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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
This fishpond is right beside the de Venecias’ new mansion.
After swimming, we all went to one of my classmate’s grandparents’ house for lunch, also in Dagupan.
The next day, my classmates got back to normal after getting drunk the night before. The morning was spent at a swimming resort near the de Venecias’ estate.