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Asia > Southeast Asia > Philippines > Luzon > Ilocos > Pangasinan > Bolinao
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Bolinao is a municipality in the province of Pangasinan. It is approximately 375 km by land from Manila.

Coordinates: 16° 18.434N, 119° 47.146E

Ph locator pangasinan bolinao.png


Originally, Bolinao was 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 to transfer the town-site to the mainland and accordingly, with the aid of Fr. Geronimo de Casro, 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.

Up to now, records show no specific decree or law under which the town was created. Perhaps the natives had organized themselves for a common cause against Moro raids or by order of the "Adelantado" (title given to Spanish Governor General Legaspi) that the founding and/or transfer to the town site was undertaken.

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 (Boli-bolinao and Anao).

Some say (nevertheless believable) that the name of the chieftain's son was Bolidnu (meaning round and robust) and the lass, Malinao (meaning clear as the Libsong spring), the combination of which became the name Bolinao.

Get in

  • By land, it's a 5-6 hour trip by car or bus from Manila or 30-60 minutes by car or bus from Alaminos.

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
  • Church of St. James Fortress
  • Enchanted Cave
  • Patar White Beach


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.


  • Binuguey
  • Pinitpit
  • Sea Urchin


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