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Wednesday, February 8

A Visit to Manaoag Shrine

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Manaoag Church in Pangasinan


Part 2 of The Pangasinan Escapade
There are not much spectacular sights in Manaoag town except for the Church of Manaoag, the Shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag and the park adjacent to it. Though not preferable for a very long stay at the Shrine itself, a short glimpse is already good enough in the place. It is one of the more popular churches visited by Catholic devotees in Northern Luzon.


Manaoag Church

Manaoag Shrine

Before we arrived at the Manaoag Church (Our Lady of Manaoag), we took a Victory Liner bus at the Gov. Pack Rd. in Baguio City. We planned to take the 5 AM bus, unfortunately we didn’t make it so we got in the next bus which departure time was 5:10 AM (I’m not sure). Unfortunately again, we rode the WRONG bus! To go to Manaoag town, one should ride a bus bound to Dagupan. The 5 AM Victory Liner bus will pass through Manaoag town—guaranteed, since it has the plate in front with Dagupan – Manaoag town on it (which unluckily left just before we arrived at the terminal). Lesson Number 1, make sure to ride the correct bus—or you’ll miss your destination. The next bus to leave is bound to Dagupan, of course, but will take a different route. The bus that we got in was not passing through Manaoag, but instead it will drive to Dagupan via San Fabian. Ordinary VL buses bound to Dagupan leave Baguio City alternately in these two routes oftentimes. With a little regret, we paid P77 each for the fare (student fare) to Mangaldan (we took a detour to Manaoag). The travel time from Baguio City to Mangaldan in Pangasinan is around 2 hours. We even nearly missed Mangaldan; thanks to our GPS device (and to some people inside the bus), we did make it.
Photo op at entrance to Manaoag Church

If you luckily rode in a bus bound to Dagupan via Manaoag, then there is no need to take a detour. Travel time to Manaoag is approximately 2 hours also and the regular fare is P85. If you are like one of us who took a detour to Manaoag via Mangaldan, then you have to add 15 minutes and 15 pesos (student fare) to your travel time and fare. This is because you will have to take a jeepney bound to Binalonan via Manaoag. You can also ride a VL bus bound to Baguio which passes through Manaoag.

As soon as you reach the Manaoag Church, drop by it. Take pictures (just remember not to turn on the flash when inside the church to avoid disturbance especially when mass is going on). Don’t forget to visit the park beside it. You can also visit the back part of the church where there is a small museum and a religious souvenir shop.

The trash bin! At Manaoag Church

After all the snapshots you took and decided to leave for your next destination now, it is advisable for you to ride a van going to Dagupan. The terminal is very near from the Church, so you’ll just have to walk for a minute or two. You can also wait for a bus going to Dagupan though I don’t recommend this since buses bound to Dagupan are few. Besides, the fare for the van ride is only P30 and driving time is 30 minutes.

WHAT TO SEE: Manaoag Church, Shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag, the adjacent park
WHAT TO EXPECT: Devotees of course, the church mass, vendors selling items, prayers

HOW TO GO TO MANAOAG CHURCH

How to go to Our Lady of Manaoag from Baguio:
·         Take an ordinary Victory Liner bus bound to Dagupan via Manaoag (along Gov. Pack Rd.); the bus will pass beside the famous Church of Manaoag. Make sure the bus is going to Manaoag and not San Fabian. *Student fare at Php 85. First trip at 5:00 in the morning. Next trip at 5:45.
·         Take a van bound to Manaoag at Pines Garage. Fare must be of little difference with the bus fare.
·         In case of detour, take an ordinary Victory Liner bus bound to Dagupan via San Fabian (*student fare at Php 77). Drop at Mangaldan Public Market. Wait for a jeep bound to Binalonan and tell the driver you are off to Manaoag Church (*student fare at Php 15).
·         For private vehicles, take either Marcos Highway or Kennon Road. Follow the national road that leads to Manila but only until Pozzorubio. From Pozzorubio, there is a road that leads to Manaoag town.

Manaoag Church

How to go to Our Lady of Manaoag from Manila:
·        Dagupan Bus Inc. has trips bound to Dagupan via Manaoag. Another way is to take a Victory Liner/Five Star bus bound to Dagupan. Drop at the terminal. Look for a Victory Liner bus bound to Baguio (via Manaoag, not San Fabian) and drop at the Manaoag Church. Or hail a tricycle to Pines Garage in Dagupan and ride the van that goes to Manaoag.
·         Take a bus bound to any of these places: Baguio, Candon, Vigan or San Fernando, La Union. Drop at Binalonan intersection. Ask the locals about the jeep that passes Manaoag Church. * Try searching for jeepney routes in Carmen and Urdaneta for these are closer to Manila.
·         For private vehicles, take NLEX and exit to SCTEX then exit again to either Hacienda Luisita or SCTEX toll. From Tarlac City, follow straight the MacArthur Highway until Urdaneta. From Urdaneta there is a road that goes to Manaoag town. 2017 UPDATE: Instead of exiting to Luisita, you can exit at the SCTEX toll plaza and take TPLEX route then exit to Binalonan.

Shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag


How to go to Our Lady of Manaoag from Cebu:
·   You can take a flight from Cebu (PAL, Airphil, Cebu Pacific or Zestair) to Manila, and then follow the tip under “From Manila” item.
·         You can take a flight from Cebu (Cebu Pacific most likely) to Clark. Ride the shuttle bus (jeep) that goes from the airport directly to Dau Terminal. From Dau, you can heed the tip under “From Manila” except that you are starting right at Dau in Mabalacat.

Manaoag Shrine Park


THE PANGASINAN ESCAPADE TRAVEL SERIES:



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