A grand vista of Hong Kong still lingers on my mind as I bids adieu the places I had been visiting recently in the hope of finding inspiring passages of life. I have not been disappointed in what I saw in Hong Kong. I was inspired as much about modernity, high rise buildings and the fast-paced life. I am more inclined to take photography on streets and alleyways of a modern city and I am comfortable with it already. It is a welcome breather to see how Hong Kong locals are surviving the fast pace life daily.
The moment came when I have to come back to reality, to the Philippines where the only place you see similar to Hong Kong is the posh Makati Business District and the Fort gated community in Taguig. No, I am not going to Makati or Taguig but to far-flung Tambobong, in the Province of Pangasinan. My travel blogger friends are in a secluded resort hideaway which I dreamed of to relax back in the Philippines, an earnestly sought respite from the bustling cityscapes of Hong Kong, add to that the crazy busyness of populated Manila.
Innocence teach us nothing but purity- Dr. Wends
I arrived from Hong Kong at 1 in the morning via Philippine Airlines and I was contemplating of my original itinerary which is to proceed to Ilocos Norte, on a solo backpacking expedition. I was contacting fellow travel blogger, the guy who has been known for detailed travel itineraries on his blog, Pinoy Adventurista regarding the journey to Ilocos Norte and then a trip to Ilocos Sur. My plan was to proceed to Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur then go straight to Tuguegarao in Cagayan , then drop by Tamauni in Isabela and then go to Santiago City to meet my friends who are photography enthusiasts like me then go back to Manila via Nueva Vizcaya and Nueva Ecija. My friend told me that a bridge connecting Ilocos Norte to Tuguegarao is being under repairs so buses are replaced by vans which I will take twice. Since I prefer night trips to save up on time, I decided to forgo the North Luzon expedition and rested my head on my heavy backpack at the NAIA 2 terminal awaiting the taxi.
A few days prior to my trip to Hong Kong, a travel blogger friend, the ever kind and vivacious Gay Emami told me that she will be in Pangasinan with her family. Then our conversations flooded my thoughts for an easy escape, an alternative from my botched Northern Luzon expedition. An easy escape is a good idea to see Luzon, this time from the Gulf of Lingayen. Easy escape or so I thought it was.
I then contacted them and boarded the next morning’s bus to Alaminos, Pangasinan. Groggy and without much sleep from Hong Kong, I took the Victory Liner bus which departs at 9.30AM from Manila. Though the bus is with a workable WIFI, I felt drown by my sleepy state so I slept. Arriving in Alaminos at 3PM, I boarded yet another bus to Dosol but I have to stay awake to alight at Sta. Cruz Market. The bus ride costs Php350. Then came the exciting part.
The tricycle ride from the national highway towards the resort. I knew it was longer than expected and the trip costs Php300. I jokingly told the driver that I can add up Php50.00 to the fare and I am back to Manila again. He wryly replied that for the distance it will take us to reach the resort, it could have been Php500, so I chose to enjoy the scenery and absorb everything before me. It was a 45 minutes to 1 hour tricycle ride, one that you think will end somewhere rewarding, I know.
Arriving in Tambobong is just heavenly as the simplicity of living greets me. Alighting from the tricycle, I was greeted by raw beauty and much to my surprise, the beaches of Tambobong is inviting as those in other places in the Philippines. It is humbling to be transported back to my own self-absorbed reality. It is amazing to be back to simplicity in just one day: from Hong Kong where busyness means tall buildings, amazing people, fast subway trains and fast-paced life to Tambobong where busyness means walking in the white-sand beach, awaiting for the fresh fishes off from sea carted and sold by fishermen, cooking outdoors even in the rain and meeting friends, catching up.
My Tambobong experience gave me a fresh start to look back at what truly makes me happy. Gay Emami, the ever vivacious and witty travel blogger behind pinaytraveljunkie, totting with her pretty daughter Luna is a great cook. She was superb in the kitchen and by the looks of it; she was having fun playing mistress to the kitchen cooking food for the gods. Darwin Cayetano, the scientist who made babysitting fun and transformed into a dotting “uncle” to Luna is a promising young man. His dreams about how far he wished he could travel are as important as his passion for science and the mind. Mica Rodriguez, the statuesque and svelte lady whom I first met in Tambobong is behind the travel blog senyorita, with Darwin is just simply amazing. She is the epitome of pressure in babysitting, easy to give up. But of course, I see her strength is in her family and by that, she remains constantly in search for happiness found in a family.
From Hong Kong to Tambobong just gave me a breather to what is more in life as a Filipino: Eating dried fish, salted eggs and fried rice while dipping in the beach is just as awesome one can get that he can never have in Hong Kong, well perhaps figuratively though. Nothing still beats the simplicity of home where familiarity breeds trust and companionship means family.