It was an early first of February trip to Pangansinan, with myself and my backpack – again.
If you’ve been to Hundred Island or maybe Bolinao before, you may think you’ve “been to” Pangasinan. I’d say no. Not until you’ve reached it’s most unexplored towns.
Abagatanen is a relatively remote area in Agno Pangasinan. No buses or jeepneys pass around the place just yet. The people I’ve met told me that the roads and electricity has just made its way to their Barangay roughly around 2 years ago, and during those times, the only way to reach bayan or the mainland is via riding Kalabaw. I was told that even going to high school is a half-day worth of walk (dang!).
To summarize, that makes the place remote.
And where it’s unknown, there I go. (evil laugh)
Unlike my previous trips, this time I only did little re-search about the wonder that I’m going to visit. I wasn’t prepared upon knowing there’s no cell site/mobile reception in Agabatanen – I should’ve expected that. Although is a good thing to those who would like to “disconnect” or “get a break”. I didn’t think much if there were any available rooms to stay at, I was confident there is. And there was!
How I reached Abagatanen? I’ve been contemplating about that myself!
- I rode a Five Star Bus from Cubao headed for or Bolinao I didn’t see any buses headed directly to Agno (because I didn’t look far/long enough :P). I learned that Solid North and Dagupan Buses have trips straight to Agno town proper. Maybe I was just lucky that day that the Bolinao bus I was in will take the Agno-Bani road. 🙂 It was 12:40 AM the bus took off. I was in Agno town at 4:52 AM.
- Again, luck was on my side, as on that bus at 4 AM the conductor told me they have a colleague in the bus who lives on the place where I should alight – Bangan-Oda. The boy’s name is Mark (boy because I’m older than him). Though he thinks I’m younger than he is. I let him think that way. Mark and the conductor was speaking on their dialect – Ilocano – and I didn’t understand a thing except I understood that they’re talking about me. The conductor said Mark is their trusted guard in 5 Star Alaminos and he can get me to Abagatanen as there are no jeepneys going there at 5AM in the morning. During mornings, there are only tricycles/single motors and that I may be charged expensively. I learned I shouldn’t be coming to Agno very early in the morning. I was just lucky that Mark was told to go home early that day of his shift and accompanied me.
- When we get off at Bangan-Oda, he gave me ride on his motor cycle parked in Bangan-Oda.
On the way to the destination, we talked about places, and Umbrella Rocks is one of them. Luck is really on my side as he said it’s okay if we drop-by Sabangan – most known as “Umbrella Rocks” to tourists. Locals call the place Sabangan though. Visit my side trip to Umbrella Rocks here.
At 7 AM we are at the Agno-Bani Scenic View Deck.
Here’s the view at the top.
Starting to lose the signal here.
“Finally I was here”! I was all smiles.
The first thing you’re gonna love about this place is you’re gonna find a river – forming estuaries and splitting down the sands during rainy seasons, mountains, and of course, the ever beautiful ocean-side with creamy white sand.
The beach area has a relatively small population that they know people from 1 km away their houses.
Walked down and felt the sand on my feet. Grounding is never this relaxing in the city. There are newly-built wooden and concrete cottages on the west side of the beach and to the end of it, you’ll find the towering boulders where the fresh and saltwater meets.
The view on my way back (to the eastern side of the beach)
Things to do?
- If you’re an adventurous one, you may try surfing. I was told by the villagers though that surfers from before said “Nakakamatay yung alon nyo” (Your waves are deadly). Try at your own risk.
- Rock formation Tour – I didn’t get the chance to do this but they said it’s a must.
- Beach Bumming.
As the beach is just gaining attraction, There isn’t any other things to do just yet. I enjoyed moon viewing the most though. It’s the perfect spot.
Have I mentioned I was the only visitor at that time? Yes, the island is all mine to breathe in. I wonder how many people long to be in an unknown place and just enjoy the quiet.
I stayed at a non-air-conditioned room owned by Ate Aida’s Family. Her sister owns the unfinished house where I stayed. It’s literally a house, unfurnished and un-furbished. Her family is in Europe so she gets all the earnings for the time being. The house was a little elevated and the stairs to the attic uneven. The house has 3 rooms, one of which has own comfort room, that’s where I chose to stay plus the window shows you he view of the cottages and the ocean, facing west where the sun sets. She was giving it to me at P1,500 but bargained at P1,300. I know I can bargain for a lower rate but given it’s their livelihood and I have extra, I didn’t ask for more. She offered to cook for me too. That didn’t happen that day as I was just asleep the entire afternoon.
The other concrete room with A/C from another landlord was offered to me at P3,000 for 24 hours. I was told it was P3,500 on normal occasions. My instinct was telling me not to take that though it’s convenient, but then I saw Ate Aida.
The water from the faucet comes from the mountain streams. They keep it open and just flowing. I don’t have a way to turn off the faucet. I tried – believe me. But you can ask them to disconnect the hose at the back of the house.
The first picture in this article was the balcony of the house overlooking the ocean.
I met a lot of people and learned from them too.
The experience itself is a wonderful thing to have. The next time I’ll visit Abagatenen, for sure they’ll already have mobile reception. Maybe Wifi too.
Can’t wait to see how this place will evolve , but I hope it stays as peaceful and un-adulterated as it is right now.