Pangasinan's beach in Tondaligan will definitely confirm that the Philippines is truly a tropical country. Inspite of the fact that it’s crazy hot in here (especially now that it is summer time), Pangasinan has some beaches to help cool you down and forget about the sweaty 4 hour trip (improved with the access to a new road that shortened the usual 6 hour trip from Manila.
Tondaligan beach is just one of the lesser attractive beaches in Pangasinan. Yup! There's a lot of great beaches with white sands, great views and several other attractions, however most of them are just too far by road, and many would require you to travel by plane.
With grayish sands, and a not really fascinating view, it is good enough for the ordinary traveler who wants to dip into the waters to refresh himself from the summer heat. It is not a “must-see” destination whenever you happen to pass by Pangasinan since the Hundred Island beaches are more popular for the more picky and adventurous tourist.
But we were not exactly in Pangasinan for the beaches. We were there because we attended a family get-together with my mother's relatives, so the fairly satisfactory beach will have to do just to refresh us and feel the cool waters. The visit to the beach was just a side trip to treat our relatives who came with us to Pangasinan from Manila aboard our official transportation provider - Fox Travel Services.
Our trip to Pangasinan was gladly sponsored by Fox Travel Services. We would like to thank them for making the trip possible. The beach trip was done a day after the birthday celebration, and a visit to the Manaoag church even before that. You can read all about the other stories from my sister's blog article about the celebration which she hosted impromptu thanks to our mother who thought of making the celebration more lively with my sister as the main host.
As told on our previous story about Pangasinan, Fox Travel Services was our official transport service that provided a van for us that we used to reach Pangasinan and roam around at some of the nearby locations like Manaoag church and the at the said beach in Tondaligan.
Make outings or in our case, a family reunion, more fun on the road with their comfortable van choices. They offer competitive rates for secured tours and transfers in Metro Manila and in other parts of the Philippines. Apart from their desire to offer you an unforgettable trip, security and safety comes first. If you are on a tighter budget, they can recommend their 28 seater coaster van which is great for a larger group of travelers. This is also an ideal transportation for sightseeing tours, excursions and even business related travels.
Our departure time to leave for Pangasinan was at around 4:00 in the morning. So my mother required us to wake an hour before departure time. My mom loves going to places at freakishly early hours so we can avoid the early morning traffic congestions.
The earlier days were filled with so many reminders not to stray away from each other and as we arrived at our destination, she kept saying again and again “Wag kayong pumunta sa malalim!!!" (Warning us not to go to the deep portions of the sea). Although we had enough common sense to realize that going through strong waves and deep waters was suicide. Ah, that just means we’re going to have a great beach day. Naturally we went to the water, my other companions in the water even tasted it (I don’t get it either) obviously, it was VERY salty.
After getting hit by the waves, (it was fun though) we had breakfast in our cottage, of course a great beach wouldn’t be complete without amazing food - some of the left-overs we had from the birthday celebration the day before. My mother also ordered for some pancit for our merienda later, aside from the food we already brought in from their house in Pangasinan.
After breakfast, they went back into the beach, but as my mother had a natural fear of nature, we were told to just stay at our cottage and watch from a distance... (an unobservable distance in fact). The showers in the area weren’t half bad, I just hope the women don’t mind (we took the ladies shower), I personally think that wasn’t the best move...but the caretakers insisted it was unisex showers - hehehe! They were apparently just wanting more people to avail of their service.
As we went back there was more food served (remember the pancit?).. and some grilled squid. My mom grabbed a plate for all five of us in the family to share... hahaha. Since we were a big bunch, we had to share the food so we went hungry all the way back home at their house in barangay Taloy of Malasiqui.
However, we were fortunate that the van took a stop-over near a Starbucks café. My mother and her sisters went out to buy some stuff from the nearby market - must be pasalubong and something to eat for lunch later (it was only later when they got back to the van when we learned we were going back to their house in Malasiqui eat lunch first before going back to Manila) - and so my brothers and I took the opportunity to buy some food from Starbucks. Little did we know we were going to be very full afterwards.
Me and my younger brother had money of our own to pay for our food, but our sister didn't bring any money with her so I volunteered to treat her. We all chose one kind of food - the cinnamon bun (I forgot the exact name of that pastry but it was very good) - huge pieces to appease our hunger. My father was the one who chose that and all of us decided to follow what he liked since it was not his first time to try it out.
My loving father went with us so he could watch what we were going to do, but lucky for us, he also treated us for some drinks. It was the first time I've learned they also have non-coffee based drinks at Starbucks. So all three of us drank tall milkshakes, while my father had one of those Mocha Frappes.
The entire experience was a genuinely happy moment for the family and I hope we will soon go back to the beach once again whenever we visit my mother's hometown province of Pangasinan.
Contributed by Hezron Kyle Del Rosario