It’s my first time to visit this place last February 23, 2016 when coming from San Fernando City of La Union where I applied for a passport, I decided to disembarked from the bus I was boarding in Binalonan of Pangasinan, a crosssing leading to the town of Manaoag for another 30 minutes.
I have been hearing a lot of testimonies from some pilgrims known to me personally for a decade already but I found no binding factor then to pursue visiting it. But personally, I really wanted to have my pilgrimage to this basilica. And this moment was its realization.
Based on the accounts published by the Wikipedia, The Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag is located on top of a hill in the town also called Manaoag where it has been canonically affiliated with the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome since June 2011. The parish encompassing Manaoag and the surrounding towns is administered by the Order of Preachers under the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan. It was officially declared a Basilica on February 17, 2015.
In addition to that, Wikipedia, published some historical facts about the church where some of the earliest miracles attributed to Our Lady of Manaoag, including the original apparition, are depicted in the murals in the church.
It has been further cited in this same source that in the early days of the Spanish era, animist mountain tribes burnt down newly-Christianised villages. The town of Manaoag was among the settlements that were burnt by the raiders, sending the locals fleeing to the thatch-roofed church. The pillagers's leader climbed over the church compound's crude fence and shot flaming arrows at all parts of the church, but the building miraculously did not catch fire.
Furthermore, this same archive compiled that during the Second World War, enemy Japanese forces dropped several bombs within the church's vicinity. The structure was only moderately damaged. Four bombs were released above the church, with three landing on the plaza and the façade, destroying both. The last bomb fell into the sanctuary, but miraculously did not explode.
For those who wanted to stay overnight in the place, affordable accommodations are available in the vicinity. The town itself is a progressive one that establishments which cater services to the tourists abounds like the fastfood chains (Jollibee and Chowking) just across the street. There are banks with ATM machines.
Regular bus trips (Dagupan Bus Liner) from Manila to Manaoag and vice versa is accessible to the pilgrims and tourists alike where its last trip coming from the place to Manila is at 8:00 P.M. costing P314 for one way as of this writing. While I reached the place at 5:00 P.M. coming from Binalonan, I was able to attend its 5:00 P.M. mass and the last mass is at 7:00 P.M.