Bolinao, Bora of the North
May 16, 2009 § 5 Comments
A few weeks ago, I was fortunate to go to Pangasinan with my relatives. Sorry for not posting earlier. Pangasinan is a beautiful place to go to. It’s just 3 to 4 hour trip from Manila (if you’ll use the SCTEX from NLEX and if you go the route of Camiling road).
Anyway, we went first to Bolinao, reputedly North Luzon’s answer to Boracay. Bolinao is about 5 hour drive thru wide expanses of rice fields, mountains and hills. It’s a majestic ride.
When you reach Bolinao, you’ll find many first-class resorts which charge first-class rates. It’s really a place for foreign tourists. When we arrived though, we saw most guests are locals. Tourism secretary Ace Durano is right—there’s really a spike in numbers of local tourists, probably because of the lower price of gasoline. People travel when gas prices are low and dein do the discoveries when its high.
I don’t want to disappoint you, but Bolinao is no Boracay. It may look like the island paradise, save the stone-filled beachfront and the greyish sand full of coral debris. The sand is not fine and powdery talc, like what we find in Boracay. And you can’t really swim as much as you like to, coz, waters are filled with stones, some as sharp as a glass shard.
But, it has a wonderful sunset and it’s so quiet, it’s best for people who just want to rest and unwind, like me.
People of Bolinao are wonderful people, except those who run those resorts. Resorts are fully booked and if you just want to settle for a fairly big cottage, you’ll be charged with 500 per pop. Nothing wrong, it’s normal, except that the cottage does not have its own comfort room or even a changing room. You need to use the public one.
I hate to say it, but commercializing the place will do more harm than good. I guess the right thing to do here is for people of Bolinao to form a cooperative and build their own tourism zone. This tourism zone should undertake eco-tourism, make the place as lovely as possible without harming the environment. The first thing they should do is ensure that people can swim in that lovely beach. Or, reposition the place not as swimming area but rather as either one of the best snorkeling area or a place for meditation.
And Bolinao, I think, has one of the best sunsets there is, lovelier than the world-class Manila bay sunset. I have seen sunsets in Ilocos, in Sulu, in Lanao, in Davao, in Bataan, in Zambales and even in New York, Singapore and all around—but nothing beats seeing that majestic sun honoring the advent of Night. Such a wonderful sight to behold indeed!
If you want world-class sighting of a sunset, go to Bolinao Pangasinan.