We also revisited Lingayen, my mom’s hometown. A rush of wonderful memories of many happy childhood summers came back as I toured the town’s plaza, capitol building, market, church, grandma’s resting place, and of course, our beloved Lingayen Gulf!

There you are, Lelong! Locating my maternal great grandfather’s name etched on a bronze plate (at right) on a Rizal monument in the Lingayen town plaza.

(Left) We took part in a good old-fashioned small town religious procession making its way around the plaza…

How much does it weigh? One of the old retired bells from Lingayen Church on display (right)…

At dusk, we strolled along the sprawling, well-kept Capitol grounds and admired Pangasinan’s pride: the elegant Capitol building with its American design, Commonwealth era neo-classical architecture at left.

Better lift those shorts, guys…Night strolling at Lingayen Gulf (right) and enjoying the salty cool breeze and the rhythmic sounds of the waves.

Good food and awesome brood…

Relatives welcomed us with open arms and warm smiles. At left, we were treated to a fantastic feast as we relived memories, went through photos, and updated each other with news regarding family.

Special thanks to Tita Dolly, Tita Nene, Malu and the rest of the clan! We had a blast! We hope to come back soon.  Next, we promise to revisit the ancestral house, pay respect to the rest of our brood and tour more of Pangasinan as well–Bolinao, Sual, and those secret white beaches you guys have been raving about. So excited already…

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We stayed in Tita Dolly’s beautiful home in Alaminos.  And for the rest of the Holy Week, we spent it in various ways to amuse ourselves:

zzz…sleeping and snoringHUY, GISING NA!

Mani, ang daming mani…shelling and eating toasted peanuts by the bushel…

and rocking and swaying in a hammock…What can I say? I love lying in hammocks!

Tita Dolly lovingly took time in designing and constructing this Filipino zen-styled garden in front of her home (photos below). We love spending time here…a real refreshing and peaceful place that every home should have…

However, when Typhoon Cosme wreaked havoc all over Central and Northern Luzon, her beloved garden was badly damaged.  But no worries, my artistic and creative tita will rebuild it in no time.

…I also practiced my henna tattooing skills:

Is this “Pangasinan Ink?” Naaah! –its just toy henna that didn’t stain much–not the real thing. But it was fun though. At left is my version of a Scorpion henna.

At right, Levic proudly showcased his Fire Dragon…

Pchie’s Cross of Hearts…in honor of the Holy Week (left).

Doc’s Ethnic Dragon…versus Sis’ Fluttering Butterfly…(below):

…More revisiting in the next post…Part 3: Revisiting Beloved Pangasinan…

We spent Holy Week 2008 in Pangasinan. Most of the time, we spent it in Alaminos, the home of the Hundred Islands. It was a vacation well spent…

I’ve been to the Hundred Islands before but this is the first time I truly enjoyed it, being more adventurous and fearless now than I’ve ever been. At the Don Gonzalo Montemayor wharf, we chartered an outrigger motorized boat that could seat 10-12 people (I think we paid 1,500 pesos but you can haggle if you know how).

Picturesque emerald isles. We snorkeled and picnicked in and around some of the main islands (Quezon, Governor’s and Marcos).

The facilities were alright (although there was a funky smell at the Gov’s Island at that time), the heat was bearable and the tourists (and there were a good number of them) were tolerable. The Alaminos city government did a pretty good job in handling their local tourism industry.

Picnic at the beach (at left). Enjoying Pangasinan mangoes and burritos…and with a great view to boot!

Sizzle, sizzle!Ang init! The three beauties (Sis, Pchie and Paula) taking shelter from the summer heat (at right) in one of the main islands, Quezon island….

Sis and I with our “hermana mayor” for this memorable vacay: Dolly, our gorgeous tita (in the middle)! Galing, babalik kami!

Next post…Part 2: Revisiting Beloved Pangasinan!