Briefly in Batangas, then Pangasinan

My paternal relatives have been taking advantage of every opportunity to get together after my paternal grandfather passed away a few months ago. Lolo used to be the reason why the extended family gets together, usually during hospital visits in Manila. Now that he’s gone, any paternal relative’s birthday is a reason for our family to spend the day in upland Cavite or in Batangas. I hope it stays that way.

Last weekend, we went to Nasugbu in Batangas for the birthday of one of my young nieces. We spent the night and the rest of the day-after leisurely at Canyon Cove Resort.

A day after our trip to Batangas, I took a bus to Pangasinan to join my fraternity batchmates from UP Los Banos in a brief leisure outing. After a little more than four hours on the road from Manila, I reached the municipal hall of Bugallon, Pangasinan. I had asked for the bus to drop me off at the landmark where my fraternity brothers were to pick me up. They had arrived hours earlier and had gone sight-seeing ahead of my arrival.

I took the opportunity to go around the plaza taking photos while waiting for my companions. After meeting up with my brods and sisses, we proceeded west of Lingayen to Alaminos, where we spent a few moments at the town’s docks with the famed Hundred Islands in the horizon. Unfortunately since we only had a day and a few hours to stay in Pangasinan, a Hundred Islands trip was out of the itinerary.

Pangasinan w/ Frat Batchmates (Oct. 26, 09) Pangasinan w/ Frat Batchmates (Oct. 26, 09) Pangasinan w/ Frat Batchmates (Oct. 26, 09) Pangasinan w/ Frat Batchmates (Oct. 26, 09) Pangasinan w/ Frat Batchmates (Oct. 26, 09) Pangasinan w/ Frat Batchmates (Oct. 26, 09)
On our way back to Lingayen, we passed by the place of the mayor of Alaminos, who is apparently a fraternity brother also, but we didn’t catch up with him as he was somewhere else. We spent the rest of the afternoon till early in the evening at the wide stretch of beach right behind the provincial capitol in Lingayen. I don’t remember being in a beach that wide-stretching. Like a public park, locals and probably a few tourists were all there just having a good time. The rest of the night was spent at one of our batchmate’s family rest houses in town. We did have to go back to Manila right after midnight since some of us had to attend to our own functions by morning.

Class outing 2: Lunch at the backwaters

For our last day in Pangasinan, we had lunch at the de Venecias’ fish ponds at the backwaters of Dagupan. To get there, we had to ride bancas through a labyrinth of canals and fishponds. Jose de Venecia and Roberto Pagdanganan in front of TV crew Before going to the lunch place, DAR Secretary Pagdanganan came over at the de Venecias’ estate. He is believed to have plans of running for senator next year (he lost the last time he ran). After eating lunch, some of my classmate toured the backwaters with Toff. I on the other hand, the curious eavesdropper I am, joined the press people at their interview with Mr. and Mrs. de Venecia. Mrs. Gina de Venecia is planning to run for senator next year under the ruling administration party. According to her, her platform is based on the promotion of the welfare of the children and the women of the Philippines.

bancas under the bridge classmates onboard the bancas classmates onboard the bancas fishermen tending fishpen classmates onboard the banca banca passing through canals

classmates on the banca

Rene and Toff classmates eating lunch

Mrs. de Venecia with grastronomically satisfied press people, uhuh

Class outing 2: San Fabian beach

The next day, November 30, 2003. We all went to San Fabian and spent the first half of the day basking under the sun frolicking in the light-brown colored sand of the beach. The sand was fine, but maybe people just got too used to white sand, that some of us didn’t appreciate the beach at all. Of course, the kid in me took over, and I spent the entire time, digging canals, moats and a castle on the sand. Some of my classmates were also building castles. Some were just walking around, some were burrying Raf under the sand, some just stayed under the umbrella and didn’t move an inch.

classmates at the beach

classmates at the beach Rene at the beach
Joseph at the beach

Raf being burried under the sand classmates burrying Raf under the sand classmates burrying Raf under the sand classmates burrying Raf under the sand classmates at the beach classmates at the beach

little girl with a sand castle

classmates at the beach Skip, Wyson and Jayo at the beach

Class outing 2: Joe and his fishes

We got back at the de Venecia estate the same time House Speaker de Venecia arrived on a helicopter. After an hour of resting, he invited us to a tour of his fishponds. Apparently, he is on a private endeavor to culture new breeds of agricultural fishes. He allowed us to feed the fishes in his ponds and explained to us that once his group has successfully bred the fishes, they are going to be distributed to the poor families in Pangasinan as livelihood assistance.

de Venecia fisheries

de Venecia and Jess de Venecia feeding his fishes de Venecia and classmates de Venecia and classmates de Venecia and classmates de Venecia and classmates de Venecia and classmates de Venecia and classmates trabahador of de Venecia Rene with de Venecia de Venecia feeding his fishes

the NEW de Venecia mansion beside one of their fish ponds

This fishpond is right beside the de Venecias’ new mansion.

fish pond with kois fishpond breeding ulang prawns de Venecia and classmates de Venecia and classmates