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An Eden north of Manila                                

beach.gif (20587 bytes)A harbor, a haven. A marine sanctuary. An Eden north of Manila. A rich archaeological site. The home of the fiercest fighting cocks known far and wide as "Bolinao Texas" and now emerging as the bangus aquaculture center in Pangasinan as it produces the plump and succulent "Bolinao Bangus"

Dubbed as Pangasinan's "Gateway to the World", BOLINAO lies at the northwestern-most tip of Pangasinan.  Nestled in a relatively isolated locale, this haven is bounded on the north and west by the vast expanse of the South China Sea, on the east by the Lingayen Gulf, on the south by the rolling hills and plateaus of Bani.   Once a part of Zambales, this third-class municipality occupies about 23,320 hectares of  hilly and rolling terrain.  Comprising four islands, the largest of which is Santiago Island with myriad potentials, Bolinao is divided into 30 barangays including Patar.

From where did this town derive its name?  This remote fishing enclave got its name from the fish piece "monamon" but commonly called "Bolinao" by the Tagalogs, Bicolanos and the Visayans.  A theory also points out that once upon a time "pamulinawen" trees grew luxuriantly along its shores, thus, the Ilocano migrants who crossed the Lingayen Gulf named it phonetically similar to the name of the tree.  Nowadays, however, such tree does not exist anymore.

Legend also relates that during the first days of the Spanish era, a lovely lass nicknamed "Anao" lived at the present site of the town proper.   She used to bathe leisurely for hours under the Boli-Bolinao tree where a chieftain's son who lived across the channel first saw her and then wooed. An early marriage ensued but with the condition, among others, that the seat of the chieftain's government be moved to the place where Anao lived. There they were to stay rulers, hence the name of Bolinao, Boli-Bolinao and Anao.

Some claimed that the chieftain's son was named "Bolido" which means round and robust while the lady was "Malinao" or as clear as the Libsong Spring. The combination of which became the name of the town.


  • Lighthouses of Bolinao       Home [Bolinao

    Refuge and Haven  

    Bolinao is famous for its two lighthouses:  1)  The Cape Bolinao Lighthouse in baranggay Patar is the tallest in the country second to the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse in Ilocos Norte. It warns sea vessels to stay away from the offshore reefs and huge rocks; 2) Port Bolinao Lighthouse in Guiguiwanen, barangay Luciente 1 is a refuge, a haven to boats and ships in time of storm with its deep harbor.  tower2..gif (30114 bytes)

    The lighthouse provides a panoramic view of a portion of the 1,269 hectare cape Bolinao Dendro Thermal Ipil-Ipil Plantation on a land area considered part of the nation's 4th and 15th influence archaeological site.

    Near the lighthouse is the country's choice white sand beach and clear sea with its lush corals where underwater scenes of Charlene Gonzales "Dyesebel" and Ruffa Gutierrez "Pinakama-gandang Hayop" were filmed.

    The cape Bolinao Lighthouse Station has to keep its light burning 365 nights year round to guide vessels at sea, the area being the international ocean passage to Hongkong, Japan, USA and other countries.

    Filipino, British and American engineers constructed the lighthouse in 1905.

    According to the Bureau of Geodetic Survey, the land elevation is 250 feet.  The height of the tower is 101 feet from base to the light hitting the focal lens of the revolving big lens. Visibility is 20 miles at midsea towards the lighthouse in Poro Point.

    The original third order apparatus was manufactured in England and the lantern with 3 wicks and chimneys were imported from France, hence the difficulty of replacing worn out spare parts.  However, the ingenuity of Filipino machinists have succeeded in copying the original.

    The light machine is rotated by a system of gears like that of a big clock with pendulum of weights, winded and suspended with stell cable.

    The lamp of the lighthouse station was fueled by kerossene for the first 80 years of its operation until the Pangasinan I Electric  Cooperative (PANELCO I) extended its power lines in barangay Patar and 4 other barangays involved in the dendro ipil-ipil plantation development and operations of the 3.3 magawatt ipil-ipil wood feed power plant at the start of the 1980's, according to lighthouse headkeeper Jesus Lazo.