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Bolinao, Sportfishing Mecca of Northwestern Luzon 

Aerial shot of port.jpg (27964 bytes)
Aerial photo of Barangays Arnedo, Concordial, Germinal & Luciente
with the only fishing port and breakwater in the lower left-hand corner
of the photo
 
Brief History
 
    Bolinao was founded by Capt. Pedro Lombi in 1575, an island known as "Binabalian" meaning "old town" with few hundred settlers. However, it was transferred later to Bolinao mainland due to piratical molestation.
    In 1585, Father Esteban Marinas, the first Augustinian priest, started the evangelization of the town.
    In 1607, a Roman Catholic Church was built. This Hispanic church building still remains intact and is presently considered as one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. It is also one of the landmark and tourist attractions of Bolinao.
    Bolinao and other western Pangasinan towns were once part of Zambales. It was the year 1903 when Bolinao and other western towns were transferred to Pangasinan due to its proximity to the capital town of Lingayen.
   
Location
 
    Bolinao is situated at the northwestern tip of Pangasinan and the Lingayen Gulf. It is bounded on the north and west by China Sea, on the south by the rolling hills and plateaus of Bani, and on the east by Kakiputan Channel; this body of water separates Bolinao from the only island town of Pangasinan -- Anda -- which is formerly part of Bolinao.
    It is approximately 274 kilometers north of Manila via Camiling town of Tarlac, 79 kilometers away from the capital town of Lingayen, 98.5 kms. away from Dagupan City, 115 kms. away from San Carlos City and 125 kms. away from Urdaneta, Pangasinan.
    Regular trips to the municipality are available with Dagupan Bus Co., Five Star, Victory Liner, Philippine Rabbit, Times Transit, Byron Express and scores of mini-buses going from Bolinao to Dagupan and vice-versa. Jeepneys also ply the Alaminos-Bolinao routes while motorized bancas make trips between the island barangays. A one hour boat ride is also available from San Fernando, La Union to Bolinao.
 
Land area and Land use
 
    Bolinao has 23,320 hectares of land area. It is subdivided into the following:
47.13% agricultural, built-up area 2.02%, infrastructure/institutional 10.84%, pasture land 11.07%, forest area 8.09%, fishpond 2.74%, brushland and open range 16.25% and rivers and creeks 1.85%.
Aerial shot of reef flat of Silaqui Is.jpg (33279 bytes)
Aerial photo of Silaqui Island and part of the 14 mile barrier reef system
near Santiago Island
 
Sport Fishing
    Bolinao is also known as the fish basket of Pangasinan because of the 14 mile barrier reef located within its area at the mouth of the Lingayen Gulf. As such a variety of fishes are caught in the waters off Bolinao. Due to the diversity of marine life, Bolinao was chosen by the University of the Philippines to be the location for the UP Marine Station Institute.
    These include monster 50++ kilo giant trevally (talakitok)blue marlin, sailfish (susay), barracuda, king mackerel (tanguigue), needlefish (batalay), yellowfin tuna, skipjack tunadorado (mahi-mahi), grey snapper and bluefish.
For more information on these gamefish, checkout the gamefish section.
    Due to its natural haven of these popular game fishes, two sport fishing association, the Philippine Game Fishing Foundation and the Philippine Sport Fishing Club based in Manila regularly hold its yearly heavy tackle tournament at Bolinao.
      Fishing arrangements can be made through Mang Eddie's fishing charter.
Tourism
    The location of the town is very suitable for the tourism business due to its beautiful and scenic beaches, rivers, creeks and the like.
    The people are friendly and accommodating to tourists and the town has yet to be commercialized like Boracay.
    Up to now, Bolinao remains a quaint little town where people can escape the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy the numerous tourist spots in and around the area.
    At present, it has several tourist resorts which cater to both local and foreign visitors. These tourist facilities have room accommodations available at regular prices and are located nearby the town proper.
    For more information on contacting these resorts, please contact me at:
    There is also several other resorts concentrated in the western most tip of Bolinao in Barangay Patar where one can find the one of best white sand beaches in Pangasinan.
    In addition, there is also a resort located in Santiago island. Access by land vehicle is possible via a Ferry Boat (accommodates a maximum of two vehicles aside from passengers) located in Barangay Guiguiwanen, about 10 minutes from the town proper. A ferry ride takes about 5 to 10 minutes only, traversing the Kakiputan channel about half a kilometer wide. The ferry is open daily from 7 AM to 5 PM with regular hourly trips back and forth.
1-800-ASK-KEEN (1-800-275-5336) extension: 067559 
(For more info on calling me, visit keen.com) 
($1.50 per minute charge will apply for US residents only, Callers based from other countries will pay additional overseas telephone charges)
    Other tourist spots which have potential for development are Bolinao Falls, Cape Bolinao Lighthouse, which is the second highest lighthouse in the Philippines, Nanaytayan Cave, Bolinao National Museum, Guiguiwanen Beach, Balingasay Beach, Abrac Beach, and Fatima Hill.
Products
 
    Major agricultural crops include rice, mango, peanuts, shellcraft, salt, coconut, and cashew, while some industries presently produce charcoal and buri mats. Pacific Farm Inc., located at Barangay Zaragoza, produces solar salt and Fidel salt in commercial quantity. Bolinao is also noted for a breed of fighting cocks known as "Bolinao Texas" or "BOLTEX" which is famous among cockpit aficionados for its cockfighting prowess.
 
Business
 
    Bolinao has one rural bank, 3 lending investors, scores of groceries, hardware stores, 3 gasoline stations, 4 pharmacies, and other business establishments. It also has numerous fish pens and a fish port.

Culled from Guide to Pangasinan Resource, 1995 and the author's personal knowledge