So far, the highest temperature in Metro Manila is 36.6 degrees Celsius. This indicates that it is definitely summer time in the Philippines. Sadly, the temperatures are expected to peak which can cause heat strokes and other illness.
Unfortunately, I already am getting sick. My cough and colds seem to lurk around. Though I drink plenty of water and eat cool juicy fruits, the heat gets to me and I can’t function well. To be honest, I don’t like summer that much but I love the sun, the blue sky and the green grass. I just hate the terrible heat it brings.
Since I live in the city and new houses are being built in our village, my allergies and asthma started kicking in. I had to take a rest and miss work as well as blogging. So, my grandmother decided to take me to the province to breathe some fresh air. Life in the province is far different in the city. Despite the poor signal, people are more courteous and the surroundings are breathtaking.
Let me now share with you my summer journey to Pangasinan.
NLEx – SCTEx – TPLEx
Whether a short or a long trip, you should always be prepared. Our journey to Pangasinan would normally take more or less 4 hours. To ensure a hassle-free one, we gassed up and checked the tires. We also brought enough drinks, snacks, sweets as well as small bills and coins for the toll gate.
Moving on, I live in Quezon City and the easiest way is going to Mindanao Avenue which connects to the North Luzon Expressway (NXLEx). Everyone is familiar with the NLEx and the Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx). Taking the SCTEx shortens your journey because only a few use that road. But recently, travelers bound for Northern Luzon were given a new and traffic-free road called the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx).
We needed to get to Carmen, Rosales because it is our gateway to Alcala. Taking the new TPLEx saved us time. Our journey was fast and comfortable. Just make sure to really gas up because there isn’t any gas station in TPLEx.
Home. Fresh air, fruits trees, and vegetables crops, I am definitely home. Our house isn’t that big. It’s just a typical provincial house surrounded by fruit trees, a few vegetable crops (planted by my father) and a Filipino water pump called “bomba” which always catch my eye. Not to mention, the fresh breeze that you can feel even inside the house. Let me tell you, I slept well the first night.
Food. Besides the house, I love the food. We enjoyed typical Filipino food such as adobo, hito, latu, sinigang, talong, tilapia, and tuyo to name a few as well as fresh fruits every day. Breathing clean air and fresh food made me feel lighter and healthier.
Family. What made my stay even more special were my relatives. We haven’t seen each other for months. The houses of my relatives are just a short step from our house. Bonding and picture-taking is easy. Just for a short time, we have already planned a holiday together in the next months.
Furthermore, we did not forget our relatives who passed away. Just like the houses, the cemetery was also a short distance from our home. We visited our great grandparents, grandparents, aunties, and uncles, light a candle and prayed.
Fiesta. Our short vacation was very timely because Alcala celebrated their town fiesta. They celebrate it for three days and we were lucky to arrive even on the last day. In a typical town fiesta, there will always be parade, food, pageants, night market and rides. We did not get to see the parade but we’re able to experience the night market and the rides.
Of course, I rode my all-time favorite caterpillar ride. Unfortunately, I do not have a photo or video because I left my phone at home. I was worried it might get lost or get stolen.
Finally, on our last day we went to church before heading back home and brought some fresh vegetables as well as rice.
I am glad I got sick. If it wasn’t for that, I would not be able to take a break from the city and enjoy the life in the province even for a short time. If you have even a short break, grab it. I suggest visiting your province and enjoy the simple things in life.