With the ever-expanding and growing tourism industry in the Philippines, each province never gets out of something new. They always have these fresh ideas of different perspectives and experiences to tickle the interest of the traveling community and maintaining their homegrown established destinations we could always come back to. The support of respective local government units and assistance from various organizations led to the increasing awareness of their tourism products, thus, spurring their local economies.
The Lakbay Norte 9, a multiday tour in the Northern Philippines, organized by North Philippines Visitors Bureau aims to promote more of the region’s exquisite and thrilling experiences and adventures. In the 5 days being with the tour, here are the activities we had in the provinces of La Union and Pangasinan.
ATV in Lingayen
A pioneering ATV adventure right at the heart of the expansive Lingayen Beach. Managed by TOL Adventures, the track is set on fairly flat sandy soil with the Lingayen Gulf as your backdrop. Perfect for first-timers, the ATV manager would assist you and give you an ATV driving lesson 101. Since you will be driving on an open track, there are guides that would assist you in the right path to avoid collisions.
TOL ATV Rental contact details:
- Mobile: +63 916 748 3526
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @tol_atv_ph
Spelunking adventure that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Located in the town of Bani, it is one of the must-visit spots, thanks to its developed accessibility. For about less than an hour from the national highway, you will reach its jump-off point, passing by scenic rice fields and rolling hills. The trail starts to a descending path leading to the main orifice of the Nalsoc Cave.
The caving activity is best for first-time spelunkers since of its fairly flat and easy trail. Be ready with up to knee-high waters inside the cave. Interesting structures naturally molded by mother nature for millions of years will greet you as you go deep inside the cave.
A colony of bats calls Nalsoc cave as their home. There are other residents inside the cave such as spiders and other insects. Remember not to touch any of the growing stalactites, as chemicals and microbiota from our extremities will hamper or totally halt the growth of stalactites and stalagmites. This activity will require you to don proper footwear to avoid slipping. There are many sharp and jagged rock formations inside the cave and slipping on to them is never a good idea. Always follow what your cave guide instructs you during your entire spelunking activity for your safety, learning, and enjoyment.
The cave is located in Brgy. Colayao, Bani, Pangasinan.
Bani Tourism Contact Details:
- Mobile Number: +63 967 254 9050
- Email: email@example.com
- Facebook Page: Bani Tourism
Commute Instructions: Take any Bolinao bound bus and alight in Bani town proper, then proceed to the Tourism Center. For seamless travel experience, it is suggested to prearrange 2-3 days before arrival for the Nalsoc Cave spelunking adventure.
Surfing in San Juan
La Union province, having a long coastline, enjoys beautiful breaks perfect for surfers. Ranging for beginners and competition zone, the town of San Juan is one of the forefronts in the Philippine Surfing community. Looking for a surfing location in San Juan, I recommend Sebay Surf Resort. They have beachfront accommodations and its own cafe facing the West Philippine sea. Highly recommended stay in San Juan is in Sebay Surf – enjoyed its hippy ambiance, plus it is a beachfront facility.
Contact Sebay Surf Central:
- Mobile: +63 917 640 1118
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook Page: Sebay Surf Central
- Website: SebaySurfCentral.com
Central Underwater Resource Management Action or CURMA, an organization gearing to save the critically endangered sea turtles covering the coastlines of San Juan. Its main thrusts and goals are managed through coastline patrolling and education of the tourism and local stakeholders in San Juan, imposing rules and regulations to protect the nesting sea turtles and reporting of new nests.
Sir Adamore has discussed to us the impact of the sea turtles in our ecosystem, including the species existing in the Philippine Archipelago and its life cycle. Discussed also are tourism and other human activities that disrupt the natural cycle of the sea turtles causing animal confusion leading to poor nesting activities and outcome, even its confused return to the sea. Since the sea turtles play a huge role in keeping the seagrass ecosystem state viable for fish spawning and control of the jellyfish population, CURMA stressed the importance of saving the coastlined and keeping it in its pristine state to foster the increase of nesting sea turtles.
After the discussion, we are treated with plant-based sandwiches and refreshing beverages by SIFCAR, a refreshing way to end a meaningful learning experience.
For sea turtle release schedules, see below contact details:
- Mobile Number: +63 942 366 4519
- Facebook Page: Project CURMA
JB Bernal Bagoong Factory
Thanks to its natural higher than normal air salinity, the town of Lingayen is a lucrative location in manufacturing a Filipino staple seasoning or sidedish (whichever you categorized it) – the bagoong or fermented fish paste. JB Bagoong’s production team has already grown to more than 100 staff in current payroll, through the years.
This is the best place to purchase or possibly horde these native products at its lowest market price. We were given a peek to its production area, and able to see workers preparing the bottles and caps, bottling to labeling and packaging.
You can contact them if you wish to be a distributor
Erected proximal to the sea, the site itself is already a tourist destination. Its beautiful facade rimmed with greenery is a perfect backdrop for your selfie. The capitol building features an example of Neoclassic American Architectural design. Leading to the building core is the picturesque spiral stairwell adorned with a classic stunning chandelier.
We are given access to the official hall where sessions are held. The interior design features original wooden fixtures and accents with a high ceiling.
A rooftop stair access leads to a view deck overviewing the surrounding park and the Lingayen Gulf.
Pakwan Festival Bazaar
Bani’s crowd-drawing event led us to check their bazaar. Teeming with kiosks featuring native and homegrown products, we are able to learn different skills that Bani locals have. We are able to witness the actual creating of a bamboo steamer, I am awed on how the woman effortlessly shaped and molded the steamer using her hands and few tools.
Since watermelon is the main star of the festivals, we are able to try different varieties and ways to serve the refreshing fruit.
One of the prominent facades in the town of Agoo, one would really notice its beautiful architecture and its timeless beauty.
This church has a unique feature, a columbarium buried underground where prominent people are laid. Nuns and priests are the one in priority to be buried here.
The church interiors feature elegant ceiling and dome, window glass mosaics, intricate chandeliers and an awe-inspiring retablo. The church is located in front of the Jose D. Aspiras Civic Center, and beside the national highway.
- Official Name: Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Charity
- Founding Year: 1578
- Architectural type: Mexican-Baroque
Ma Cho Temple
A distinguishing iconic oriental structure that made it to the tourism map of La Union. The temple sits atop on a higher elevation and has a commanding view of downtown and the sea. Be amazed at the beautiful architectural details and experience on how the locals pay they respect here. Would advise to be cautious and to respect their regulations their.
The temple is of Taoist faith to the Chinese sea goddess Mazu. It is located in San Fernando, La Union.
- Year Built: 1977
- Elevation: 70 meters ASL
RELAXATION AND BLISS
Oldwoods by the Sea
A splendid multilevel resort perched on a hilly and rocky terrain offering a spectacular view of the West Philippine Sea. The resort offers a quiet and secluded ambiance perfect for couples, family or corporate getaways. With its individually designed theme rooms and superb outdoor amenities, it is a true getaway that you would surely enjoy. One that is noticeable is the many stairways designed with driftwoods connecting different room levels.
The accommodations and amenities are designed to blend with natural elements already existing in the area. Imagine walking under decades-old trees and more greeneries that are truly relaxing and rewarding.
Also, they offer buffet breakfast which is served early morning until 10:00AM.
The resort features:
- Individually themed spacious rooms
- Elegantly designed Reception
- Open Air Cafe and Dining Area
- Multiple Pocket Instagrammable Gardens
- High Ceiling Function Halls
The resort is located at Sitio Olanen, Dacap Sur, Bani, Pangasinan and cellular signal is weak (in some areas within the resort) to none with both networks.
- Mobile: +63 919 008 7155, +63 917 709 0892, +63 917 961 1506
- Landline: +63 2 8251 7935
- Email: email@example.com
- Facebook Page: Old Woods by the Sea
- Website: OldWoodsByTheSea.ph
About less than an hour’s drive from the town center of Bani, you will be led to this serene beachfront property featuring developed parks and accommodations. The beach features lots of rock formations perfect for your selfie backdrops.
We arrived here during the golden hour and was able to experience another spectacular sunset.
Agoo Eco World Fun
Fronting a beach stretch, this Agoho trees laden park is one of the destinations were locals and tourists relax and enjoy its amenities. It has a small lake where grazing cows can find hydration, view of the nearby mountains and a mangrove forest featuring a raised walkway. The Agoho trees exude pine tree-like characteristic, however, of different tree species.
A small lake seats in between the tree line and the sea, forming a wide clearing for grazing cows and enjoying the expansive view of skies linking the sea. This is the spot in the park I did really spent most of the time during our visit. A paved road continues until you reach the shoreline, a usual gray sandy beach with existing huts for visitors to rent during their stay. You can try to fly a kite from here.
The park is located in Sta. Rita, Agoo, province of La Union.
Thank you to our Lakbay Norte 9 Sponsors: