Dagupan City

Hey, guess what? We’re diving into the heart of the Philippines today – fun, right? So buckle up because we’re going on a thrilling joyride to Dagupan City, the “Bangus Capital of the World.” Located in the charming province of Pangasinan, this city is more than just its famous milkfish. It’s a place where the sunrise paints the sky with the most brilliant hues and the locals greet you with a heart as warm as a cup of tsokolate.

Did you know that Dagupan City is home to the longest grill in the world, listed in the Guinness World Records? How cool is that! But hey, it’s not just about the fish and grill. This city is an enigmatic blend of rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning scenery. From the lapping waves of Tondaligan Beach to the bustling streets of the downtown area, every corner hums with a vibrant story waiting to be discovered. And let’s not forget the festivals! You’ve got to be part of the Bangus Festival and trust me, you would not want to miss out on the sheer joy and excitement it brings.

So, ready to explore Dagupan City with me? Or better yet, ready to fall in love with this lovely city? Because I’m telling you, once you get a taste of Dagupan, you’ll be craving more!

Dawel River as seen from Dawel Bridge in Dagupan City
By Judgefloro – Own work, CC0

History of Dagupan City

The Pangasinan people, a seafaring people, inhabited the area now known as Dagupan City before the colonial era. They constructed stilt houses along the coast and engaged in farming and fishing. Additionally, they engaged in trade with other regional groups.

In the 16th century, the Spanish arrived in the Philippines and began to colonize the country. The Pangasinans were among the first groups to be conquered by the Spanish. The Spanish established a settlement in Dagupan in 1580 and named it Villa de San Juan de Amanpang.

The Spanish ruled Dagupan for over 300 years. During this time, the city grew and prospered. The Spanish built churches, schools, and hospitals in Dagupan. They also introduced new crops and technologies to the region.

In the 19th century, the Philippines began to fight for independence from Spain. The people of Dagupan played an active role in the Philippine Revolution. In 1898, the Spanish were defeated and the Philippines gained its independence.

After independence, Dagupan continued to grow and prosper. The city became a major center of trade and commerce in the region. In the 20th century, Dagupan was hit by several natural disasters, including typhoons and earthquakes. However, the city always managed to rebuild and recover.

Today, this city is a vibrant and bustling city. It is the capital of the province of Pangasinan and the third-most populous city in the Philippines. Dagupan is a major center of trade, commerce, and education in the region. The city is also home to several historical and cultural attractions.

What To Eat in Dagupan City?

First up, we gotta talk about the city’s pride and joy, the “Bangus” or milkfish. Dagupan City, dubbed as the Bangus Capital of the World, serves up this fish in an array of mouth-watering dishes. People traditionally grill the Bangus, commonly known as milkfish, and fill it with tomatoes and onions, resulting in a delicious burst of flavors. Another highly recommended dish is the Rellenong Bangus, where they debone the milkfish and then pan-fry it perfectly. This dish is a labor of love, and its rich, savory taste is proof of that.

Moving on, let’s not forget the “Pigar-Pigar.” Oh boy, this dish is a late-night food trip favorite! It’s a simple stir-fry of carabeef (water buffalo meat), cabbage, and onions. Deep-fried to a crisp, the Pigar-Pigar is best enjoyed with a heap of rice, a splash of calamansi juice, and a dash of chili. It’s the perfect balance of tangy, spicy, and savory.

Next, let’s dive into the world of sweets with “Tupig.” Cooked over charcoal, this sweet treat made from glutinous rice, coconut milk, and sugar, all wrapped in banana leaves, is a delight to the senses. The smoky aroma, the crunchy exterior, and the soft, sweet interior truly make it a dessert to remember.

Of course, we can’t leave out the “Puto Calasiao.” These are bite-sized steamed rice cakes, sweet and soft, perfect for a quick snack or a dessert. Found in the nearby town of Calasiao, these little gems are worth the trip. Puto Calasiao is a culinary tradition passed down through generations, and you can taste the love and care in every bite.

Tourist Spots in Dagupan City

First off, you gotta mark Tondaligan Beach on your map. It’s a public beach where locals love to hang out. Picture this: you lounging under the shade of a palm tree, the gentle sea breeze tousling your hair, and the sound of waves lapping at the shore washing your worries away. It’s not always about the glitz and glamour of private resorts, you know. Sometimes, simplicity works wonders. Plus, there’s something about watching the local kids play in the water that just makes you feel at home.

Next up, let’s talk about the Dagupan City Museum. Now, don’t raise your eyebrows at me! Museums can be cool, okay? Especially this one. It’s like time-traveling to the past, and you’ll get to learn a lot about Dagupan’s history and culture. It’s like meeting your old buddy, History, but without the thick, dusty textbooks and stern professors. And hey, it’s air-conditioned, so you can escape the heat for a bit.

Just a hop, skip, and jump away, you’ll find the St. John the Evangelist Cathedral. Whether you’re spiritual or not, you’ll appreciate this grand old dame. It’s been standing tall since 1590, can you believe it? It’s like a silent storyteller, whispering tales of centuries past. Take a moment, sit on one of the old wooden pews, and soak in the solemn, serene atmosphere. It’s like a mini-retreat for your soul.

More Spots

And of course, you can’t leave Dagupan without checking out the bustling Dagupan City Public Market. Trust me, it’s an adventure on its own! You’ll see a vibrant display of fresh fruits, vegetables, and seafood. And when I say fresh, I mean straight-from-the-sea, still-wiggling fresh! The cheerful banter of vendors, the aroma of local delicacies, and the lively vibe make this market a must-visit.

Oh, and one more thing. You’ve got to try the city’s pride – the Bonuan Bangus. It’s a type of milkfish that’s known for being super tasty. Go ahead, dig into a plate of grilled bangus, your tastebuds will thank you!

Festivals and Events in Dagupan City

First on our list, we’ve got the Bangus Festival. You know, Dagupan City isn’t called the Bangus Capital of the World for nothing! Every April, the city goes all out to pay tribute to their number one product, the delicious Bangus (Milkfish). Imagine streets buzzing with excitement, packed with locals and visitors alike. They eagerly anticipate the grilling competition where hundreds of bangus are laid out on a kilometer-long grill. Now, that’s a sight to see!

Hold on because, after the Bangus festival, the city isn’t done yet. Fast forward to May, and it’s time for the Pista’y Dayat. This is the locals’ way of showing their gratitude for the bountiful harvest from the sea. It’s a lovely sight as everyone heads to the beach for festive picnics, boat racing, and yes, more food.

And then, we’ve got the Dagupan City Fiesta in December. Just when you think the city might be winding down for the year, they kick off this month-long party. There are parades, trade fairs, beauty pageants – you name it. The city is all lit up, and the whole place has this amazing holiday vibe that you just can’t resist.

Now, let’s not forget the Kalutan ed Dalan. This event is a part of the Bangus Festival but it deserves a special mention. The main roads in Dagupan City are blocked off for a massive street party. Just think about it, an entire street dedicated to grilling and eating bangus. It’s a foodie’s dream come true!

In between these major events, the city also holds a bunch of smaller festivals. There’s the Family Day, the Gilon-Gilon ed Baley, and the Festivals of the North where dancers from all around the region strut their stuff.


There are a number of activities to enjoy in Dagupan City, including swimming, sunbathing, island hopping, and fishing. The city is also home to a number of shopping malls, restaurants, and bars.

People Also Read: Tourist Spots in Danao City

Getting There

First off, you’ve got to reach the hectic yet magical city of Manila, the capital of the Philippines. Most international flights land here, so it’s your starting point for this adventure. The city buzzes with energy, but don’t get too carried away—we’ve got a journey to make!

Now, be ready to hit the road. From Manila, you’re gonna take a bus or drive yourself north to Dagupan. It’s a bit of a trek, but trust me, it’s worth it. The drive is about four to five hours, depending on traffic.

You can catch a bus from the Cubao or Pasay terminal. It’s a straight shot, with no funky transfers or anything. Just hop on, sit back, and enjoy the ride. Make sure to grab a window seat—you won’t want to miss the lush, green landscapes and the occasional glimpse of the sea.

Driving yourself? Easy peasy. Just follow the NLEX, then SCTEX, then TPLEX. You’ll pass through a couple of provinces like Bulacan and Tarlac before you’ll get to Pangasinan. You might have to pay a few toll fees, but hey, that’s part of the fun!

Halfway through, you’ll feel a change in the air. It gets fresher, a bit cooler, and the city’s hustle and bustle will seem like a distant memory. That’s when you know you’re closer to Dagupan.

Once you’re in Dagupan, get ready to be greeted by friendly locals, mouth-watering food, and a laid-back vibe that’ll make you feel right at home. Whether you want to explore the city’s rich history, relax on the beach, or devour the city’s famed Bangus (milkfish), there’s something for everyone.

Where to Stay?

There are a number of hotels and resorts in Dagupan City, ranging from budget-friendly options to luxurious accommodations.

Overall, Dagupan City is a vibrant and exciting city that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation or an action-packed adventure, you’re sure to find it in Dagupan City.


Well, we’ve journeyed through the exhilarating life of Dagupan City, and I bet you’re as smitten as I am. From the joyous Bangus Festival to the soothing sounds of the beach, every moment in Dagupan is a memory in the making. It’s the kind of place that makes you feel at home, even if you’re miles away from your actual home.

But hey, the beauty of Dagupan City isn’t just about the places or the events. It’s about the people who smile at you from behind their sari-sari stores, the kids who wave at you as they fly their kites, and the fishermen who proudly bring in their daily catch. They’re the heartbeat of Dagupan, they make this city what it is – a place of warmth, joy, and unforgettable adventures.

So, what do you say? Ready to pack your bags and experience the magic of Dagupan City yourself? Because believe me, no amount of stories can compare to the real thing. After all, Dagupan City is not just a place to visit, but a place to experience, live, and love. And who knows, you just might find your own little piece of paradise in this gem of a city.

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