Serenity in Manaoag Church

Manaoag Travel Blog

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It started when three of my friends, Susie, Mitch and Mel ( I am sorry, I just love to include your names here.Hehe!) - mentioned that its been a long time since they last visited Our Lady of Manaoag Church in Manaoag, Pangasinan.  We abruptly packed our bags and off we go to Victory Liner, Cubao to get a bus ticket to Pangasinan (330Php/pax).  The ride took 6hours.  Its a good thing most of us are wearing our jackets (Victory Liner to Pangasinan buses are air conditioned) and brought a travel pillow to doze of to sleep while on travel.

Right next to the terminal are rows of restaurants and cafeterias where you can choose to eat. We left Manila around 11PM and arrived in Pangasinan at 7AM.

 We had breakfast at Pinkish Resto that offers Filipino cuisine and got the taste of their specialty (and Dagupan's pride) - grilled Bangus!  After breakfast, we ride in a Jeep that brought us to Manaoag Church and Manaoag Municipal Hall after 30minutes. A little to the right of Pinkish Resto's entrance, you will see an intersection.  After crossing the intersection, 50 steps away to the right is the Jeep terminals that will bring you to different towns and municipalities of Dagupan.  I almost couldn't bear Mitch's never ending question: "Are we there yet?" (Reminds me of donkey in the movie Shrek.He-he!)

Right in front of the church, a little away from the gate are rows of booth and tables.

 Several array of different 'kakanin' (delicacies) and sweet foods and candies made in the province. " Where to buy a 'pasalubong'?" will not be a problem hence everything you see are made available to be take-home.  Here are some of the city's pride that you can bring home to friends, office mates and family:


  • Tupig - rice cake with coconut meat
  • Puto
  • Peanut Brittle
  • Bagoong
  • Bukayo - made of coconut strips
  • Tamales
  • Bangus (milk fish)
  • Yema
  • Patupat -sweet sticky rice wrapped in palm leaves


  • Garnet rosary
  • Religious figurines
  • T-shirts
  • Hats
  • Novenas/bible
  • Wall decor/hangings
  • Key chains
  • Our Lady of Manaoag posters
  • Our Lady of Manaoag calendars
  • Out Lady of Manaoag stamps
  • Holy water bottles

I wonder what I expected to get when I agree to visit Manaoag, Pangasinan.

 Was it to see the magnificent structure of the famous church or to witness how my friends worship the "The Lady of Manaoag" (I am non-catholic believer) or a simple getaway tour to a new city.  Needless to stress, my interest is not as much as of my friends.  Not when I learned what the "The Lady of Manaoag" and the church represents to the city and to Roman Catholics.  Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag is formally know as Nuestra Senora del Santissimo Rosario de Manaoag which literally means Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag.

The Lady of Manaoag was said to be famous because of the long history of miraculous and pious events even way back 1940's.

 Its miraculous powers are proven by different devotees from different provinces in the Philippines.  Devotees frequent the shrine all year round.  Catholic devotees that needs a solemn place to pray, repent and seeking for peace of mind - this is the great place.  You can soul-search all you want and even write all of your prayers/wishes in the paper and drop it to The Lady of Manaoag Shrine while praying and it will come true.  Which what we exactly did.

After spending our entire morning praying; buying rosaries, bibles and other symbols-of-faith and roaming around the church, we decided to have lunch in Chow king located nearby the church (one of the fast food chains in the area).  The three of us are arguing (friendly-debate as what I call it) whether to go back to Manila as early as possible to avoid traffic or to spend the night in Dagupan.  We both agreed to travel a little farther - to Bolinao, Pangasinan.

 We heard the place offers  more options when it comes to accommodations.  On top of that, Bolinao has a number of resorts that we can choose from and a white sand beach I am dying to experience.  We took a jeep back to Dagupan where we learned from the jeepney driver that it'll take us more or less another three hours to reach Bolinao by bus.  "No way!", "I am not going!" and "Let's just go back to Manila" are some of the phrases I remembered my three friends uttered in unison. Hahaha!  A choir of complain makes me laugh whenever I remember.

 I am definitely not going back to Manila, no way I am giving up my desire to explore Dagupan after a long travel and no way I am not going to agree not to stay at least a night in this place I intend to know better.

 To avoid making me cry and mad and left me the feeling of victory, my friends decided we should stay (Thanks girls, you're the best!).

 We hired a tricycle to do an impulse-hotel/inn-hunting before dusk.  I wanted to stay right next to the beach where I will get to enjoy the sun rise the following morning, hear the waves hitting the shore at night.  Needless to stress, the girls nod in unison (to makes me happy, I guess.LOL!).  With not much knowledge of the place (us and apparently the tricycle driver too.  Seriously,OMG!), we ended in a secluded, grassy and quiet place - we later discovered , its part of the the place called Bonoan, Pangasinan.

Bonoan, Pangasinan, correct me if I am wrong, is not really as famous as other Pangasinan's towns or municipalities, in fact, some of my friends know not about such a place.  Okay, I admit, I am a sucker of quiet and beautiful beaches - preferably less beach resorts and hotels nearby (it may provide you comfort while enjoying the beauty of nature but where's the beauty out of simplicity with that?!).

 Once and a while let's try to see and experience Mother Nature as what it is and not as what we want it to be.  That being said, I run around to the shore, showing my wide grin to the camera, enjoyed the waves barefoot and laugh out loud while watching the kids flying their cute and colorful kites.  This is indeed LIFE! :) 

There's no cottages for rent or a hotel nearby, hence, we cannot stay overnight in the beach.  The tricycle driver sense our apprehension for not finding an accommodation right away suggested a Class "AAA" (3 Star) resort called Leisure Coast Resort where we decided to retire for the night.  We had dinner in Sabina Restaurant , the resorts restaurant and Susie made-up her mind to take a dip in the resort's clean and huge swimming pool.  Finally, we call it a night and went to slumber around 11PM in one of the resorts cold, fragrant and cozy air-conditioned twin room.

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photo by: travelwithyhanz