Pangasinan, Philippines · 5 hotels available
Urdaneta City in Pangasinan is not your typical tourist destination. But what it lacks in beaches and mountains, the city more than makes up for with rapid economic progress, urbane conveniences, and a generally unhurried pace of life. Hailed as a gateway to Northern Luzon, the city’s strategic location makes it an ideal venue for trade and business.
Known as the Gateway to Northern Luzon, the city of Urdaneta occupies a highly accessible location at the center of Pangasinan. The city is known for its Cattle and Livestock Market and the 3-hectare Urdaneta Bagsakan Market, which serve as very important venues for trading produce and goods from the northern section of the country. While you won’t find a lot of beaches and other similar attractions in the area, there are many public squares, business hubs, restaurants, resorts, and hotels in Urdaneta City.
Urdaneta is a 4- to 5-hour drive from Manila. The city serves as an entry point to the entire Pangasinan province. Coming from Cubao or Pasay, one can easily find a bus that will head to or pass by Urdaneta City. Among the bus lines that offer these trips are Victory Liner, Five Star, Fermina Express, and Dagupan Express.
Getting around Urdaneta City and seeing its sights is actually quite easy because most of its attractions are found around Poblacion or the city center. You can choose to take advantage of the sidewalks and walk to where you want to go, but you can also ride jeeps if you’re too tired to continue on foot. Just as easily, you can take buses and jeeps that lead to the other parts of the Ilocos region.
Alexander Street, one of the major roads in the Poblacion area, is lined with government offices and public spaces. One of these is the Metamorphosis Statue which is said to symbolize the strength and resilience of the residents of the city. The sculpture of the carabao is also a special tribute to the livestock trade that takes place in Urdaneta. The old city hall and the Mayor’s Park can be found further down the street. On the opposite side of the road are the imposing Urdaneta City Convention and Sports Center and the colorful Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.
You can also get a glimpse of the life of one of Urdaneta’s most valiant sons, General Rafael Urdaneta, and the person whom the city is named after, Fray Andres de Urdaneta. Simply visit Museo de Urdaneta near the old municipal hall and the Urdaneta Park Landmark Monument. But if you’re looking for something more nature-oriented, head straight to Cabaruan, Sugcong, and Oltama Rolling Hills where you can see lush stretches of lands and ideal picnic spots.
Experience for yourself the benefits of living in the gateway to the north by visiting the Urdaneta Bagsakan Market. This 3-hectare trading post houses the produce from the towns and cities in Pangasinan and its neighboring provinces. If you’re in the area to do business, you’ll be happy to know that fruits, vegetables, and livestock can be bought wholesale here. If you want a more relaxing venue, you can head to Cabaruan, Sugcong, and Oltama Rolling Hills for a picnic with the rest of the family. But if you’re itching to be in the water, Lisland Rainforest Resort is where you should go. The eco-resort features an expansive pool set in the middle of a man-made forest.
Ask anyone in Urdaneta City to recommend a restaurant and you’ll be sure that Matutina’s Seafood will come up. A local institution when it comes to good food, Matutina’s bestsellers include buttered oysters, crispy shrimps, and sizzling milkfish. The restaurant was named after the maid in the local sitcom John en Marsha.
Another must-try restaurant in the area is Cusinero Garden. This dining outfit has an extensive menu that features Brazilian, Chinese, Moroccan, and Mediterranean dishes.
There are plenty of bars and pubs to choose from when in the city, and many of these can be found along MacArthur Highway in Nancayasan. Tenders Steakhouse & Sushi Bar offers cozy spaces and delicious Japanese dishes, while the chic Distriq 5 Resto Bar Café will liven up your night with cold concoctions and dark beats. If you’re looking for a quieter hangout after the sun has come down, you can also stay at Silver Spoon Café up until 1 in the morning.
There are many resorts and leisure and business hotels in Urdaneta. Urdaneta Garden Resort presents a calm environment and a wide range of accommodation choices and leisure facilities, including pools for children and adults. Lisland Rainforest Resort is another well-known accommodation that offers eco-friendly facilities, a long list of city conveniences, and delectable dishes. Of course, there are more affordable lodgings in the city for budget travelers and backpackers.
Apply sunscreen and bring a bottle of water with you before you try to do a walking tour of the Poblacion area.
While Urdaneta Bagsakan Market is open 24/7, it is recommended that you visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the heat. Also, prepare a list for a more organized shopping session.
Remember to pack light if you’re planning to buy a lot of souvenirs from the local market.