It’s summer time and the heat is on. The last days of our Holy week were spent in Bolinao, Pangasinan. Actually, this isn’t the original plan. We planned to go on tour on Hundred Islands and Bolinao, then changed to Puerto Galera and back here in Bolinao. Unfortunately, almost all the tour packages and resorts are fully booked. Week before this trip, we were literally cramming because we can’t find any available resorts. I started to get frustrated and depressed that time because I don’t want spending my whole vacation week here at home. I really wanna go somewhere far.
Good thing, my boyfriend found out that Puerto Del Sol Resort in Bolinao, Pangasinan has one available room for the weekend. I really got excited for the good news. We coordinated with their counterpart here in Manila and booked our stay for one night only, Saturday to Sunday. The payment was made through bank deposit and should be in full to guarantee your reservation. After the payment, we send the copy of the receipt via email and in return, they send us a voucher for us to present upon arrival at the resort. The transaction was fast even though the agent who assisted us were kind of irritated because we’re asking too many questions. Hey, it’s normal because we wanted all the details clean and sure before we give it a go. 😛
Anyway, we traveled Saturday morning via Victory Bus at around 12:30 am and arrived at Bolinao Town Proper at around 6:00 am. It’s a 6 hours travel but can’t barely notice it because all we did during the whole time was sleeping.
At the town proper, we first looked for the St. James Parish. It’s a very old church which is listed on the itinerary we found at a certain blog when we’re browsing for a Bolinao tour. The church’s location is just a walking distance from the bus terminal and is in front of the Town Hall.
Unluckily, the church is under renovation so we didn’t really saw the original exterior of it. I don’t know why they have to renovate its outside design but I’m guessing that it’s really of old age and needs to do some repair or else it will be ruined anytime.
Outside the church, we found some locals selling a delicacy they call “bamboo rice cake” or in their dialect, “binungey”. It’s similar to a suman only it’s inside a bamboo tube. They sell it for 20 pesos per piece and 3 pieces for 100 pesos.
For our breakfast, we ate at Adora’s Restaurant which is just a few walks behind the church and is also in our itinerary list. Their tapa was out of stock so we ordered a boneless bangus and longganisa instead. We liked the bangus but it’s opposite with the longganisa, it’s not that good. I mean puro taba. The bangusilog costs 100 pesos and the longsilog for 80 pesos.
Afterwards, we asked some locals about the Bolinao Museum and headed there. Unfortunately, it is also under renovation and is temporarily closed. How lucky we were, really! So we decided to go to the resort and asked a tricycle driver to brought us there. His name is Kuya Joey and he also offers a tour. A half day tour costs 300 pesos all in all which includes Enchanted Cave, Rock Formations, Bolinao Lighthouse and Patar Beach. For the whole day tour, it costs 1000 pesos. I don’t know exactly what places are included but I think it’s the falls and other caves.
It took us about 15 to 20 minutes to the resort and costs 150 pesos. Our check-in time is 2:00 pm and it was just around 8:30 am when we arrived. We decided to present the voucher, settle some transactions and leave our luggages in their office so we can have our tour.
Puerto Del Sol is a private beach resort located in Bolinao. In some reviews, this is top 2 in the list of the best resorts here in Bolinao. They have 4 villas (I think) to choose from. In our case, we settled for the Mansion Villa. They have private pools and Jacuzzi. They also have a game room which has a billiard, table tennis, darts and also board games. The resort has a cafe (Cafe Del Sol) inside and a dining area (La Playa) by the beach which has free wifi. They also offer spa and other beach activities. The beach has clear blue waters and white sand.
What I do like when we got inside of it is the bougainvilleas all around. I feel like we’re in Japan ’cause it resembles the cherry blossoms quite a bit. Feeling lang! 😛
After having a small tour of the resort, we texted Kuya Joey to start our Bolinao tour. The Enchanted Cave is our first destination. The entrance fee is 150 per person and a parking fee of 30 pesos for the tricycle. If you will not swim in the cave, you can refund your 50 pesos upon leaving. When we went there, there’s a lot of people already. It’s okay as we really can’t swim that time. The water inside the cave is as clear as the water in the beach. There are also rock formations inside it that they call stalactites. Outside the cave, you can see a slight view of the green trees and plants.
The second on our list is the Rock Formations. The entrance is 50 pesos per person. It kinda reminded me of the rock formations in San Juan, Batangas. They have similarities but in this case, it’s extended to the shore. It is widely distributed along the shore. The beach is also nice as it has clear blue waters and white sand.
Third is the Cape Bolinao Lighthouse. I’m fond of lighthouses ’cause I find it very classy and romantic. A lot of people are taking pictures of it so we don’t get that much shots of the lighthouse. I think it’s not operational anymore but I really wish it is because it will add a more appealing touch to the place and it’s really nice if things or places are still functional even though it is very old.
Last destination is the famous Patar Beach. It’s open for public and has cottage rentals if you wanted to go on a whole day swimming. What I like about this beach is even though it is public, it doesn’t look dirty or something “public” at all (if you know what I mean). The water is very blue and clear, and the sand is very white. It’s almost you’re in Boracay though I haven’t gone there yet.
We went for our little stroll along the vicinity of Patar. We dropped by at a souvenir shop with lots of things to choose from. They sell souvenir T-shirts, refrigerator magnets, displays, key chains and wind chimes made of shells.
It’s lunchtime when we finished the tour and got back to the resort. We ate at La Playa by the beach and ordered their mixed meat platter and frozen fruits salad. According to the resort’s policy, they serve ala carte for lunch, and buffet for dinner and breakfast. For the ala carte, their foods are a bit pricey so it’s a bit smart to choose a buffet. Their food ranges from 350 to 700 pesos.
The room that we got has two beds. It has balcony looking through the pool with a small table and two chairs. It also has a mini fridge, cable TV, dressers for clothes, etc. One bathroom, toilet and shower with heater. All in all the room is nice and comfy.
We had our 3 hours nap and when we woke up, it’s already quarter to 6. The sun is ready to set so we headed immediately to the beach.
Dinner time and it’s turn for our buffet by the beach. It was my first time to experience something like that so I am really happy and kilig because the atmosphere was really romantic. The buffet set has pastas, salads, meat, sea foods, summer desserts like halo-halo and crepes. The dinner buffer costs 550 pesos each exclusive of drinks. We really took our time eating because we were kind of hungry and talking and enjoying the atmosphere.
We wanted to swim a little bit before going to sleep but we’re pretty much bloated because of the amount of food we ate. So we just decided to chill in our room and watch movies.