Let’s talk about cool, creamy, white sand and knee-deep crystal clear waters without the maddening crowd, I’m sure you can only think of a few. Well, 6 hours of travel may be quite butt-numbing but the beauty there is in Bolinao, Pangasinan specifically Patar White Beach is something that all beach people should not miss. I don’t know if the name sounds familiar to you, but you better not forget that name now as it will surely be the next hit beach destination in North Luzon.
Getting there: One may opt to travel directly to Bolinao via Victory Liner in Cubao or Five Star in Cubao and Pasay. Travel is around 5-6 hours but there are stops at Dau, Tarlac and Alaminos. From Bolinao Terminal, you will have to take a tricycle to your preferred beach. Bus rates: Via Victory Liner: 459 php and bus leaves every 40 min to an hour. Check Victory Liner’s Scheduled trips.
Via Five Star: If you are coming from Cubao bus fare is 459php and 469php for those in Pasay Terminal. If you want to take an Ordinary Bus, fare from Cubao is 351php and 359php in Pasay. Check Five Star’s Fare Matrix. Or if you are coming from Lingayen, you can contact Sir Mark at 09273930726. He can serve as your guide as well and take you to different spots in Bolinao.
Accommodation: One may set up a tent, rent a cottage or actually book a room at one of the resorts there is in Patar. Since we were just on a day trip, we only rented a cottage and it cost us 200php. The cottage is also good for those who are staying overnight and is on a budget trip. Not only that you are on a beach front, you can also have a 24 hour access to the beach.
Side trips: You are already in Bolinao so you might as well go and check some of its treasures too. Listed below are those attractions and sights that we were able to actually visit though I won’t recommend going to some of them.
It is not only a bit pricey but I must say too pricey for a cave. Entrance is 150php and that includes the swimming fee. If so happen that you don’t want to take a dip, they will return the 50php.
There is also a separate parking fee: Bus (50 php), Mini bus (40 php), Cars (30 php), Tricycle (20 php) and Motorcycle (15 php). And the life vest which is supposed to be included, comes with a different fee of 30 php.
It’s quite alarming to know how a once famed lighthouse turned into a wall of vandals. Aside from it was too hot, there is basically nothing that you can do since the lighthouse is also close.
If you are ready to eat all the dust and travel on a dirt road, you may now head to Bolinao Falls. It’s a shame on how much potential Bolinao has but government projects for its improvement is not visible or I must say too little. Going back, you can try jumping off a waterfall there or you can do it on a tree. Jumping off the tree alone already scared the hell out of me that I opted not to try jumping off the waterfall.
Don on your most dramatic pose, wait for the waves to crash the rocks, and poof, a new profile picture waiting to be uploaded is born. Or you can wait for the sun to set then you will have one amazing sunset photo by the beach. You can as well ask your friends to come with you, stretch those arms and monopods and get ready for a groupie.
Bottomline: Patar Rock Formation is but a photographer’s haven. Aside from what I have mentioned above, you can also check St. James Church for souvenirs and you can also try Binongey, Bolinao’s Bamboo rice cake. If the road to Tara Falls is already open, you can also check that place.
Itinerary (for a day trip):
23:45 ETD From Cubao Terminal
05:45 ETA Bolinao Terminal
06:00 Breakfast and quick visit to St. James Church
07:00 ETD to Patar White Beach
07:30 ETA at beach of your choice
08:00 Beach bum and free time
12:00 ETD to Cape Bolinao Lighthouse
12:15 ETA at Cape Bolinao Lighthouse
12:30 ETD to Enchanted Cave
13:00 ETA at Enchanted Cave
14:00 ETD to Bolinao Falls
14:30 ETA at Bolinao Falls
15:30 Shower and pack up
16:00 Travel to Bolinao Terminal
16:45 ETD to Manila
22:45 ETA in Manila