Friday, November 24, 2006


Pangasinan is one of the 77 provinces of the Republic of the Philippines.
Etymology.The term pangasinan means "land of salt" or "place where salt is made" from the root word asin meaning salt in the native language, and the prefix pang and the suffix an meaning place. The term was derived from one of the main occupations of the people in the coastal villages which was, and still is, that of making salt from sea water through the process of solar evaporation in well-laid-out salt beds.
Though not popularly known today, the other name of the region was Caboloan. The root term of the word Caboloan is boló, which in the Pangasinan language refers to a species of bamboo. Caboloan would mean a place where the boló is generally found. The boló is a special kind of bamboo, unlike the kawayan, it does not grow everywhere in the region. It is highly useful in making baskets, sawali and bilao because of its thinness and lightness which make it especially adaptable to weaving. In the early sixteenth century this species of bamboo abounded in the inland plains but due to indiscriminate cutting, it is now rarely found if not in near extinction.
Before the Spanish conquest, the name Pangasinan applied only to the coastal areas, where salt was made, and Caboloan was more common name applied to the interior plains where the boló was abundant. At the time of the Spanish conquest, it was the coastal salt-making region that was occupied first by the Spaniards and the later applied the name Pangasinan to the whole place populated by the same language group. Thus, the name Caboloan fell into disuse, more so after the boló itelf almost extinct in the region where it once flourished.
The province was referred to as Feng-Shia-Shih tan in a Chinese manuscript of the sixteenth century.
Pangasinan is a long, wide, verdant crescent bounded by the wild Zambales range to the west and to the east by the Cordilleras -- the formidable mountains that form the spine of the island of Luzon. To the south, Pangasinan extends to the rice-and-sugar farmlands of Tarlac, and north to the crowning glory of Lingayen Gulf and the South China Sea. This shoreline is a great arc of variegated character: from fantastically tall, craggy rock roughly chiseled by the surf, to the mildest of white sand beaches. The coast is fringed by well-hidden coves and inlets, promontories and caves, forests and woodland, charming fishing villages, and then the islands. It faces the Asian mainland, outstretched widely in anticipation and welcome.
The province experiences a pronounced dry season from November to April and a wet season from May to October.