Thursday, August 27, 2009

Binmaley Pangasinan

Historical Origin of Binmaley Pangasinan

The origins of the Municipality of Binmaley are in rooted in legend .The most popular says that two brothers, both heirs to a Lingayen Datu's throne, engaged into a dispute as to who should rule between them as they has a keen rivalry resulting from their businesses in salt making, fish processing (the manufacture of bagoong or fish paste and daing or dried fish), and gold artifacts, which they traded with the Chinese, Arabs and other oriental traders frequenting the area. The younger of them felt cheated and complained to his brother who ordered him to leave Lingayen. He did so in rage with his followers, went eastward, and transformed small fishing community from its lethargic existence to a bustling entrepot of trade and industry that soon rivaled his erstwhile hometown. His boundless energy and vision as well as his “business acumen, leadership, charming personality, and honest dealings “served him well in drawing new members (i.e. businessman, traders, fisherman, artisans, etc.) to the community. The center was called Binmaley, which in Pangasinan means, “a place that became a town".
Another popular legend has it that a magnanimous woman whom the town folk called Binamin founded the municipality. She had no known beginnings and was said to the very first inhabitants of the town>She was apparently accepted as a priestess and had a big shelter constructed where she and her flock worshipped their idols and where strangers dropped in occasionally for food and lodging. Grateful travelers , thus spread the news of her kindness and the growing community eventually made her their leader, their loving grandmother-their "Binamin". Some claim that the term is actually the abbreviated form of the phrase "Bai-min-amin" which means "our grandmother"
A third legend says that Binmaley, derived its name from the Pangasinan phrase "nanmaliw ya baley", meaning a place or territory that has been converted into a town because it is believed that the municipality was formerly a part of the town of Binalatongan now known as San Carlos City.

No records are extant as to when the first huts in the community were erected. Binmaley was thriving when a certain Very Revered Father Luis Gandullo arrived from Binalatongan (now San Carlos City) in 1589 and baptized children in the place. It was then a town of swamps and natural ponds. From them on there are scan accounts as to how the town evolved except that apparently the hostility of the population to the Catholic priest was such that no regular parish was established in the area for a long time. Binmaley was designated in the friar records, thus as avisita or a chapel visited now and again by a priest from Binalatongan. A municipality authority was presumably installed by 1591 and sometime between 1611 and 1613 the community was made a regular parish. Thus, in 1614, the approbation of the casa of Binmaley appears for the first time in the ACTAS CAPITULARES attached to Binalatongan. However, in 1623, the case of Binmaley is given to Lingayen.


The municipality of Binmaley is located around two hundred and twenty one (221) kilometers north of Manila. It is bounded on the north the famous Lingayen Gulf of Luzon. At the northeast is the City of Dagupan, whose center is approximately ten(10) kilometers from Binmaley municipal hall and southeast is the municipality of Calasiao. The City of San Carlos about Binmaley on the South while west of the municipality around 4 kilometers away, lies Lingayen, the capital town of Pangasinan. Binmaley is physically integrated to these places by concrete and/or asphalted roads. Binmaley lies at longitude 15º 57' 30" to 16 º 04' 11" north and latitude 12º 19' 30" to 120 15' 00" west.


The municipality covers a land area of 6,120 hectares which is about 1.14% of the total provincial area. More than half of Binmaley is submerged, constituted by swamps and fishponds, especially along the banks of the Agno River. Rice fields and residential lots constitute the lesser portion of the municipal territory.
Binmaley has thirty-three(33) barangays including the Poblacion. The three largest barangays are Pototan(386.02 hectares or 6.31% of total),Basing(386.99 hectares or 6.03% of total) and Balagan(352.97 hectares or 5.32% of total). the smallest barangay in terms of land area is Calit with only 56.73 hectares of roughly less than 1% of the total municipal lands.


Binmaley is relatively flat compared to other municipalities of Pangasinan. It is leveled with a slope from 0 to 3 percent, which indicates level to nearly level lands. These are considered useful for paddy rice culture or for other crops suitable to the local soil and climatic conditions. Binmaley's fishponds are classified under this type of slope.


Two distinct seasons:

         1. Dry seasons - November to April
         2. Wet Season-May to October

Average Temperature - 27º Celsius
Average Relative Humidity - 77.83%


5 Soil Type

         1. Brown Legua Olay
         2. Green Pangasinan Fine Sand
         3. Pangasinan Hydrosol
         4. San Manuel Fine Sandy Loam
         5. San Manuel silt Loam


Binmaley is known for its large bodies of water, its greatest natural resource and, hence, the focal point of its economic development. Predominantly a fishing community, the municipality is dubbed as the fishbowl of the province. Milkfish (Bangus) feeds Binmaley folk, literally and figuratively. It is the municipality's primary product raised in the ponds carved out of the swamps and natural pools that make up nearly of the municipality's land area. Bangus has raised the economic status of Binmaley above par compared to the other 46 municipality of Pangasinan, an achievement that once earned the sobriquet "Bangus Queen of the Philippines". There are other stocks raise, however, among which are siganin(malaga), prawn, and tilapia. These products are brought and sold in markets as far as Tarlac, Bulacan, Manila and Baguio.
Several tributaries and branches of the Agno river, which feed a considerable number of fishponds, also crisscross the municipality. The largest of these is the Manat River. Rich in marine life, these water bodies are the source of livelihood for local fisherman who operates various types of fishing apparatus, keep fish cages, and raise oysters in cultured beds.
Other fishermen engage themselves in offshore fishing in Lingayen Gulf. Basically, a small-scale activity with the use of small motor craft and fishing gear, the livelihood of fishermen in the four coastal barangays of the municipality.

         1. Fisheries

Out of the total land area of 6,120 hectares,3,291 hectares(53%) are devoted to fishponds. Of this are, 3,080 hectares are brackish water fishponds. There are 2,431 registered fishpond operators in Binmaley, which is the biggest producer of Bangus in the entire province of Pangasinan. Bangus is the main specie cultured and raised among other marine products like prawn, tilapia, and siganid. Almost all Binmaley barangays have fishponds, Biec having the most number followed by Canaoalan and Pototan.

                o Other Fishing Activities

The fishing industry in the municipality is divided into 4 sub-industries each distinct from the other these are (1) Inland Fishpond (2) Offshore (Municipal) fishing Operations (3) Oyster Bed Operations and (4) Operation of Fishing Apparatus(sky-lab, lagao, trap nets, etc.).

                o Inland Fishing

There are 3,028.99 hectares of brackish fishpond and 93.69 hectares of freshwater fishponds in the municipality. Of the total,25% are considered "First Class Fishponds". These fishponds along the Agno have greater land use intensity than the 1,088 hectares(35% of total)"Second Class fishponds" and the 1,232 hectares(40% of total) of fishponds in the "Third Class" category.
Bangus is the principal specie of fish popularly and profitably raised in around3,080.36 hectares of fishponds. Prawn is generally poly-cultured with Bangus, Siganid and Tilapia are the other stocks popularly raise by bangus fishpond operators. Other marine species like mullets, crabs, and shrimp enter the ponds during high tide and thrive together with the principal stocks until these are harvested.

                o Offshore(Municipal) Fishing Operations

The Lingayen Gulf is the major source of harvest from offshore fishing. Four coastal barangays, Baybay Lopez, Sabangan, Buenlag, and San Isidro Norte, depend on it as a major source of livelihood. Fisherman from these communities actively and regularly engage in offshore fishing albeit on a small scale, using such methods as the beach seine, purse seine, gill-net and jacket net with the aid of small motorized and hand-paddled boats.

                o Oyster Bed Operations

Oyster raising is another source of income and livelihood for the people of Binmaley. An aggregate area of 14.27 hectares is devoted to it in 19 barangays where 74 operators are actively engaged. The oyster beds are located along the Manat River and other tributaries of the Agno where in 1999, the reported combined production was recorded at 1,783.25 metric tones.

         2. Agriculture

Next to fishing, agriculture is the secondary source of livelihood of the people in the municipality. Agricultural land covers an appropriate area of 1,996.2 hectares or 32.16% of the municipal land area. Of this ,some 1,377 hectares are actually devoted to the production of rice and some 29.7 hectares to various crops such as corn , legumes, vegetables, and root crops both for household consumption with a little surplus for commercial purposes. Barangay Papagueyan has the largest area of tillable soil with 122 hectares of un-irrigated rice lands with an additional 30 hectares of irrigated land. Barangay Parayao and Basing follow with 111 and 96 hectares of un-irrigated lands, respectively.


         1. Furniture Making and shops located in Malindong
         2. Rubber By-products in Parayao
         3. Ceramics and Pottery in Pallas and Parayao
         4. Lime Production in Gayaman
         5. Noodles Factory in Sta. Rosa
         6. Bagoong Making in Caloocan Sur and Naguilayan


Binmaley lies in the center of the long coastal seaboard of Western Pangasinan. As such, it is gifted with a fine natural beach that presents a wide front and a gradually receding seabed. The Binmaley beach is one of the most scenic and cleanest beaches in Northern Luzon. The water is ideal for swimming, motorboat rides, and the occasional wind and wave surfing for the more adventurous tourist. Furthermore, the place is only 1.5 kilometers away from the Poblacion and is, thus, easily accessible from any point of the municipality. The main road to the site is well paved and transportation is easily availed of via the numerous tricycles willing to take picnickers and tourists to the spot.

The municipal Hall is one of the oldest "presidencia" restored to its original grandeur and beauty.

The Our Lady of the Purification Parish Church is the shrine of the miraculous Patroness of the municipality.

The Binmaley Catholic High School was acclaimed as one of the best schools north of Manila, and the Mary Help of Christians Minor Seminary, established in the late 1920's is the only remaining minor seminary in the province.
The traditional Pista'y Dayat celebrated on the first of May is by far the biggest activity held in the area. This celebration, coinciding with Labor Day and held in honor of the "Lady of the Poor", commences with a religious procession in honor of the Lady that winds down from the Municipal Hall to the Beach area. Devotees, government employees and flocks of visitors all participated in the religious parade. Sports activities and competition are held after the event.
The two biggest traditional and cultural activities Binmalenians look forward to are the "Foundation Day of Binmaley" and the "Feast of the Lady of the Purification" held every February 1and 2,respectively,these celebrations grand weeklong activities beginning in the last quarter of January. The night of February 1 witness the culminating festivities while a high mass celebrated by the Archbishop is held the Following day as a fitting and to the gala.


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