Laoac

Around eight kilometers from the well-known town of Manaoag is the youngest municipality of Pangasinan called Laoac. This town was originally part of Manaoag until it was officially inaguarated in 1980. The town got its name from the Ilokano word “Laoa” which means wide. It was in late 1800’s when Ilocano settlers came to the town and noticed how wide the terrain of vegetation was in the area. They exclaimed “Nag’la’oa daytoy nga tay-aken” meaning “how wide this plain is!”. The place retained its name until it became a municipality.

Anyone passing by Pangasinan would think of bringing home a box of “tupig”. Tupig is native sticky cake made from rice, coconuts, and molasses. It is wrapped in banana leaves and grilled over live charcoal. Laoac’s vast rice fields and molasses production provide the basic ingredients to produce boxes of tupig daily. The town started celebrating its Tupig Festival in 2011 to feature the local vendors of Pangasinan’s native rice cake. During the festival, the streets are filled with rows and rows of tupig in different flavors made for the festival. 

Aside from tupig, Laoac also highlights the lost art of bakya making. Its municipal trophies are made in the form of the wooden slippers. Mang Victor is the town’s resident bakya-maker who started his business together with his siblings way back in 1972. Every bakya is handmade - from carving to nailing and painting. The wood used in each bakya are sourced from different trees around Laoac. 

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