Friday, June 21, 2013

Pangasinan : Fascinated With The Butanding, San Fabian Beach and Our Lady of Manaoag

Wazzup Pilipinas!

What comes to your mind when you heard the term summer? Is it all about the time to have fun? Is it about having no home works? School works? Group projects and the stuffs?

For me, summer is about having quality time with the people I treasure the most and it is my family. It is about bonding with them after those busy days in school.

The most unforgettable summer of my life is when we went to the beautiful province of Pangasinan. Pangasinan is known for its delicious food like mangoes, boneless bangus and the Calasiao puto. It also has awe-inspiring beaches, marine parks and waterfalls, not to mention the ever-famous Hundred Islands. Pangasinan is definitely a treasure trove for the senses that is worth exploring again and again.

For the faithful Catholics, Pangasinan is also home to a revered refuge of healing and devotion which was our first destination in the city of Manaoag.

Our Lady of Manaoag, formally Nuestra SeƱora del Santissimo Rosario de Manaoag with a literal translation of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag, is a title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary, associated with the statue in Manaoag that is said to be from the 16th century. She is the patroness of the sick, the helpless and the needy.

The image, one of the most adored Marian icons in the country, is said to have miraculous powers.  The statue is housed inside the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag. Every day, people from all walks of life travel to this municipality in Pangasinan to hear Mass, pray the rosary, offer flowers, light candles and be in contact with the venerated image. As seemingly described by its name — manaoag, connotating “a calling” in Filipino — hundreds of people flock to this icon’s home every day.

There we saw a lot of people patiently falling in line knowing that they are living very far from Pangasinan. There I knew that the reason why they are there was because they are sick and are hoping to be healed by the Holy Spirit since Our Lady of Manaoag is very famous for its miraculous powers and these were proven already by the different devotees of it.

The church is one of the Philippines' most widely visited Roman Catholic Pilgrimage sites. Many people from across the Philippine archipelago come and visit the town of Manaoag, where the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary is enshrined in a church dedicated to this name. The church is administered by the Dominican Order in the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan, located in Manaoag, Pangasinan, about 200 kilometers north of Manila.

After that, we went to San Fabian Beach. The beach was not that extravagant but we still had fun.

San Fabian town is quite popular in Pangasinan because of its beautiful beaches and resorts. Though the sand may not be as beautiful as Boracay’s, it's not white but its powdery anyway, still a lot of people flock to this place. It gets too crowded at times. Maybe because of its easy accessibility and short distance from the neighboring towns and is less expensive compared to other beaches.

They don't generally charge anything if you just want to use the beach. You can use the picnicking entrance and walk straight through to the ocean. There's a little Japanese friendship shrine, and then a narrow messy beach. But the surf is fine, pretty gentle. If you wade out in the ocean, the nice sand bottom remains for a long time, and the slope is very gentle. It's a nice place to relax for an hour or two.

The best attraction in San Fabian beach is the sunset. That's why my favorite time to be here is towards late afternoon. We watched the sunset as well as the sunrise and the beautiful scenery really caught our attention.

There, we rode in a boat just to see the so called “Butanding” There I saw three of it.

The Butanding or whale shark is a slow-moving filter feeding shark and the largest known extant fish species. The whale shark holds many records for sheer size in the animal kingdom, most notably being by far the largest living non-mammalian vertebrate, rivaling many of the largest dinosaurs in weight.

The whale shark is found in tropical and warm oceans and lives in the open sea with a lifespan of about 70 years. Although whale sharks have very large mouths, as filter feeders they feed mainly, though not exclusively, on plankton, which are microscopic plants and animals.

However, the BBC program Planet Earth filmed a whale shark feeding on a school of small fish. The same documentary showed footage of a whale shark timing its arrival to coincide with the mass spawning of fish shoals and feeding on the resultant clouds of eggs and sperm.

Staying at the beach for two days and a night was a lot of fun. A lot of things happened and it was very memorable. 

There were a lot of vendors that is why we didn’t bother to bring food anymore.

Before going back to Manila, our family decided to have a road trip and bought products of Pangasinan like their famous Milk fish that can be bought in Dagupan, the Putong Calasiao in Calasiao and their famous product of which is their Fish sauce and Bagong alamang.

With that beautiful experience of ours, I could say that It’s really more fun in the Philippines.

Contributed by Aubrey joy De Jesus

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1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading the article as well as seeing those pictures attached. It captured my attention especially when I saw the picture of "Butanding". I don't why, but maybe it's because I haven't seen such a gigantic animal like that. I was fascinated and at the same time I got this feeling of jealousy that it pushes me into something, something that whenever we had a chance of going into somewhere, I would probably suggest the place where in this article was based. I am hoping that in the next summer, the writer would have experience more great escapade and may be able to share it some time.


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