The North Vista

Revisiting Lingayen

by @SiRVis

 

A travel journal that will give you a pleasant view of people, places, food, culture, history and events from a refreshing perspective

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LINGAYEN is one of the towns that I frequent the most. It is just about 30 minutes drive from Dagupan and very accessible with jitneys and buses plying the route. I’ve always enjoyed the casual late afternoon walks along Lingayen “Orange” beach and the Lingayen Baywalk. But with my penchant for history and nostalgia, I always make sure to have a side trip and tour friends to some historical places in the “heart, soul and face” of Pangasinan.

One should not miss to visit the captivating and majestic Pangasinan Provincial Capitol. Without bias and with Pangasinan pride, I can say that it is the most beautiful capitol building in the Philippines rivaling the grandeur of the capitols of Davao Oriental, Leyte and Negros Occidental. Did you know that the building was declared as one of the eight architectural treasures of the Philippines by the National Commission for Culture and Arts?

Just across the Capitol Building is the Urduja House. The official governor’s residence built in 1953, is named after the legendary Pangasinan warrior princess, Urduja. Provincial Chief Tourism Officer Malou Elduayan has informed me that Urduja House is open to the public for tours on Mondays to Fridays during office hours and the receptionist can provide commentaries. On weekends, special tour arrangements may be made with the Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office prior to the target schedule.

A noteworthy place also open for scheduled visits is the Ramos Ancestral House/ Museum. Located at Primicias St., it is just a short walk from the President Hotel at Maramba Blvd. It is the ancestral home of the former president Fidel V. Ramos. One has to contact Ms. Rhoda Madrid at 09088983641 for a planned visit.

Situated at the corner of Bengson St. just near the town plaza, is another ancestral house that one should visit. The Bengson-Yuson ancestral house, built in the early 18th century, is one of the oldest standing houses in Lingayen town. It was donated by the Bengson-Yuson families and rehabilitated by the provincial government with the technical aid of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. The edifice now houses the Center for Pangasinan Studies and the Pangasinan Historical and Cultural Commission office. It is currently undergoing office refurbishments.

One building in Lingayen that I’m excited to drop by at (when restorations are finished) is the Casa Real. The Casa Real, built in the 1840s served as the provincial seat of government of Pangasinan during the Spanish occupation. A “royal house’, it was where the Alcalde Mayor held office as the Provincial Governor and the Judge of the Court of First Instance. It is just across the town plaza and between the municipal building and provincial jail. It was declared a historical landmark by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. Phase 2 of Casa Real has been completed. Restoration works under Phase 3 shall commence soon after the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) funding is transferred or released to the provincial government that implements the restoration works. The province will set up the Museo de Pangasinan at Casa Real. It will then be part of Casa Real’s main feature once it is open to the public either late this year or early next year.