Galila is the Pangasinan word used to allure tourists and travelers. It is often painted on tourist slogans of the province and heard from the chants of street dancers during festivals.
In English, it means “Come and visit!” However, the true essence of galila is not fully understood by the mere English translation alone. You have to experience Pangasinan beauty and hospitality in order to know and encounter the weight and message that galila carries.
Pangasinan’s growing tourism
Pangasinan tourism is slowly growing, with nine million tourists visiting the province in 2018. While this number is small when compared to nearby tourist landmarks like Baguio and Subic, it is a number of hope. Pangasinan tourism is thriving and the provincial government is in full force to support this growth.
Fiestas and festivals in Pangasinan
The focus of Pangasinan tourism is in fiestas and festivals. There are a lot of festivals all-year-round, featuring the unique products that a town locally produces.
Some of these most iconic Pangasinan festivals include:
- The Bangus Festival in Dagupan, the Bangus (Milkfish) Capital of the Country
- Bagoong Festival in Lingayen, the largest Bagoong producer in the country,
- Pakwan Festival in Bani, where watermelon production is massive
- Pista’y Dayat to celebrate the beautiful beaches and horizons of the province
- Agew na Pangasinan, to commemorate the founding of the province; and
- Manaoag Town Fiesta, better known as the Galicayo Festival of the Our Lady of Manaoag Minor Basilica (interestingly, galicayo is the plural version of galila)
These festivals all feature and promote the local products od their own respective towns. Pangasinan fiestas are colorful and grandeur, and can certainly hold a candle to better-known festivals in the country such as Cebu’s Sinulog Festival.
There are lots of fun activities to participate in as tourists. Let’s take the Pista’y Dayat celebrations for example. There are dragon boat racings, sandcastle competition by the beach, and other in-water sports and games. Moreover, food is non-stop in Pangasinan. Whether it’d be the pop up stalls that come during fiestas, or the well-known household name restaurants, down to the street food sold by the beachside, you will never run out of food options in Pangasinan.
Pangasinan’s food and products
In the conversation of food and food products, we have listed here the must-try foods that are specifically the reasons why some tourists visit the province.
- Pigar-pigar is native to Dagupan City, it’s slow-cooked and pan-fried beef topped with cabbage and onions that is accompanied by a dipping sauce
- Puto Calasiao is said to be the best puto that you will ever taste
- Bagoong from Lingayen is the tastiest bagoong that is prepared to be of international export quality
- Mangaldan tapa is tender, juicy, and seasoned to perfection perfect for display during the Pindang Festival
- Dagupan Bangus is large, delicious and can be prepared in a lot of ways (including bangus ice cream!)
Pangasinan’s tourist attractions
The attractions and landmarks that are a magnet to tourists in Pangasinan of a wide variety. The majority of them rely on the natural beauty of the province’s topography.
- Daang Kalikasan offers a wide stretch of nature while riding
- Patar White Sand Beach is considered to be the Boracay of the North
- Bolinao is home to scenic falls and cave systems
- Manaoag houses the Our Lady of Manaoag Minor Basilica perfect for pilgrims
- Tayug is well known for its sunflower maze
- Lingayen is home to the Provincial Capitol and Lingayen Gulf
What are you waiting for? Galila! and enjoy the beauty of Pangasinan—the people and the place.
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