It’s no news that Philippines has thousands of beautiful, tropical islands that local and tourists alike find really enchanted. Beyond all the beaches and resorts and natural beauty the country has to offer, another part of the culture we Filipinos are always proud of is our Pinoy food. And if there’s one local cuisine you should not miss, it is the cooking in Pangasinan.
I recently had the chance to roam around one of Pangasinan’s towns, Bolinao, and from the moment that I stepped off my shuttle, I knew that I was going to love the place! Why? Because I knew we were staying in one of the famous villas in Pangasinan, one whole day in our three-day stay was scheduled to explore the beauty of the town, and lastly but never the least – I was super excited when I knew we were having delightful lunch in one of the beautiful resorts in Bolinao!
|Photo from Punta Riviera Resort website.|
Bolinao is 6 to 7 hours away from Manila by private car. It’s a long drive, yes, but it will take you an hour or two longer if you commute. Considering the traffic, it would possibly take you much longer. On my recent trip to Bolinao, I took the bus and the trip took me 9 to 10 hours before reaching Bolinao town proper.
The town boasts their perfect panoramic view of the West Philippine Sea, and its various beach landscapes. Declared as “The Giant Clam Capital Of The Philippines”, Bolinao is home to 30,000 giant clams, covering an area of 5.8 hectares, about the size of seven soccer pitches. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see those beauties (and even the beaches, can you believe that??) because of time constraints, but I will share here in this article the best line up for a perfect itinerary introduced to us by the Bolinao Tourism Office.
What makes Punta Riviera Resort different from the other resorts in Bolinao is that it was developed in harmony with its stunning marine environmental setting by a lush green mangrove – fringed river. It is located along the famous Patar reef coastline and Malino River, making it the most romantic, secluded safe-havens to be found along Philippine’s Sunshine Coast. As I interviewed one of the owners I learned that the infinity pool is actually part of the river! How cool is that?
Punta Riviera Resort offers more than 40 rooms of different sizes perfect for solo travelers, couples, barkada, family, and big groups. There also are beach and river recreational facilities, modern spa for those who want to relax, conference facilities with lighting and sound systems that could fit up to 500 delegates, and modern facilities such as Wi-Fi, cable TV, pool, karaoke etc.
The resort also runs the Bolinao Lighthouse School of Tourism and Learning Centre (BLSTLC) and wins TESDA’s Region 1 Kabalikat Award in 2010.
Punta Riviera is a white beach and riverside resort with one of -if not the most- beautiful infinity pools in Bolinao. Yo can relax along the beachside or at the riverside spa as you enjoy your vacay. Restaurants, bars, and other food services are also available at the resort. They also cater wedding ceremonies and reception (there was a super intimate and romantic wedding when we were there, btw!) Convention Hall are also ready for corporate functions and you can rent them personally as well if you need a large area for your event. The also have a team building area which I really enjoyed. They also offer guided tours around Bolinao, for a hassle free trip!
Let this map guide you as you roam around the resort.
Rooms and booking
|Room Type||Capacity (pax)||Rate per night (Php)|
|Villa La Marea||6||9,520|
|La Marea Deluxe||4||9,750|
|La Punta Suite||6||10,640|
|Familia Room 4||8||11,760|
◘ For all bookings a deposit of 50% of room rate is required and payment by Telegraphic Transfer preferred. Please contact the resort for further details and to obtain confirmation of booking shortly after such bookings are made. JCB, VISA, American Express and Master Card credit cards are accepted on site. The rates are indicative and subject to seasonal variation. Drivers shared cabana is Php550* per night including breakfast.
◘ Children up to 4 years of age – accommodated free of charge.
◘ The 50% room rate booking deposit is non-refundable and failure to arrive at the resort at the due date will be a no-show and no refund will be given.
◘ Check-out 11am; earliest check-in 1.00pm.
◘ Several rooms have exclusive cooking facilities and cooking amenities are available at an additional charge. Some cooking facilities and amenities are available at designated locations within the resort or at the beach at an additional charge.
◘ Corkage charges are levied for bring-in food and drinks.
◘ Smoking and cooking is not allowed in the bedrooms.
◘ Some rooms have solar water heating – requiring run-off of cold water.
*Above rates are as of March 2020. For updated rates, visit their website: puntarivieraresort.com.
The resort has very interesting areas that I unfortunately missed the first time I visited. But what I will never regret is the chance I grabbed to experience Bolinao dining prepared by one of the resort owners herself!
What I loved most is this spicy dinakdakan. It’s a popular Ilocano dish mainly made of grilled and boiled pork parts such as ears and liver which makes it sooooo yummy and addicting. It was also my first time to taste papaitan which I had no idea I’d love. Papaitan is another famous Ilocano soup dish mostly composed of cow or goat innards which makes it kind of bitter and tasty.