Monday, March 30, 2009

Western Pangasinan teeming with diving sites

DAGUPAN CITY, March 31 (PNA) — A city councilor here, who is a certified diving instructor, confirmed that there are many diving sites in Pangasinan, particularly along the province’s western part.

Dagupan City Councilor Karlos Liberato Reyna IV, president of the Tiblong Diving Association, said divers could explore the underwater sites in Burgos, Anda, Surip in Bani; Bolinao and the Hundred Islands off Alaminos City.

Unfortunately, according to Reyna, Dagupan is not a diving site, because the beach is of black sand and does not have any rock corals, which are what the divers really explore.

When candidates for Miss Earth visited the Hundred Islands late last year, Councilor Reyna was invited by Alaminos City Mayor Hernani Braganza to guide the Miss Earth beauties on how to scuba dive.

”Since most of the Miss Earth candidates wanted to learn how to scuba dive, I taught them only the basics of diving just to showcase to them the underwater beauty of the Hundred Islands”, said Reyna is the grandson of former Dagupan City Mayor Liberato Reyna Sr., once a be-medalled swimmer of the University of Sto. Tomas.

Tiblong Diving Association, said Reyna, was organized not only to promote diving and tourism in Pangasinan, but also to support the campaign for environmental awareness on the need to protect underwater resources.

Legal officer and co-founder of Tiblong is Lawyer Jose Netu Tamayo, also a councilor of Dagupan City, who is an army reservist with the rank of captain. (PNA)

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Beaches of Agno, Pangasinan

The town of Agno is characterized by beautiful rolling terrain and rainfed rice fields which one traverses on the way to the town proper. As one nears the poblacion, or town plaza, the road passes along the beautiful Mabini river, which in turn meets with the South China Sea further west. The town shares borders with the town of Bani to the north, the town of Mabini and Alaminos City to the East and with Burgos to the South.

It is a quaint little town whose main livelihood is fishing and agriculture, although a number of her sons and daughters work as doctors, nurses, engineers and accountants in numerous countries around the globe. The town plaza is home to a centuries old Roman Catholic church, as well as one of the first congregations of the Philippine Independent Church.

The town boasts of natural attractions such as the Mabini river, the Umbrella Rocks in Sabangan, as well as several beaches — Agno Beach being the longest and most popular. There are several other beaches hidden along the coast such as the Macaboboni cove (which features a small cave) as well as a white beach in Brgy. Gayusan. To the southern end of Agno Beach, the brave of heart can dive from a two story high rock amidst crashing waves and end up in a beautiful coral garden below. Also, a Japanese gunboat is said to have sunk a few hundred meters away from Agno's shores, awaiting discovery by curious divers. The summer months of April and May are a good time to go as the town's market abounds with fruit such as mangoes and duhat, as well as fresh catch such as tuna, flying fish, grouper, lobsters and other treasures of the sea.

Photo Credits:

Where to Stay in Alaminos

Lucap, Alaminos City
Tel. No. (+6375) 551-2537

Lucap, Alaminos City
Tel. No. (+6375) 551-5753
Fax No. (+6375) 551-5754

Lucap, Alaminos City
Tel. No. (+63912) 314-6180

Bued, Alaminos City
Tel. No. (+6375) 551-3362

Lucap, Alaminos City
Tel. No. (+6375) 551-4455

Lucap, Alaminos City
Tel. No.: (+6375) 551-6148
(+63919) 430-6589

Lucap, Alaminos City
Tel. No. (+6375) 551-2505

Lucap, Alaminos City
Tel. No. (+6375) 551-2501

Lucap, Alaminos City
Tel. No. (+6375) 551-2711C

Sunday, March 15, 2009

DOT: Pangasinan now No. 1 tourist destination in Ilocos

By Leonardo V. Micua

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, March 15 (PNA) -- The province of Pangasinan is now the number one tourist destination in Region 1 based on a survey conducted recently by the Department of Tourism (DOT).

The survey showed the province under the leadership of Gov. Amado T. Espino Jr. posted a record 41.47 percent tourist arrivals as compared to Ilocos Norte, the former top grosser in tourism in the region, with 35.64 percent.

Two years ago, Pangasinan was the tail-ender among four Ilocos provinces in the number of tourist arrivals, according to the DOT.

Gov. Espino said he is pushing hard to promote tourism in Pangasinan as part of the overall development plan of his administration.

Cited as the main reason for the improved tourism program in Pangasinan was the grand transformation of the capitol building, from an old rickety one built in the early 1900, to become one of the best capitols in the entire country today.

The capitol is now a premier tourist come-on of the province, serving as the official house of all elected provincial officials.

In the early part of his administration, Governor Espino vowed to make the capitol the centerpiece of tourism in Pangasinan.

Also undertaken, aside from the refurbishing of the capitol building, was the repair of the adjacent Kalantiao, Malong and Finance buildings and its component areas such as the Veterans Park and Lingayen beach front.

The provincial government-owned Capitol Resort Hotel has also been refurbished to serve as a venue for the various functions of the provincial government and the public.

To boost tourism, the provincial government bought six eco-tourism buses that could bring tourists to any point in Pangasinan after they had visited the capitol.

Espino said the provincial government's Tour Assistance Program provided tour and escorting services produced seven DOT-certified/accredited tour guides through a first-ever Tour Guiding Seminar.

Aside from these, the province has also 18 active tour guides who are all employees of the provincial government.

About 7,000 visitors and more than 16,000 others, mainly students from private, public, state colleges and universities, have already availed of the tour guiding services from the capitol to the different towns of the province.

Another historic undertaking of the provincial government was the launching and provision of six shuttle buses that ferry employees to and from their point of destination for free.

These buses are also utilized by all provincial employees in their study tours and in the conduct of their “Employees Tour and Team Building ” program.

The Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center was also rehabilitated to enable it to continuously host regional, national and international sporting events.

At the same time, Gov. Espino announced that the province has some 300 hectares of foreshore land in the northwestern part of Lingayen that is set to be converted into a sprawling eco-tourist zone. (PNA)