The story behind hundred islands in pagasinan
The story behind hundred islands in pagasinan

In this article, we are going to tell the story behind the famous Hundred Islands in Alaminos Pangasinan Philippines.

The Hundred Islands is a popular tourist destination located in the province of Pangasinan, in the northern part of Luzon Philippines. It is a group of approximately 124 small islands and islets scattered along the Lingayen Gulf. The islands are known for their picturesque beauty, unique geological formations, and diverse marine life.

Here’s a brief history of the Hundred Islands National Park in Pangasinan.

Pre-Colonial Era: Before the arrival of the Spanish colonizers in the 16th century, the area around the Hundred Islands was inhabited by indigenous peoples, notably the Pangasinenses. These early inhabitants relied on fishing and agriculture for their livelihoods.

Spanish Colonial Era: The Spanish explorer Juan de Salcedo arrived in the Philippines in 1572, and in 1580, he explored the Lingayen Gulf, including the area where the Hundred Islands are located. The Spanish colonial administration subsequently took control of the region, and it became part of the province of Pangasinan.

American Period: After the Spanish-American War, the Philippines came under American colonial rule in the early 20th century. During this time, the islands remained relatively undeveloped and mostly untouched, except for some limited commercial activities.

Post-World War II: After World War II, tourism in the Philippines began to grow, and people started to discover the beauty of the Hundred Islands. In 1945, the islands were declared a National Park by President Manuel Roxas, making it one of the first protected areas in the country.

Development as a Tourist Destination: Over the years, the Philippine government has developed infrastructure and amenities to accommodate tourists in the Hundred Islands National Park. Cottages, picnic areas, and other facilities were built to attract visitors and promote tourism in the region.

Environmental Protection: In recent decades, there has been a growing awareness of the need to protect the fragile marine and terrestrial ecosystems of the Hundred Islands. Efforts have been made to implement sustainable tourism practices and preserve the natural beauty and biodiversity of the area.

Today, the Hundred Islands remains one of the most popular destinations in the Philippines, attracting both local and international tourists. It continues to be managed as a protected area to ensure its conservation for future generations to enjoy.

To commemorate the day when Pangasinan became an encomienda and the year it became a province, Pangasinan celebrates April 5, 1580 as the official founding day of the province of Pangasinan. At that time, its territorial jurisdiction included the province of Zambales and parts of La Union and Tarlac.

Owing to the rich and fine salt beds that were abundant in the province’s coastal areas, Pangasinan acquired its name as “Panagasinan” or “Pangasinan,” which translates to “where salt is made.” The significance of salt in the early history of the province cannot be overstated, as it played a crucial role in shaping the local economy and culture.

In pre-colonial times, long before the arrival of the Spanish colonizers, the indigenous communities of Pangasinan discovered vast salt beds along its coastal regions. These salt beds were formed by the natural evaporation of seawater, leaving behind precious salt deposits. The early Pangasinenses skillfully harvested the salt using traditional methods, such as salt evaporation ponds or “baling,” where seawater was allowed to evaporate, leaving the salt crystals behind.

The abundance of high-quality salt in Pangasinan proved to be a valuable resource for both local consumption and trade with neighboring regions. The salt was not only essential for preserving food but also for various industries, such as fish preservation and textile dyeing.

The importance of salt in Pangasinan’s economy led to the establishment of coastal towns and communities that specialized in salt production. These towns became centers of salt trade, attracting merchants and traders from distant places who sought to acquire the prized commodity.

As the salt industry flourished, the name “Panagasinan” became synonymous with the thriving salt-making activities in the region. Over time, the name evolved into its present form, “Pangasinan,” which carries the proud legacy of the province’s historical association with salt production.

Today, while the salt industry remains a part of Pangasinan’s heritage, the province has diversified its economy and embraced various other sectors, including agriculture, fishing, tourism, and commerce. However, the name “Pangasinan” stands as a testament to the province’s rich history, cultural identity, and the ingenuity of its people who skillfully harnessed the bountiful resources of their coastal lands to create a livelihood that sustained their communities for generations.

Title: The Rich Heritage of Pangasinan: Tracing the Origins and Evolution of a Resilient Province


Pangasinan, a province in the Philippines located on the western part of the island of Luzon, boasts a long and storied history that dates back to pre-colonial times. Its strategic location along the Lingayen Gulf has made it a significant center of trade, commerce, and cultural exchange. To commemorate the milestones of its past, Pangasinan celebrates April 5, 1580, as its official founding day, marking the day when it became an encomienda and the year it was established as a province. This paper endeavors to delve deep into the origins and evolution of Pangasinan, exploring its indigenous roots, the impact of colonization, and the province’s journey towards autonomy.

I. Pre-Colonial Roots:

Before the arrival of Spanish colonizers in the 16th century, Pangasinan was inhabited by indigenous communities, notably the Pangasinenses. These early inhabitants relied on fishing, agriculture, and trade for their livelihoods, flourishing along the coast and the banks of the Agno River. They had a sophisticated culture, evidenced by their advanced agricultural practices, intricate weaving, and rich oral traditions passed down through generations.

The region’s coastal towns were blessed with rich and fine salt beds, a prime source of livelihood for the Pangasinenses. This natural abundance of salt contributed significantly to their economic prosperity and cultural identity, eventually giving rise to the name “Pangasinan,” which means “where salt is made.”

II. The Arrival of the Spanish:

The arrival of Spanish explorer Juan de Salcedo in the 16th century marked the beginning of Spanish colonization in Pangasinan. Salcedo and his expedition encountered the Pangasinenses, leading to their integration into the Spanish colonial administration. As part of the Spanish encomienda system, the Pangasinenses were subjected to forced labor and tribute, drastically altering their way of life.

Despite Spanish influence, the Pangasinenses managed to preserve their cultural heritage, incorporating elements of Spanish culture into their own practices. This blending of traditions is evident in various aspects of Pangasinan’s identity, including its language, cuisine, and religious festivities.

III. The Evolution into a Province:

In 1580, Pangasinan was officially established as an encomienda, marking the beginning of its territorial jurisdiction. Over time, its boundaries expanded to include parts of present-day Zambales, La Union, and Tarlac. As the Spanish presence solidified, Pangasinan became an integral part of the Spanish colonial administration in the Philippines.

The year 1850 was a significant turning point for Pangasinan when it was formally recognized as an independent province, distinct from its neighboring regions. The province continued to thrive as an important hub for trade and commerce, and its coastal towns played a vital role in connecting the Philippines to the broader Southeast Asian trading network.

IV. The Journey towards Autonomy:

In the early 20th century, the Philippines witnessed a push for autonomy and independence from colonial rule. The people of Pangasinan actively participated in the Philippine Revolution against Spain, and later, the fight for independence from American colonization.

Throughout these tumultuous times, the resilience and determination of the Pangasinenses shone through, as they fought for their rights and the preservation of their cultural heritage. Pangasinan’s contribution to the struggle for Philippine independence remains an integral part of its identity.

V. Modern Pangasinan:

In the present day, Pangasinan has evolved into a vibrant and dynamic province, blending its rich history with the demands of modernity. The province is renowned for its thriving agriculture and fishing industries, producing rice, corn, fish, and other agricultural products that contribute significantly to the national economy.

Pangasinan’s tourism industry is also flourishing, attracting visitors with its beautiful white sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and stunning landscapes. The Hundred Islands National Park, a cluster of limestone islands, is a major tourist attraction, drawing both local and international travelers.

The province takes pride in its cultural heritage, evident in the preservation of traditional arts, crafts, and folkloric traditions. Festivals such as the Pista’y Dayat (Feast of the Sea) and the Bangus Festival showcase the Pangasinenses’ deep connection to their coastal environment and their gratitude for bountiful harvests.


Pangasinan’s journey from its indigenous roots to its status as a thriving and vibrant province is a testament to the resilience, adaptability, and cultural pride of its people. The celebration of April 5, 1580, as the official founding day of Pangasinan is a reminder of the province’s rich heritage and its significant contributions to Philippine history and culture.

As Pangasinan continues to embrace the future while cherishing its past, it stands as a living testament to the enduring spirit of its people and the richness of its diverse cultural heritage. The province’s unique blend of tradition, history, and modernity makes it a treasure trove of stories and experiences that continue to captivate visitors and enrich the tapestry of the Philippines’ cultural landscape.

7.12 square miles

Hundred Islands National Park is located in the northern Philippines in the province of Pangasinan. There are 124 pristine coral reef islands scattered across an area of 7.12 square miles (18.44 sq km). The islands feature a coral reef foundation with the above ground cliffs being comprised of limestone.

Where is Lopez Island Pangasinan located?

Lopez Island Pangasinan is located in the northern part of the Philippines, specifically in the province of Pangasinan.

1. What are the activities that can be done in Lopez Island Pangasinan?


2. How do I get to Lopez Island Pangasinan?


3. Is there an entrance fee to visit Lopez Island Pangasinan?


4. What are the nearby tourist attractions in Lopez Island Pangasinan?

Hundred Islands National Park (Official GANP Park Page)
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