Urdaneta City, Pangasinan: The Gateway to the Northern Philippines

Welcome to Urdaneta City!

Welcome to Urdaneta City! (Graphic courtesy of Urdaneta City Council for ICT)
Welcome to Urdaneta City! (Graphic courtesy of Urdaneta City Council for ICT)
Map of Northern Luzon and Urdaneta City (Graphic courtesy of Erik Fabian)
Map of Northern Luzon and Urdaneta City (Graphic courtesy of Erik Fabian)

Urdaneta City, Pangasinan: Gateway to Northern Philippines

Geographic Hub

Urdaneta City is very strategically located in the central part of eastern Pangasinan, and is traversed by the Manila North Road (formerly MacArthur Highway) virtually bisecting the locality into the west and east side. It is bounded in the north by the muncipality of Binalonan, south by the municipality of Villasis, east by the municiality of Asingan and west by the municipality of Sta. Barbara. It is the gateway to Baguio City, to San Carlos City in Central Pangasinan, the provincial capitol Lingayen and Dagupan City in Western Pangasinan and the northern Luzon provinces, beginning with the city of San Fernando, La Union. It is also easily acessible to Tarlac City and Angeles City by bus and by car. Nearby airports include Loakan Airport in Baguio City, San Fernando International Airport and the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in the Clark Special Economic Zone (next to Angeles City). However direct flights from Manila have been discontinued. The only option is the regional airport located in Binalonan, Pangasinan which also operates a charter flight service from Manila. However, from Binalonan, it leap frogs to several other destinations in the north. Check out their website at: (http://www.skypasada.com)

History and Culture

On January 5, 1858 the municipality of Urdaneta was borne in the eqastern part of Pangasinan. History links this city to that famous aide of Spanish explorer, Ferdinan Magellan - that is - Father Sinon de Urdaneta, a soldier, navigator and cosmographer after whom the city was named.

Another priest helped found Urdaneta, that is, Father Nicolas Manrique Alzonzo with the help of hardy pioneers from the Ilocos provinces. The begining was the clearing of a vast forest that was Urdaneta then followed by the erection of the Urdaneta Roman Catholic Church and convent, followed later by a fluorishing village organized into a town which later became the municipality of Urdaneta.

Other theorists, however are of the opinion that the name Urdaneta stems from the term, "Organeta," meaning "little organ" or "Little unit" considering that at that time the place was composed of portions of barrios of adjacent towns where travellers and traders converged.

Today, Urdaneta City still serves as a strategic point of convergence for travellers and traders north of manila, linking several key cities and provinces. It became a city in 1997 by virtue of Republic Act No. 8480.

Video about the Sanctuary I.T. Building at Urdaneta City

Real Estate and ICT hub

Urdaneta City is home to the Sanctuary I.T. Building along MacArthur Highway, The Sanctuary I.T. Building is the only Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) proclaimed I.T. Building in Pangasinan. Ursdaneta City is being pushed by the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) as one of the major potential locations for offshore outsourcing services.

A city is designated as an ICT hub if it meets telecommunications (i.e., two telecommunications providers with the availability of high-speed fiber optic facilities with IGF capabilities), power, water, housing, education and manpower requirements of the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector.

The Sanctuary I.T. Building already houses Urdaneta City's first two call centers, FFG Telemarketing, a Filipino-Canadian outbound call center and EIE Inc., a Filipino-owned website services marketing firm. For more information on the Sanctuary I.T. Building and their clients, check their website at: (http://urdanetacity.org)

Hotels in Pangasinan

The Swimming Pool at the Lisland Rainforest Resort (Photo courtesy of Erik Fabian)
The Swimming Pool at the Lisland Rainforest Resort (Photo courtesy of Erik Fabian)
The interior Lobby of the Sanctuary Apartelle located inside the Sanctuary I.T. Building, Macarthur Highway, Urdaneta City (Photo courtesy of Erik Fabian)
The interior Lobby of the Sanctuary Apartelle located inside the Sanctuary I.T. Building, Macarthur Highway, Urdaneta City (Photo courtesy of Erik Fabian)

Hotels and Accommodations

Urdaneta City

Pangasinan hosts several Department of Tourism-accredited hotels, resorts and restaurants. However, Urdaneta City is the most strategic and logical place for travellers to base themselves to explore the entire region (please see the map). The jewel in the crown of Urdaneta City's hotel industry is the Lisland Rainforest Resort which provides regional specialties, ballroom dancing and wine over a balcony overlooking the remains of a large patch of rainforest. According to 100 Resorts in the Philippines, there is “no hotel with such charm in the immediate vicinity of the Hundred Islands National park which is one (1) hour away by car. Address: 182 San Vicente, MacArthur Highway, Urdaneta City, Pangasinan. Telephone: (6375) 568-2962; Fax: (6375) 568-2938 Email: lisland_resort@hotmail.com, inquiries@lisland.com.ph

Extremely popular and well-known to budget-conscious travellers is the Hotel Sanctuary which is located in the heart of Urdaneta City, right along Macarthur Highway which positions itself as “a three-star hotel with five-star service,” and also offers delicious local meals and packages tours for tourists to nearby locations. Address: Sanctuary I.T. Building, MacArthur Highway, Barangay Nancaysan, Urdaneta City, Pangasinan. Telephone numbers as follows: Pangasinan office: (+6375) 656-0021 and Metro Manila office (+632) 359-9503 and cell phone: (+63908) 122-9020. Call or look for: Mrs. Sonia Labuanan or Ms. Cathy Espina. Email: dailyacts@yahoo.com

Things to do in Pangasinan

Metro Urdaneta

In keping true to its role as a central toursim hub, Metro Urdaneta is at least thirty to fourty minutes away from many eco-tourism and other fun activities. Within metro Urdaneta, one can visit the Balungao Hot Springs, go river rafting or canoeing down the mighty Agno River in Rosales, go mountain biking in the foothills of “Marlboro Country” in Umingan or engage in water sports in the reservoir formed by damming the Agno River at the site of the San Roque Multi-Purpose Project in San Manuel.

Hundred Islands

Snorkeling, fishing and scuba diving may be enjoyed at the Hundred Islands National Park in Alaminos which is one (1) hour's drive away from Urdaneta City. The Hundred Islands National Park is a cluster of about a hundred islands. These islands are situated off Alaminos City at the Lingayen Gulf. The largest and the best known island is Quezon Island while the other islands are small and only visited once in a while by foreign and local tourists. The bigger islandshave beaches where visitors can spend the day campaing and picnicking

The islands that offer facilities are:

  • Quezon Island with viewing decks, toilets and picnic sheds.
  • The Governor's Island with accommodation facilities for those who would like to stay longer.

  • The Children's Island which has bathrooms, camping and sleeping areas.

Visitors to the Hundred Islands can better enjoy their vacation with water sports facilities offered for rent at the Lucap Waterfront for activities like jet skiing, windsurfing, kayaking, snorkeling, parasailing and big game fishing. Telephone number: (+6375) 551-2246.

Best Beaches of Pangasinan:

● Abrak Beach in Bolinao has huts for rent for the budget conscious and several resorts for those with bigger budgets.

● Tambobong Beach, also in Dasol has pristine waters and a fishing village serves as a backdrop.

● Colibra Island, in Dasol has a beautiful shoreline; clear waters that is good for for diving and snorkeling. The island’s beach however has no shade. So be prepared to get a dark tan.

● Tondol Beach in Anda town offers a long stretch shallow and calm waters. Ideal for sunbathers.

● Arnedo Beach also in Bolinao offers several resorts, some with surfing facilities with reasonable rates.

How to get to Pangasinan:

By Car:

Your fastest route from Metro Manila is to take EDSA from ShoeMart North and get off on the Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and from NLEX trasnfer onto the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and getting off at Hacienda Luisita which has a series of internal roads leading straight to MacArthur Highway and on to the towns of Rosales and Villasis and ultimately Urdaneta City (travel time is about 3 to four hours). If you want to shave an hour off the trip; it is strongly suggested that you leave Metro Manila by four a.m. before traffic starts to build uo and then catch an early breakfast at Hacienda Luisita where there is a Pancake House, Starbucks and Jollibbee waiting for travellers.

By Bus:

Catch a bus from Manila going to Alaminos, Pangasinan. From center of Alaminos City, there are tricycles and jeepneys that ply the 3 kilometer route to Lucap town where the Public Assistance Center for the Hundred Islands National Park is located. The center also accepts reservations for accommodations to the islands. From the center, motorized boats (banca) can be hired for a trip to the islands.

Buses that ply the Manila - Pangasinan route:

● Dagupan Bus Line (Quezon City to Dagupan) New York St., Cubao Tel # 929-6123, 727-2330

● Victory Liner (Quezon City to Dagupan & Alaminos) Cubao, Q.C. Tel # 727-4688, 727-4534

● Five Star Bus Line (Pasay City to Dagupan & Bolinao) Tel # 833 8339, 833 3009

● Genesis

● Viron Transit

● Suntrans

● Dominion

● Partas

● Solid North

● Philippine Rabbit (Quezon City to Dagupan & Bolinao) EDSA, Q.C. Tel # 734-9838, 734-9836

● Philippine Rapid Manila to Dagupan & Bolinao)

By Air:

Charter flights from Manila are quite pricey at PhP 60,000.00 for a round trip charter flight from Manila to the regional airport in BInalonan, Pangasinan. A better bet is to make your way by land to Binalonan and then use that as a jumping point to explore the rest of northern Luzon via their very reasonable packaged flights. Check this out at: (http://www.skypasada.com)

345 MW San Roque Multipurpose located in San Manuel, Pangasinan
345 MW San Roque Multipurpose located in San Manuel, Pangasinan

Power Generation Hub

Near Metro Urdaneta is the municipality of San Manuel, which is the site fo the 345 megawatt San Roque Multipurpose Project, considered to be the biggest man-made dam in Southeast Asia. Also within Pangasinan is the 1200 megawatt Sual Coal Fired Power Plant, with both power generation projects supplying power to the Luzon Grid. Power transmission facilities within metro Urdaneta are provided by the Pangasinan Electrical Cooperative (PANELCO III) for household, comemercial and industrial users.

Industrial Potential

Pangasinan aims to become an ecologically balanced and environmentally stable world-class center for tourism, trade, agriculture and industry in the Asia-Pacific region. Pangasinan is the biggest province in the Ilocos Region, covering an area of 5,368 square kilometers. Much of the land is flat and devoted to agriculture and the province has the highest amount of irrigated fields in the region. The Lingayen Gulf is a rich fishing ground and is a major source of marine products. The mountain ranges to the east and west of the province are sources of mettalic minerals like gold and chromite and non-mettalic mineals like clay, limestone, silica and guano. With the support of more than 61 technical institutions, the labor force can adequately respond to the needs of traditional as well as highly specialized manufacturing activities.

Health Care

Urdaneta City has one (1) government owned hospital, four (4) private hospitals, including the state-of-the-art SacredHeartHospital along MacArthur Highway. The city has one City Health Office that delivers health services. As of 2006, UrdanetaCity also established ten (1) Botika ng Barangay outlets to bring quality but affordable medicines within the reach of the people in the communities. It also has several well-equipped pharmacies.

Banking

Considered one of the biggest financial centers north of Metro Manila, Pangasinan itself has 110 rural banks, 63 commercial banks, 17 savings and mortgage banks, 8 specialized government banks as well as 251 non-banking financial institutions catering to the financing needs of the province, with Urdaneta City hosting branches of most of the major commercial banks.

Trading Hub

Urdaneta City earned its name as the “Bagsakan” (trading post) of Pangasinan because it serves as a drop-off point for the various fruits and vegetables coming from the different municpalities in Pangasinan and nearby provinces. The City's central market practices pure laissez-faire or free enterprise where nobody controls the prices of goods and commodities; unlike in other areas where there is cartelization or price control. Because of this level playing field, traders and market vendors from all over Luzon come to this city to buy goods and sell these to the different towns in Pangasinan and other luzon provinces. UrdanetaCity is also the site of the largest cattle market in Northern Luzon; cementing its role as the region's most significant trading hub.

Comments 26 comments

isabel reyes 6 years ago

potensyal po bang ang pangasinan ay magkaroon ng malapad na bicycle lanes?


Chanda Shahani 6 years ago from Makati City, Philippines Author

Opo. May malaking potensyal ang Pangasinan na magkaroon mg malapad na bicycle lanes. Unang-una, ay dumadaan diyan ang "Tour of Luzon" (sa Macarthur Highway papuntang Baguio). Pangalawa, maluwag pa sa amin kaya marami pa ring mga rota na puwedeng i-develop sa bicycle lane. Atsaka gusto ko sanang i-recommend ang munisipyo ng Umingan para sa mountain biking.


bhebhebhe 6 years ago

need help... Lam nio ba number sa St. Nicolas of Tolentino Parish Church? nasa manila pa kasi ako, gusto ko sana tumawag bago ako umuwi. Para malaman ko kung may paraan pa para maayos yung little document ko... Para di naman masayang ang paguwi ko jan. Sana matulungan nio ako. Thanks!


Chanda Shahani 6 years ago from Makati City, Philippines Author

Please email me the details at dailyacts@yahoo.com and I'll see what I can do to help. Best regards, Chanda


pinkhawk profile image

pinkhawk 6 years ago from Pearl of the Orient

...wow ang ganda!...hope I can visit this place one day. Thank you po for sharing! ^_^


Chanda Shahani 6 years ago from Makati City, Philippines Author

You are most welcome po! I hope you can visit us here! :)


AB Best 6 years ago

I was trying to find a travel agency (or travel agents) in Urdaneta City... so that I could buy a ticket to Davao City. Your site is interesting...but my search was futile. I know that there are booking agents in Urdaneta...and I did not see one listing.


Chanda Shahani 6 years ago from Makati City, Philippines Author

Hello there. Regarding a travel agency, you can try this one at the Sanctuary I.T. Building at Urdaneta City. The travel agency's name is: TRI-Cs Corp. Sanctuary I.T. Bldg., Unit 107 Barangay Nancayasan MacArthur Hiway, Urdaneta City, Pangasinan Tel: (6375) 5683265 / (6375) 5683168. Fax: (6375) 5683266 ... Hope this helps.


dennis santiago 6 years ago

paki inspection lng ung magic mall sa urdaneta city kc ung daanan ng mga senior citizen and mga person with dis ability ay hinaharangan ng trapal sana mabigyan ng pansin ng municipality of Urdaneta and dswd sana mabigyan ng action ng kinaukulan salamat po


haimerej 6 years ago

pwede ko po ba malaman exact location ng tourism center sa uradenta pangasinan? please e-mail me here..

haimerej1820@yahoo.com

salamat po!


TheAprildragon 6 years ago

nanlapo kami ed Hundred Islands last 1November2010, we enjoyed it..pero say agko agustuan amay bahay kubo ya ni rentaan mi ya 400, ok labat kumon ya mambayar kami atan labat aliwan comfortable ta melag labat, tan no unuran nabasa so gamit..kumon naimprove tapyan mas enjoy!


mark ian 6 years ago

san po located ung 2 call center company sa urdaneta?

thanks!


Chanda Shahani 6 years ago from Makati City, Philippines Author

1. To Mr. Santiago re disability access in Magic Mall, we shall write Mayor Perez about it. Salamat po.

2. To haimerej, wala pong Dept. of Tourism sa Urdaneta City. Please proceed instead to the Mayor's office for more information.

3. To the AprilDragon, we have relayed this information to Board Member Ranjit Shahani who is the Tourism Committee Vice-Chairman of the provincial government regarding your comments. Salamat po - Dios ti Agnina!

4. To Mark Ian, ang dalawang call center ay nasa Sanctuary I.T. Building po, MacArthur Highway, Bgy. Nancayasan, Urdaneta City.


lilia espinoza tambalo 5 years ago

can you help me find my bff/classmate who is in her 60's, Fely de Vera..her family used to have a tailoring shop there in Urdaneta and probably has it at present.Thank you very much.My email is liliatambalo@yahoo.com or raygavina@yahoo.com ( husband )we're on friendster and facebook also


Mark Marcus 5 years ago

In your opinion, what is the best and cleanest hotel in Urdaneta or Manaoag? Thanks. Pls reply soon. Will be there on Sep5.


Chanda Shahani 5 years ago

Mr. Mark Marcus: Your best bet is Lisland Rainforest Resort. Just look for their contact details in this article. Thanks!


balout4sale 5 years ago

my call center po tlga sa urdaneta? san banda?


Chanda Shahani 4 years ago from Makati City, Philippines Author

Sa Sanctuary I.T. Building, po!


steven 4 years ago

how long is the drive by bus or whatever from Urdaneta to San fernando city


paul anderson 4 years ago

what is the best way to get from manila airport to urdaneta 115 miles to the north, mode of transport and approximate cost please, thank you


Derik 4 years ago

AMAYAMAY NI DITAN..APLAYAN KO LAMET MAY BARKO

pls translate..thank you

inyakis ko lay pigay agew anggano wala ak edtrabaho


ken 3 years ago

Add Your Comment.ken..bus manila to urdaneta...go 5 star or victory liner or solid north..all air con . Time is about 4 hr or 5 considering 30 min stop in Angeles.


pen 3 years ago

good day.ask me lng po if san po yun sinsbi n call center d2 po s urdaneta,ano po ang qualification be a call center agent,kahit po b wlang experience is welcome to apply,thanks po


altcomchris 3 years ago

sir pwede po bang malaman kung ilan ang total population ng tricycle ng urdaneta city???


kenn mones 3 years ago

Helo po...ask q lng po if nag pa process po kau ng visas for uae po..

Salamat po and more power

Godbless!


sandy 2 years ago

what is means of transport frm manila airport to pangansinan n what is approx charges

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