Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pangasinan Paradise - Bolinao

After Conquering Coron with my officemates, we were itching for another trip and a second trip was set-up. We want another one and we want it soon. It was summer. We booked the Busuanga flights for Coron five months in advance – too long of a wait. A land trip will be much easier to arrange. We settled on invading Pangasinan – to see the sunset of Bolinao and the Hundred Islands in Alaminos.

I was in a supporting researcher role during this time. I got involved in the planning details. According to the travel gurus in our group, we can do a DIY trip for this one. Places to go were Googled. A van would be rented to take us to the destinations. We can liaise directly with the resorts to book our reservations. This is the core work of a DIY trip. ‘Twas a good training experience for me.

The plan:

03:30 am

Assembly at Glorietta, Makati

04:00 am

Estimated Time Departure from Makati to Bolinao, Pangasinan

10:00 am

Estimated Time Arrival Punta Riviera Resort. Breakfast and Rest

11:30 am

Visit Bolinao Church

12:30 pm


01:30 pm

Proceed to Cape Bolinao Lighthouse


Go back to Resort. Chill and watch sunset

We skipped the Bolinao Falls and Enchanting Caves in our itinerary.

Bolinao was kinda difficult to arrange and it almost became a show stopper. We inquired with several vans-for-hire but the price was too steep for our target budget. I finally got an affordable contact from a friend; to be handed over to another driver the day before our trip. *Major major panic mode*. We had a mad driver. Thankfully, we sanely arrived in Bolinao, Pangasinan.

Some of the pics here are not my shots but belongs to my officemates.

Bolinao is located... at the ends of Pangasinan. One word to describe getting to Bolinao: Eyesore. Typhoon Emong devastated the province the week before. Uprooted trees, roof-less houses and fallen light posts greeted us on the way to the resort. One could tell that people’s morale was low.

Gas station:

I felt a tinge of guilt that I was in a festive mood to conquer Bolinao when the town is grieving and suffering the effects of typhoon Emong. You cannot hide from Nature’s Dark Forces.

We booked two rooms in Punta Riviera Resort for a night. Despite the eyesore on the way there, the resort was fairly kept in place.

The resort is located “relatively” near. Note the use of the word relatively as we are talking about a place at the ends of Pangasinan. It was not as remote as the Treasures of Bolinao Reosrt. The town had no electricity.

Road Directions/How to get to Punta Riviera Del Mar Resort Hotel:
From Manila, proceed to North Luzon Expressway and exit at Dau. Take the road going to Luisita. Then from Luisita, go straight to Tarlac City and look for the Victory Liner bus terminal. At its junction, the Siesta Court, take the road going to Camiling/Bugallon. At the junction of Bugallon, turn left going to Sual; proceeding to Alaminos then to Bani. From Bani town proper, turn right going straight to Bolinao.

Although Punta Riviera had a generator, ours did not work 24/7. But no discount was given for this. It took them forever to serve the food. Their food was unreasonably priced and fell short of expectations. Gah. Good thing I was in the company of good-humored people.

Lousy breakfast. Paid Php 200 for breakfast that tasted Php 40.

Bolinao Church. Those windows glasses were shattered by the typhoon.

Bolinao Lighthouse. It was difficult to get a whole body shot with the full length of the lighthouse.

Fallen trees blocking the way.

Raise the roof?

We planned to do photo ops in Puerto Del Sol Beach Resort but the resort charges Php 350 for taking pictures. Uhm, never mind. We simply headed back to Punta Riviera to watch for the sunset. The beach is clean but it is too shallow to be swimmable so we had to be content with the resort's swimming pool.

Feast your eyes on those colors.

Even the clouds were kinda scary yet magnificent.

Jumpshot silhouettes. It is tricky to capture your face with the sunset so we had to do with silhouette shots.

Despite the shattered houses, fallen trees, typhoon Emong did not mar the beauty that Boilnao offers. It is still there to be enjoyed.

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