is warm and amazing! Photo by Jay Ermitaño.

8. No budget for Hundred Islands? No problem! Go to Bolo Beach!

This beach may not be white, but hey, you'd most likely have this for yourself! At Bolo beach you can try kayak, jet ski, banana boat, and even the local KTV. There’s a slew of accommodations and resorts available along this stretch of cove, which was named after a type of kawayan (bamboo) that grows plenty in the area.

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The cream-sanded Bolo Beach is found in mainland Pangasinan, just a boat ride away to the Hundred Islands. Photo by Mario Davila.
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This is part of the cove during low tide. Photo by Mario Davila.
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Local kids themselves enjoy swimming at the beach. Photo by Mario Davila.
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Some huts can be rented out along the beach too. Photo by Mario Davila.

In Hindsight

Things to do in Pangasinan doesn't always have to be about islands and beaches. Touring its local industries can be great eye-openers to a different kind of lifestyle outside the metropolis. Nonetheless, Pangasinenses are full of warmth and friendliness, always ready to share their stories. Where else can you reach these people than in places where they live and thrive best? Going off-the-beaten track can give a glimpse about the hidden face of the Philippines: its people, its culture, its traditions.


Learn more about local experiences and and great places sleep in by heading to www.visitpangasinan.com.


Go local!

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Sit back and relax as you enjoy an all-inclusive package with roundtrip transfers to and from Manila. Book here


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