My birthday celebration did not end at eating delicious food at a local cafe. I also planned to spend a night alone at Casa Almarenzo Bed and Breakfast in Bolinao, Pangasinan, and give myself time to write (expect this around June, maybe). I expected that it was near the sandy part of Patar beach, as the advertisement in Agoda said so, but it was, I think, a boat ride away. Either that, or I had to go outside and travel via tricycle.
How to Go to Casa Almarenzo Bed and Breakfast
Five Star in Cubao has buses going to Bolinao, Pangasinan (fare is Php 500). I was already there at 5:00 a.m. because I was afraid to miss the trip, but the bus waited for an hour before it left. The travel time from Cubao to Five Star Bolinao terminal took six hours (seven going back).
There are tricycles going to Casa Almarenzo Bed and Breakfast, and they are also available to hire if you’re interested in touring around the area. I convinced one to reduce the fare to Php 200 (some charge Php 300), but going back from the resort to the terminal, the receptionist got me a tricycle driver who fined Php 120.
What to Expect at Casa Almarenzo Bed and Breakfast
No sand separates the resort to the body of water. If you’re there for beach swimming, I suggest you reconsider your options, unless you are willing to find transportation to the sandy part of Patar Beach. The water only reached up to my knees, and the ground was rocky (I recommend wearing swimming shoes).
I got their Queen Sea View on Agoda for Php 3,066.88. Even though the room was for two people, I grabbed the offer because it was the only available room with a terrace and I wanted to have a scenic view while writing. It had hot-cold water shower, air conditioner, and TV with cable, which I didn’t use. The room was so cold when I entered that I had to turn it off and didn’t need to turn it on again, even as I left.
I had two bottles of 500 mL water, which I used to drink coffee. Speaking of coffee, since I was not often fond of resort coffee mixes, I bought Kopiko Cappucino (my go-to instant coffee) from a sari-sari store nearby. I find this convenient.
I love, love their tortang talong (and I am craving it as I write this). From what I remember, they have a partnership with a nearby eatery, and this one was of their dishes. It was freshly cooked, probably because the eatery only cooks a dish as it is ordered—the reason I had to wait for an hour. But it was worth the wait, so it’s fine. Sobrang sarap.
I can’t say the same for their buffet. It was a general mix of scrambled egg, white rice, lumpia, corned beef (I call it the universal resort breakfast), Milo or Nescafe, watermelon, and dried fish (my favorite among what was provided).
Casa Almarenzo is one of the resorts in Bolinao that offers an infinity pool. You can safely place your belongings on their colorful beach chairs as you swim, or even quietly walk and enjoy the vastness of the sea.
My stay was okay, though not as memorable as my last year’s trip to Lilom. But I learned one thing during my stay: fishermen would go out late at night to catch squids.
It was a funny experience. I was writing at around 11:00 p.m. on the terrace when I heard movement in the waters. I turned around and found one man walking. When I raised my chin, I found other people standing almost in the middle of the sea! (Doon ko nalaman na mababaw lang talaga yung tubig.) They looked like a cult because they held flashlights as well, like those in the movies who come after you with a candle on their hand (hahaha, oo na matatakutin na ako). I left my laptop and walked toward a resort staff (kunwari hindi nagpa-panic) and asked what it was about. He told me that some locals walk by the sea to catch squids at night because they were easily caught. Hahaha!
Casa Almarenzo Bed and Breakfast