municipality of the Philippines in the province of Pangasinan

Bolinao is a rural municipality in Pangasinan. It is approximately 375 km by land from Manila.


Bolinao Falls

Bolinao began as a settlement composed of a little over a hundred families under Captain Pedro Lombi. Established in 1575 at a point called Binabalian, on the northern coast of Santiago Island. The rampant attacks and raids of Moro pirates urged Capitan Lombi (maybe with a little goading from Spanish Governor General Legaspi aka Adelantado) to transfer the town-site to the mainland and accordingly, with the aid of Fr Geronimo de Castro, he finally founded the town in 1596 near Libsong where a clear spring of about two meters in diameter kept lumping.

By this spring grew a boli-bolinao tree of the molave family with luxuriant foliage from which was derived the present name of the town. Under this tree the affairs of the town were administered while stone walls were piled nearby as corner-stone of the Roman Catholic Church which was finally completed in 1609, thirteen years after the transfer of the town site.

Legends relate that during the first days of the Spanish era, a beautiful lass who answered to the call of "Anao" (diminutive of Juana) lived in the present site of town. She used to bathed in the spring or leisured under the "boli-bolinao" tree for hours where she was first seen and wooed by a chieftain's son living across the channel. An early marriage followed with the condition among others, that the seat of government of the chieftain be transferred to where Anao lived and there, to stay as rulers, hence the name of Bolinao (from the Boli-bolinao tree).

Some say that the name Bolinao originates from the combination of Bolidnu (meaning round and robust), the name of a local chieftain, and Malinao(meaning clear as the Libsong spring), a girl.

Get in

  • By land, it's a 5- to 6-hour trip by car or bus from Metro Manila or 30-60 minutes by car or bus from Alaminos.
  • Victory Liner, Inc. offers trips from Manila to either Bolinao or Alaminos.
  • Five Star Bus Liner, Dagupan Bus also offer trips to Pasay and Cubao
  • Van trips also travel to Bolinao to Dagupan vice versa.

Get around


Local travel is usually by jeepney or tricycle. Otherwise, it's a long walk from anywhere in Bolinao if you decide to travel at night.

Cape Bolinao Light House
  • 1 Cape Bolinao Light House. Circa 1905.
  • 2 Church of St. James Fortress.  
  • 3 Bolinao Falls. There are 3 falls in this area: Bolinao Falls 1, 2, and 3, all in a relative east-west line on the Bolinao River. Just follow the crowd or ask for directions if needed. Really nice curtain falls and emerald pools you can swim in. Also there are resorts here if you decide you'd like to stay a while.
  • 4 Enchanted Cave (off Patar Rd). Very grotto-like, with cross and Mary figure.
  • 5 Cindys Cave. Subterranean pools so wear your aqua booties and hopefully the water is fairly clean. ₱100.
  • 6 Balingasay River, Upland Two Road, Barangay Estanza. Open 24 hours. Balingasay river is one of the rivers in the Philippines that is awarded as the cleanest river. The water is flowing from the sea so the water is salty specifically near the bridge where children are jumping into the river. A variety of fish are living here. Beside the river is a restaurant where you can buy food and pay for a river cruise. This river cruise takes you for a ride and explore the river for a total of 1 hour river ride. If you really want to explore and swim in the river, you can rent a boat and look for a place you want to swim. Or maybe you can join the children swimming and jumping off the bridge. Free.  
  • 7 Batong Bugtong (Bolinao Rock), Coco Pola Beach. Open 24 hours. A big rock formation. Free.

It's a great place to relax and unwind if you just want to get away from it all. Otherwise, you may take a swim, go kayaking, get a massage, and nap under the cool breeze of the sea.

  • 1 Patar White Sand Beach. One of those knockout beaches that make a lot of lists for reason of its beauty and warm, calm, tropical surf.
  • 2 Cape Bolinao Beach (Patar Beach). Very inviting.
  • 3 Tondol White Beach, near Anda municipality. Calm breakwater and white sand.

Some foods you may want to try in Bolinao: Binuguey, pinitpit, sea urchin, sarisari, clams, sugpo, and danggit.





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