The Pangasinan (Panggalatok, Pangasinense) live in the peninsula projecting west into the South China Sea just north of the Zambales mountain ranges. The densest areas are in San Carlos City (117,850), Dagupan City (101,131), and Malasique (79,808). The national population is some 1,159,176 (NSO 1990).
Made fertile by the Agno river and its tributaries streaming down from the southern end of the Cordillera mountain ranges, the area is lush with vegetation and agricultural production. To the west, at the tip of the peninsula are the Bolinao, a Sambal-related people; to the south are the Sambals. Pressing from inland to the east are the Tagalog of Nueva Ecija, and from the north are the Ilocano. Hemmed in by different cultures, the Pangasinan’s rather closed society has maintained a distinct language in spite of the onslaught of the complex institutions of contemporary metropolitan cultures.
Agriculture, with the production of rice, is the leading industry, with fishing about the waters of the Lingayen Gulf, along the fringes of which are areas used for the cultivation of fish and crustaceans. The Pangasinan also produce some of the best “buri” mats and are well known for domestic metalcraft, especially the production of bolos.