Exploring Binalonan: Longganisa market, flight school, dining destinations

Binalonan. Photo by Kenneth M. del Rosario

Binalonan may often be just a stopover for many, but this town has a lot to offer to travelers who want something different yet familiar at the same time. With its population of 56,000 and a growing reputation among tourists, Binalonan is emerging as a destination worth exploring. 

Its longganisa, century-old trees, and local wine (basi) are just a few of the treasures waiting to be discovered. The town attracts about 1.2 million tourists annually, a number that’s likely to grow as more people discover its hidden gems.

We visited Binalonan recently as part of the NLEX Lakbay Norte trip, a three-day journey across the beautiful province of Pangasinan. Our first day was spent exploring the quaint town of Binalonan, a place often overlooked by travelers but brimming with charm and local flavor. 

Here are four fascinating destinations we visited in Binalonan.

TDZ HeBrews Cafe. Photo by Kenneth M. del Rosario
  1. TDZ Hebrews Cafe

Our first stop was TDZ Hebrews Cafe, a cozy and inviting spot that beautifully blends faith and food. The cafe’s name, HeBrews, hints at its motto: “We are nothing without the Lord.” This sentiment is felt throughout the establishment, especially with the “Pick a Promise” station by the door, where patrons can select a Bible verse to uplift their spirits.

Hebrews Cafe offers a variety of delectable dishes, but their longganisa is a must-try. This local sausage is a staple in Binalonan, known for its garlicky flavor and larger size compared to other variants. Apart from longganisa, the cafe also serves delightful pizzas and a selection of drinks, including brewed coffee, macchiatos, and matcha.

Photo by Kenneth M. del Rosario
  1. Binalonan Longganisa Market

Speaking of longganisa, we got to see how this local delicacy is made while exploring the Binalonan Longganisa Market. We learned that all ingredients are locally sourced, ensuring the freshest and most authentic flavors. The longganisa here is renowned for its rich garlic taste and larger size, typically priced between P340 and P380 per kilo.

The market itself is remarkably clean, even in the meat and fish sections. Vendors proudly sell at least 20 kilos of longganisa daily, thanks to their loyal customers. This bustling market is proof of the town’s thriving local economy and the residents’ dedication to quality.

Screenshot from Ran Uy-Mamangun video.
  1. WCC Flight School

We also got to check out the WCC Flight School, a premier institution for aspiring pilots and aviation mechanics. With over 2,500 students, it’s a hub for aviation enthusiasts. The school offers various courses, the most popular being pilot training, aviation mechanics, and tourism.

Unfortunately, the wind had already picked up by the time we got there, so we weren’t able to fly their planes. But we at least got the chance to see the ultra-light aircraft up close. These barebone planes are designed to promote tourism by offering short scenic flights. 

For those seeking a unique experience, the school offers a 15-minute flight over San Manuel for P4,200, providing breathtaking views of the San Roque Dam. For a more extended adventure, a 30-minute flight to San Fabian Beach costs P7,800. There are also promo flights every Sunday for P3,600. Flights operate from Thursday to Sunday, between 6 AM and 8 AM.

Binalonan. Photo by Kenneth M. del Rosario
  1. Jollibee Binalonan

Our final stop in the town was a familiar favorite—Jollibee Binalonan. This branch, like all others, serves up the beloved fast-food chain’s signature dishes. What makes it special, however, is its role in providing a modern, comfortable space for both locals and visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re craving Chickenjoy or a refreshing peach mango pie, Jollibee Binalonan ensures you feel right at home.

Our trip to Binalonan was just the beginning. Over the next few days, we ventured to other remarkable towns in Pangasinan, including Alaminos, Aguilar, Calasiao, Lingayen, Bolinao, and many more. Each place offered its own unique attractions and stories, which I’ll delve into in our next articles.

Kenneth M. del Rosario
Kenneth has been writing for the Philippine Daily Inquirer for more than 17 years, covering travel, food, motoring, technology, real estate, and business, among others.