Alaminos: More Than Just the Hundred Islands
A travel journal that will give you a pleasant view of people, places, food, culture, history and events from a refreshing perspective
ALAMINOS has always been synonymous to Hundred Islands. The Hundred Islands National Park (Kapulo-puloan or Taytay-Bakes in the Pangasinan vernacular), composed of 123 islands during high tide is Alaminos city’s (and perhaps Pangasinan’s) largest and famous tourist attraction. It’s always summer in Alaminos as they say; as there are a lot of activities to indulge in all year round. You could choose from zipline, climbing, rapelling, helmet diving, bat & bird watching, jetski, kayaking island hopping, parasailing, swimming or plain fun in the white sand! A third zipline system was opened last June 21, 2017. It is 350 meters long and is motorized so it has the capability to take you to Quezon island to Lopez island and vice versa. Tourists can now island hop from the Quezon island via the zipline and swim at Lopez island. Another activity that was added is paraw sailing. A paraw is a monosail fishing vessel in Lucap Bay and neighboring areas.
But Alaminos is more than just the Hundred islands. It offers other tourist attractions and places of interest that many tourists may have overlooked or are unacquainted with. There are two mangrove farms in Alaminos, located in Brgy. Sabangan and Brgy. Bued. The Mangrove Park in Brgy. Bued houses the Mangrove Propagation and Information Center which was put up and maintained by the Metro Pacific Investments Foundation through its Shore It UP Program and in partnership with the City Government of Alaminos. It is a center for information, protection and propagation of mangroves. Its view deck provides a majestic view of the mangrove trees and a picturesque glimpse of the open sea leading to the islands. If you decide to eventually go for island hopping, one can ride a boat from the dock beside the mangrove center. There is also a salt farm before the entrance of the park in case you wanted to know and observe how salt is made. A few kilometers from the Mangrove park is Bolo beach in Brgy. Pandan. It is a horseshoe-shaped beach lined with resorts and a small fishing village. If you want to avoid the crowd of the Hundred islands, this could be your beach destination in Alaminos. Its waves are not rough and the water is waist-deep (unless you go way farther from the shore), making it a family-friendly beach. If you are interested in caves, there are up to 14 caves identified and assessed within the city, where four are located in the mainland. Well known caves such as Cuenco cave and Imelda cave are located in the HINP.
Another place to visit is Alaminos’ church. The Cathedral of St. Joseph is deeply entwined with the city’s history. The first town church was built in 1770 when Alaminos was still called Sarapsap (derived from a river or sitio of the same name, thus salapsap means ‘cascade). It has been burned twice and rebuilt until it became a cathedral in 1985 as Alaminos was created into a diocese. At present, the cathedral, a survivor of a survivor of fire, raids, and natural disasters; stands on the spot chosen by the town’s pioneers more than 200 years ago.
A visit to Alaminos is not complete without buying the Alaminos longganisa, a favorite pasalubong. You can easily spot an Alaminos longganisa with its signature toothpick separating each longganisa. Another must try is the longganisa bun which you can order at Harina Jesu bakeshop, a local bakery in the city.
Alaminos City was also recently declared as drug free, the first city in Region 1 to be declared as such. Certainly, this will further boost the city’s already blossoming tourism.
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