Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Western Pangasinan

Pangasinan is among Luzon's most populous provinces.
The province is bordered by La Union to the north, Nueva Ecija to the east, Tarlac to the south, and Zambales and the South China Sea to the west.

The western side of the province, if coming from Manila, starts with the municipalities of Mangatarem and Aguilar, further north-west to Bugallon, Labrador, Sual, Alaminos, Bani, Anda and Bolinao; also the towns of Agno, Dasol and Infanta.

Among the major tourist spots in this part of the province are:

(1) Mangatarem:

a) Mangatarem church -- lots of bats living in the church! they sleep at daytime, come out evening to look for food. The church is still being used for mass and other activities; the bats don't harm people, they just hang up there on the high ceiling. The church is in the town proper, just beside the highway.

b) Manleluag hot spring -- plenty of trees, managed by the DENR. It has 3 swimming pools, one for children, 2 for adults; the biggest pool is from 4ft to 10 feet deep; entrance fee only P15/head, but can have plenty of people at times especially during holidays. The place is
about 7.3 kms. from the highway, 5kms. dirt road, the rest is paved.

(2) Aguilar:
a) Aguilar church -- middle between a modernist and old church; there are also a few bats on the ceiling, but not as many as those in Mangatarem church. This is also in the town proper, and right beside the highway.

b) Sitio Mapita -- an agricultural village by migrants from the Cordillera, mostly from Benguet. This is about 15 kms. from the highway, the road is narrow and mostly unpaved; paved or cemented roads are in steep portions to avoid landslides and early road deterioration. The view at the top is good as you will see the lowlands and mountain rangers, except that the mountains are mostly bald and heavily deforested.

(3) Bugallon
a) Mt. zion Pilgrim mountain -- it has a chapel and retreat house on a hill, shiny and expensive-looking statues, elaborate altars, chandeliers and marble tiles. On another side of the hills are the 14 stations-way of the cross. Here, the concrete statues are more than 6 feet tall; station 1 alone ("the last supper") is about 15 meters long. If you want to walk from stations 1 to 14 ("Jesus resurrection"), that will be about 400 meters walk, the last station on a high hill, but with 360 degrees view of the surroundings.
The place is about 5 kms. from the highway, 4 kms. paved, the last km. rough road, but manageable even for small cars.

b) Millent Agro-forest farm -- this is the farm that I am managing. Mostly mango and forest trees plantation. Our mangos are all fruit-bearing, average age of around 20-25 years old. Our forest trees are mostly mahogany (average age of 10-13 years old), with patches of acacia auri, gmelina, narra, and molave. Our place is about 1 km. further from the pilgrim mountain. More of this in another posting.

(4) Labrador
a) Covelandia du Labrador -- a new and modern resort, clean and big swimming poools, or one can plunge into the sea which is just a few meters from the pools.

(5) Sual

(6) Alaminos
a) Hundred Islands -- a famous tourist spot...

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