A chasm dropped beneath the shallow seabed, its opening, an angry mouth overgrown with golden seaweeds. It was frothing. Alive. The fuming sea filled it one moment, the rift, swallowing it the next; a furious repetition that hypnotizes. I stood at its edge, watching it dance, when a particularly massive wave slammed the dinosaur-like coral rock just behind it. It broke my reverie, remembering I was towing a camera with me.
|TREASURES OF BOLINAO LOBBY|
|AN OVERVIEW OF THE RESORT FROM THE MAIN HOUSE ROOF TOP|
It was almost three years since our last visit to Bolinao, a place where lasting friendships has been kindled. We were definitely excited when an invite to revisit it presented itself. We boarded a bus from Cubao one afternoon and arrived at Bolinao’s Poblacion close to midnight.
|THE NEARBY PATAR WHITE BEACH|
Like the last, we’re staying along the town’s famous Patar White Beach, but this time, we’re sleeping on a more posh location, the Treasures of Bolinao Beach Resort. It became our home for two nights in Patar, and what a home it turned out to be.
|OUR ROOM FOR TWO NIGHTS|
We were billeted at their Standard Room in their New Villa Building. The room is minimally decorated with framed black and white photographs, a couple of plush chairs and a foldable sofa bed. Its two queen-sized beds were good enough for four, but since we were only two, it was really quite spacious.
|STANDARD ROOM AT THE NEW VILLA BUILDING|
The toilet and bath is adequate enough (has hot shower, no bidet though) and the room has a veranda overlooking the central drive which has a mini version of the Bolinao Lighthouse. This was where we downed our bottles of sake before finally going to bed.
It wasn’t really until the next morning that we got to see what this resort has to offer.
|AFTERNOON STROLL AT THE PATAR WHITE BEACH|
Treasures of Bolinao sprawls on acres of land right in front of the beach. On its back stands the iconic Bolinao Lighthouse, on its left, Patar’s White Beach is accessible directly from the resort, and the strange Patar Rock Formations, unique to the area, guard its right flank. Hands down, this resort has the best location in all of Patar.
|THE MAHARLIKA BUILDING|
|INFINITY POOL OVERLOOKING THE WEST PHILIPPINE SEA|
|SOAKING IN THE SUN|
It is the resort that started the tourism boom in Patar several years back. From a single structure, it has now expanded into six resort buildings totaling the number of rooms to sixty five. The latest building, dubbed as the Main House, is now being readied to open right before the summer starts. Treasures of Bolinao has two pools, one inside the grounds and the other, an infinity pool over looking the West Philippine Sea.
|WAS SURPRISED TO SEE A SURFER AT PATAR|
|ONE OF THE MANY OPEN CABANAS AT THE RESORT|
We got a glimpse of these while waiting for our complimentary silog breakfast to be served at their restaurant’s al fresco tables. We were watching a lone surfer, out breaking the waves, as our first meal of the day arrived, tapsilog for C and the superb Alaminos garlic longganisa—also paired with fried rice and egg—for me.
|SWIMMING ON THE WATERS IN FRONT OF THE RESORT|
|THERE’S A GOOD SNORKELING SITE AT THE PATAR WHITE BEACH, BUT THERE’S ALSO ONE NEARBY|
Quickly finishing everything off, we took a walk at the Patar White Beach, reminiscing the first time we visited the place, before running towards the water to swim and snorkel. The waters on the left side of the resort, protected by a natural surf break, was very calm and was quite good for wading. Part of it has a sandy bottom, with its fringes filled with rocky corals populated by colorful little fishes. It isn’t as deep as those at the far end of the White Beach, with maximum depth at around four feet. Very safe for kids, but still deep enough for a relaxing swim.
|HYPNOTIZED BY THE WAVES HITTING THE ROCK FORMATIONS|
There were quite a few weekenders walking along the shallow midpart of the waters, we followed suit. Since the tide was at its lowest, the sea was just about shin deep. We watched as some kids played dangerously near the edge of the seabed that forms the surf break, waiting for the waters to explode as it slams into the rock platform.
|THE MINI BEACH AND ROCK FORMATIONS AT THE RIGHT FLANK OF THE RESORT|
A blowhole sprayed seawater as we passed, to the shrieks of kids near it, and a massive wave several meters away from the farthest edge almost made me tumble. This is a wild place. Eventually, after our measured steps, we reached the small cove at the right side of the resort. The water was also very shallow, but there were a couple of natural pools or bath tubs one can soak in.
|AIR-CONDITIONED RESTAURANT AREA|
|SHRIMP AMPALAYA, SURPRISINGLY GOOD|
Lunch came just right on time, crispy nilasing na hipon (fried battered shrimp marinated in wine), shrimp sautéed in ampalaya (bitter gourd) and bowls of sinigang na tahong (mussels in sour soup). Everything was quite good.
|THE RESTAURANT SERVES BOTH FILIPINO AND WESTERN DISHES|
An advice for those ordering at the restaurant, make sure to place it in advance, like hours before your actual meal, since their current kitchen staff are a bit limited and can be swamped with orders during peak hours.
|PATAR BEACH FACES THE WEST|
On one of the open bungalows extending towards the sea, we spent the rest of the afternoon, sipping on glasses of very cold beer while watching beach goers cross the shallow sea towards the surf breaks and rock formations. The setting sun signaled our final shot.
|SUNSET AT TREASURE OF BOLINAO’S SIGNATURE BRIDGE|
|MESMERIZED BY THE WAVES HITTING THE ROCK FORMATIONS|
We scampered over Treasure of Bolinao’s iconic white bridge to watch and photograph the golden hour, the sun, blazing fully, bathing the waters in fiery oranges, before retiring down the horizon; the sea rising and breaking through to the shore in massive waves.
|A PERFECT SUNSET AT THE TREASURES OF BOLINAO|
Internet signal is quite hard while in Patar. The resort has wi-fi at its lobby, but it is understandable slow. We were advised by one of their friendly staff that their signal is much stronger at the roof deck of the new building. And so, to the rooftop we went.
|TWILIGHT AT THE TREASURES OF BOLINAO|
Indeed, notifications started to flood our phone as soon as we stepped on the deck. We were quite busy, checking e-mails, posting on Instagram and Facebook, that we almost didn’t notice the moon rising over the hill where Bolinao Lighthouse stood.
|MOONRISE AT THE BOLINAO LIGHTHOUSE|
It was a full moon, and its proximity to the lighthouse cannot be more perfect. I’ve never seen Bolinao’s landmark in such a magical way. And I probably wouldn’t have witnessed this rare moment anywhere else, a final gem to cap our first day in Patar. Treasures of Bolinao, indeed.
~ OUR GRATITUDE TO TREASURES OF BOLINAO FOR INVITING US FOR A PATAR WEEKEND GETAWAY
Treasures of Bolinao
Address: Brgy. Patar, Bolinao, Pangasinan
Contact Number: (075) 696-3266 | (02) 413-4914
Room Rates | Daytour Rates: PHP385.00 adult,
PHP280.00 kids, PHP4,000.00 cottage
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GPS Coordinates Map: 16.306095, 119.780731