Bus Ride to Bolinao, Pangasinan
My only recollection of Pangasinan was during family trips to Baguio with my dad in my younger years.
I had known this partly as the province of the famous Hundred Island, as well as the last province before driving up the zigzag Kennon Road in Benguet toward Baguio City.
So now, less than 20 years later, I received an invitation to visit Bolinao, a coastal municipality in Pangasinan.
The invitation came from Michael Parayno, an adventurer, who with his wife, Joanna shares a successful venture in dehydrated vegetable snacks and a pristine beach resort, called Birdland Beach Club, perched in his wife’s ancestral town.
With another beautiful destination in mind, I decided to share the experience with a very dear friend and her four-year old son in joining Luna and me on an exciting journey to Pangasinan…and beyond.
Road Trip to Pangasinan
Overcoming a budget challenge, we had set out to pack some healthy food-to-go, comprising of boiled eggs, bananas, mangoes, packed oatmeal, crackers, raw honey, and some dehydrated vegetable chips to bring along the bus that was supposed to take seven hours Bus Ride to Bolinao, Pangasinan.
In order to guarantee our children a peaceful ride, we got on the 2240h schedule of Victory Liner to Bolinao. Other buses like Dagupan Bus Co. in Cubao and Five Star Transit in Pasay also travel to Bolinao, offering roughly the same price. We simply chose Victory Liner (official website) out of familiarity.
Right on schedule, we took off at the terminal in Cubao, near New York St., paying 459php for each adult only, as the evening schedule usually affords spare seats for children-on-lap.
Prepare to Protect your Senses
Taking the public buses on a long road trip has its advantages. It allows you to sit and rest, possibly sleep throughout the long ride, with the assurance that you will arrive at your destination smoothly.
However, relying on a sleep-challenged driver and conductor to lead the bus means that they would be turning on the lights most of the time and employing every possible way to keep them awake and amused.
This connotes succumbing to action-packed movies with special effects and dramatic dialogues screeching in high volumes through the wide LCD screen; in addition to nearby passengers playing with their own pad on a competitive volume mode.
The best compromise to this situation is to prep up with earplugs or a compact music player with earphones and an eye pad, or to strive to sit detached from all disturbances and meditate.
Evening Trips for Smoother, Shorter Rides
A Bus Ride to Bolinao from from Cubao normally takes 7 hours long during the day, inclusive of 2 stops, due to normal road congestion in towns along the way.
But at night, the buses are afforded with clear roads, cutting the travel time by two hours, despite no-hurried washroom breaks in Dau and Tarlac.
Thus, at 4am, we were already at the Victory Liner terminal in Bolinao getting a tricycle ride to our destination, the Birdland Beach Club.
Bolinao, as I have later gathered, is also known as the Boracay of Pangasinan with fine golden sandy beach as one of its many tourist destinations.
In the municipality of Patar, which house the golden sands of Patar Beach, there are the province’s most amazing natural sites like majestic falls flowing from limestone cliffs, a crystalline lake within a cave, a salt farm, and more.
Our most urgent destination, however was the Birdland Beach Club, where a much deserved relaxation beckoned.