By James Barcelona
|Hundred Islands National Park|
The Hundred Islands National Park is a national park in thePhilippines. The protected area is located in the city of Alaminos, in the province of Pangasinan in northernPhilippines. The islands, totalling 124 at low tide and 123 at high tide, are scattered in Lingayen Gulf covering an area of 16.76 square kilometres (6.47 sq mi). Only three of them have been developed for tourism: Governor Island, Quezon Island, and Children's Island. The Lucap wharf in Alaminos, the entrance to the National Park, is about 240 kilometres (150 mi) north of Manila, the capital of the Philippines.
Lingayen Gulf is outlined by the provinces of Pangasinan and La Union with Pangasinan bordering most of it. This gulf harbors most of Pangasinan’s top tourist destinations varying from islands, beaches and rainforest parks including the Hundred Islands and Lingayen Gulf War Memorial.
The Lingayen Gulf is a historical place and is a silent witness to a war that occurred during World War II between the Japanese and Americans. The gulf was invaded by Japanese and held power over it for three years. In 1945, American troops attacked the Japanese and defeated them consequently. Many ships sunk as a result of the war.
|Shrine of Our Lady |
To commemorate the war, a stone marker is erected to honor the soldiers who died during the war in Provincial Capitol Compound plus photos of the Lingayen Landing in 1945 are placed in the area.
Shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag, is reputed to be the pilgrimage capital of northern Luzon.
Pangasinan is a province of the Republic of the Philippines and is located in the Ilocos Region. It is subdivided into 6 congressional districts, 4 cities and 44 municipalities. Lingayen is the provincial capital. It is located in the west central area of the island of Luzon along the Lingayen Gulf. Pangasinan borders La Union and Benguet to the north, Nueva Vizcaya and Nueva Ecija to the east, and Zambales and Tarlac to the south. To the west of Panagsinan is the South China Sea.
The name Pangasinan means “land of salt” or “place of salt-making.” It is derived from the words Pang/Bang meaning “place”, and asin meaning “salt.” The inhabitants of the province are called Pangasinense, or simply taga-Pangasinan, which means “from Panagsinan.” Pangasinan is the third most populated province in the Philippines. The Pangasinan language is an agglutinative language and is the primary language of the province. It is closely related to the Ibaloi language spoken in the neighboring province of Benguet and Baguio City, located north of Pangasinan.
Before the Spanish conquest, the ancient Pangasinan people believed in mana and practiced animist beliefs and rituals. The people maintained this set of beliefs and rituals through priests, priestesses and healers who represented a pantheon of “anitos” or deities. They made offerings of oils, ointments, essences and perfumes in exquisite vessels. When the Roman Catholic Augustinian, Franciscan, and Dominican missionaries arrived, they converted most of the inhabitants of Pangasinan to Roman Catholicism. At present, the predominant religion of the province is Roman Catholic, although few are strict believers and continue to practice their indigenous beliefs and rituals.
Pangasinan is a major fish supplier in Luzon, and a major producer of salt in the Philippines. It has extensive fishponds, mostly for raising bangus or “milkfish.” Its aquaculture includes oyster and sea urchin farms. About 44% of the total land area of Pangasinan is devoted to agricultural production. The major crops of the province are rice, mangoes, corn and sugar cane.