Scenic Passage from Pangasinan to Baguio
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When you are already in Pangasinan, take the chance to venture further up north to the country’s mountain cities, for instance, Baguio City.
Though the travel time to Baguio from Pangasinan’s scenic cities like Bolinao and Alaminos takes about five to six hours, the same time as traveling from Manila, the ride offers a wonderful glimpse of some of the northern provinces’ diverse characteristics, like Pangasinan itself and its expansive territory, La Union and Benguet.
Travelling before sunrise
A trip that leaves Bolinao at 5 am guarantees a comfortable passage on the curvy road to Alaminos, amid mountains that give a perfect view of the sunrise.
By 7:30 to 8 am, the bustling hub of Dagupan looms in, aptly ringing a wake up call to sleepy drivers and passengers.
For a city that is tucked within the fertile valley of Agno River and the end of the long Bued River, Dagupan has a bounteous source of Bangus (Milkfish), hence is the perfect place to shop for this fresh fish at a low price.
To public transport travellers, this financial and commercial district in North Luzon is the common stopover of provincial buses, where most bus liners like Victory Liner endorse Baguio passengers to another bus, which leaves almost instantly upon boarding and right on schedule.
Where a longer visit time in Dagupan is not needed, the scenery on the road then progresses into a heritage streak of buildings including the 1768 Parish of Saint Fabian, Pope and Martyr Church and pre-World War II houses.
Further up, perhaps an hour and a half from Dagupan is Rosario, the first municipality of La Union where the Bued River continues to flow. This agricultural city reflects the community’s simplistic lifestyle that is based on its fertile soil and wonderful beaches.
For private trips, Rosario is the access city to Kennon Road, which takes less than an hour of steep climb up to Baguio; for public commuters, it is a city that precedes Agoo, where the climb up along Marcos Highway-cum-Agoo-Baguio starts.
Marcos Highway No More
Next to Agoo is Pugo, still a city of La Union, which not only was the site of ex-President Marcos’s massive bust before its destruction in 2002, but also the home of Asin Hot Springs and Tapuacan River, noted as the Cleanest Inland River of the North.
Officially known as Aspiras-Palispis Highway, the former Marcos Highway offers a longer, wider and safer route for public transports, especially for big buses. It also opens up to spectacular scenery in Benguet Province’s long Cordillera Mountain Range.
As the road leads further up with clouds touching the mountaintops, the air feels cleaner and cooler, giving a fascinating ride into the curves, slopes and high ravines of the mountain range enhanced with some ingenious creations of rice terraces.
While beyond such lush beauty of dense pine trees is the wide backdrop of modern civilization; a pine city perturbed with a hodgepodge of cement houses and nonstop construction, that is Baguio City.
And yet, a more crucial change in conserving mother nature in Baguio is needed so that we and the future generations could continue to enjoy it.