This post has been a long time coming. I should’ve posted this last year (as the title states, obviously~) but I was really distracted and, to be honest, I kinda didn’t want to continue my blog anymore. Anyways! It’s already 2017 and I’ve decided to change my habits and mindset. I have a few challenges for myself and I would very much like it if I could follow them through and not be meaningless ‘New Year’s Resolution’ once again.
Okay~ on to the topic. Last year my friends and I decided to have a year-ender-out-of-town trip (Dec.27-30). After debating and considering our budget, we decided to go to Bolinao, Pangasinan for this adventure.
How to get there…
We found 2 bus companies that offers trips to Bolinao; Victory Liner (Cubao) and Five Star Bus (Pasay/Cubao). We chose the Five Star Bus (Pasay) as it is the nearest one from our apartment. Since our travel days were during Christmas season, We went really early to the terminal. Please note that bus companies tend to have broken schedules, meaning they do not have fixed schedule for bus arrival and departure. Chambahan ang pagsakay and pagdating ng mga bus. So, if you are traveling on Christmas season, go to the terminal really early. But if you’re traveling on regular days, you could opt to book bus tickets ahead of time.
Travel time from Manila to Bolinao takes more or less 7 hours, depends on the traffic situation (LOL). Going to Bolinao the bus would have two rest-stops; When going back to Manila, the bus would have three rest-stops. So, pack some snacks and water for the long trip.
|Air-Condition Fare||Ordinary Fare|
Where we stayed…
Months before our Bolinao Escapade, we booked our hotel. I would also advise doing this, as the hotel of your choice might run out of available rooms (you know, filipino bakasyonistas during Christmas). Even as we booked our hotel room, the staff notified us that only few rooms are left as there would be three, yes three wedding reception event on those dates so most of the guests would be booked in the hotel. Luckily they still have a room good for 3pax.
We stayed at El Pescador Resort Hotel, it’s only a 5 minute tricycle ride from the town proper. I know this isn’t the most budget friendly hotel booking. Haha! It’s Christmas season anyway! So we kinda bumped our budget up. There’re a lot of other hotels and transient places to rent there. You could look it up if you want to stick on the budget. We stayed at El Pescador for 3 nights. Their room rates vary from 1,000php to 12000php depending on the size of the room. The rooms they have are cozy and have a lot of space. Rooms are air-conditioned and you have your own refrigerator. Bathrooms are okay (this I could guarantee because I am with a friend who’s very picky about bathrooms. Haha!). The food… I advise you to buy food outside of the resort instead. Their breakfast meals are okay, but the other dishes I am not so fond of. What we noticed is it’s not freshly cooked like most in-hotel restaurants do. But we did enjoy the sea view while eating, sooo… ^^~
Another thing to note is, opt for rooms on the lower floors. The elevator on the Seaside Grand building doesn’t work most of the time. We got a room on the 5th floor but transferred to the 2nd floor because it is tiring to go up and down the building. Service is great, staffs are friendly and helpful.
Where we ate and make gala, gala…
Since we went there to chill, we did not aim to go to every hot-spot there. Instead we chose to go to the most recommended places, namely, Bolinao Falls, Enchanted Cave and Patar Beach. I recommend to rent out a tricycle for your whole day gallivanting. It’s quite hard to hail tricycle for every stop you are going to. We contracted the tricycle driver that brought us to the Hotel the previous day. The whole day rent costs us 1,500.00php.
For Bolinao Falls, there’s an entrance fee of 50.00php per head but you’re free to use the cottages; Enchanted Cave have a 150.00php entrance fee; As for Patar Beach, there’s no entrance fee but the cottages are for rent. We didn’t rent a cottage since we’ll only be there until sun set.
We went to Bolinao Falls 2 as our tricycle driver told us that Bolinao Falls 1 is crowded. The roads going there, for the most part, is not yet paved. So the tricycle ride is extremely bumpy. Pero grabe! All those bumps and dust is worth it. The water there is unbelievably clear~ and the water is cold. I don’t know, maybe because it’s the Christmas season, there’s less people there. We were able to enjoy swimming.
We finished enjoying the Bolinao Falls water at around lunch time. So we decided to eat first before we go to our next stop. As we did some research, Bolinao Sungayan Grill is the most recommended restaurant there. It’s a bit far from our current location and we have to go through another series of unpaved roads. The only thing I am regretting is not booking a reservation for Sungayan Grill. When we came there most of the food on the menu is not available. We were planning to have the Boodle Fight but we weren’t able too *sadlife~*. But still, the available food were DAEBAK~!
We buy most of our meals outside, as I have mentioned earlier. Ah, also, the town proper doesn’t have Mini Stop, Seven Eleven or any 24 hours convenient stores. But, the market there is big and they have everything you’ll need.
After the filling meal, we went to the Enchated Cave. If the waters in the falls is clear, mygolay~ the water inside the cave is clearer! Even if it’s dark inside, I could clearly see my feet below. I think we stayed there for about 30-to-40 minutes before heading out to Patar Beach, our last stop. Again we rode the tricycle going there. The sun is about to set so it’s a very great timing. As supposedly, sunset at Patar Beach is more beautiful than Manila Bay’s.
There’s a lot of people there, but it is not as crowded as I expected. The sand is very fine, it feels good on the feet. The waves are also so strong~ and the sunset is indeed something. My work office is located at Manila, in front of Manila Bay, so I get to see amazing sunset everyday. But sunset at Patar Beach is different. Maybe because of the beach and the strong waves, but it is… romantic? beautiful? breathtaking? Ah~ I cannot simply put it into words. It’s the kind of view where you could meditate, relax. The kind of view to beautifully conclude our day of adventure.