Pangasinan is one of the underrated provinces in the country. There are at least two reasons for this. First, it lies midway from Manila to Ilocos and second, it serves as a transit point to travels in the north including Baguio. Hence, not all people will go to Pangasinan with the sole purpose of exploring the area. However, let us tell you that Pangasinan is worth exploring.
As a matter of fact, in Urdaneta alone, there are so many attractions and places to see. Below are some of these.
Museo de Urdaneta houses a collection of objects, documents, and paintings related to General Rafael Urdaneta. General Urdaneta was one of the greatest independence heroes in Pangasinan. The museum is located along Alexander Street within the old Urdaneta municipal hall. It’s just a kilometer away from Amaia Scapes Urdaneta showroom in McArthur Highway.
The park dedicated to Fray Andres de Urdaneta, the spiritual adviser of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi whose expedition arrived in Cebu on April 27, 1565. The park features a symbolic representation of the galleon. There’s a statue carved in bronze as the base of the galleon. The statue was created by Napoleon Abueva while the galleon was sculpted by Abdul Mari Imao.
Urdaneta City doesn’t have beaches, wild parks, mountain ranges and the like. But, it has scenic places like expansive rolling hills which are comparable to the chocolate hills in Bohol. The place is a favorite picnic ground among the locals.
Urdaneta is known as a bagsakan (drop-off point) of agricultural produce from various municipalities in Pangasinan and nearby provinces. Much like Divisioria, the three-hectare trading post is typically composed of fruits, vegetables, and livestock that can be bought wholesale. The agricultural products are divided into categories. For instance, an entire building is dedicated to spices alone. The trading hub is operational 24/7.
Lisland Rainforest Resort is an environmental resort. Its main feature is the swimming pool situated within a man-made forest. The water reflects the silhouette of the trees which also provide shades during extremely hot days. The resort, moreover, has an in-house rustic restaurant called Bai Marin. The restaurant serves Filipino and international cuisines. It promotes healthy regional dishes as well.
Matutina’s is a household name in Urdaneta City. From the name of the restaurant, its specialty is Filipino seafood dishes. The restaurant is named after Doña Delilah’s high-pitched maid, Matutina, in the 1980s sitcom John en Marsha. Among its best-sellers are sizzling bangus (milkfish) sisig, buttered talaba (oyster), spicy buttered hipon (shrimp), crispy hipon, and pusit kilawin (squid ceviche). Matutina’s is located along McArthur Highway.
Another notable eat in the city is Cuisinero Garden. What sets this apart from the rest of restaurants in Urdaneta is its menu. It changes on a regular basis. Nonetheless, the choices of cuisine includes Brazilian, Chinese, Moroccan, and Mediterranean.
Underrated as it may seem, we now have all the reasons to explore Urdaneta City. Apparently, it is more than a gateway, it is a destination of its own!