Friday, November 30, 2012

Dasol, Pangasinan: Unfolding Wonders

A Weekend Affair with Dasol
Tambobong Beach Dasol, Pangasinan
November 7, 2011

Day 3 - Part 3 of 3 (Celebrating My 26th Year)

The mad waves of Cacupangan shore, a rugged beauty unfolding...

Nature's  own classic masterpiece
An off-the-beaten Wonder

It’s been almost a year since I first laid eyes to the rugged town of Dasol, Pangasinan… 

How can I forget?  Undoubtedly, up to now, it’s still one of the best weekend rendezvous I’ve had. 

Fresh air... quiet beach side… friendly locals… unspoiled delights… 

Lost in Hues

While securely sited in the small boat (where I was silently cringing from the lack of life jacket), I stared blankly at our boatman who was slowly paddling our way to the island. I looked back at the wide expanse of Tambobong seaside and sighed with relief. Good thing our boatman found us just in time. I couldn’t imagine how we’d be able to make our way to island by just traversing along the jagged rocks along the coastline…. (like what originally thought).

Paddling our way to Island, the bluish-green water
was both inviting and equally tempting.

I returned my attention to the view unfolding in front of me and started thanking our boatman for letting us ride in his small boat. He told us that actually, he was also heading to the Island to catch some fresh fishes. However, he warned us of big waves on the other side of the island. We took note of it and assured him that we won’t venture near the area. En route to the island, the water was calm. Since the boat was not motorized, we took turns paddling. My, it wasn’t as easy as it looked. Most of the sea bottom was covered with brown seaweeds, so there was no way we can see any corals. I am particularly curious if sea cows (dugong) frequent the area. The bed of sea grasses were to abundant, a very viable source of food for said creatures.

Nearer to the Nagtaros Island, there was an area (in between islands) where the clear water suddenly turned greenish-blue. I curiously asked our guide the reason why. Our boatman shared the spot is considered by locals as the deepest part of the coastline. Its floor never scaled before. Upon hearing this, I slowly gazed at the clear water and wished I never asked in the first place. Ahahha.

The raw beauty of one of the uninhabited islands in Dasol, Pangasinan. 
Roaming animals, wild grasses, scattered rocks...
Truly, the place offers its own brand of surprises.
I definitely enjoyed my time here.

Up to now, the memory is still, enticingly BEWITCHING

We arrived at the Island after few minutes. Of course, we couldn’t contain our happiness at finding the area uninhabited and without a sight of anyone except us. Our boatman left us in the bank of the island and promised to return later (as he’d go fishing in the other side of the shore).

The sun was unbearably hot but we didn’t mind. We immediately marched and galloped our way to the other side of the island, where furious waves battering distant rocks and verdant field growing wildly, were in plain panoramic view. The rawness of its beauty was enough to mesmerize our weary souls. We jumped for joy!

Rocks and Waves

The moment I gazed upon our new-found (secluded) paradise, again I was thinking of the movie Blue Lagoon. 

Imagine yourself in an island where furious waves and rugged rocks meet, under the blue sky and creamy sand. The scenery made me remember a certain scene in that 1980’s movie about two children shipwrecked in an unknown Pacific island paradise.

The beach was unusually devoid of the usual vegetation (coconut trees, mangroves, etc.), so it was unbearably hot! The sun was so intense even at half past ten (10) in the morning; I feared we would melt away. 

There were very little clouds to shade us from that scorching heat. The sand (which was cream and not white) was unbearably hot, we couldn’t even walk barefoot.

Luckily, the gigantic rocks on the other side of the coastline became our temporary shade. It was a comfort relaxing there for a moment, while all of us shared and devour the food that we brought along and happily singing an off-tune happy birthday song. 

My supposed birthday cake (which we dubbed tsunami cake, very similar to the turbulent waves in front of us) wasn’t looking too appetizing after all that it has gone through. Hahaha. Not far away, the sounds of tattered waves and breeze provided our background music.

Dipping At Last

We did not miss the opportunity to dip into the inviting water. However, it was really a surprise at finding flat rocks instead of sands underneath; like as if nature cemented it. We realized that the flat rocks extend all the way to the... Of course we didn’t know how far because we were too afraid to move two meters away from the shoreline. Hahaha. All three of us have zero swimming ability and we really couldn’t depend on our two young guides (they were practically children!).

Waves tossing, pseudo-swimming and non-stop camera flicker: that’s how I summarized the almost 3 hours we spent in that exotic beachside. Unmindful of multiple skin burns and screaming melanin attacks, we practically played under the sun! Literally! The wild waves washing the shore added the needed spice to an already carefree adventure. There was a small cave located near our spot, but we did not dare enter. There’s a limit to every adventure.

Candid moments. Spontaneous emotions.
All under the sun, beneath the cloudless sky.

Spending one whole afternoon
in a secluded paradise where nobody's there but your friends
is my selfish idea of FUN,

Our young guides likewise played with us. They were the expert swimmers and they couldn’t help but laugh at our inability to float. Hahaha. We thought them how to use our cameras and they excitedly took our pictures. It was such a worthwhile (though fleeting) moment. The seemingly rugged seaside with its equally wild water waters will forever be in my memory. Oh, how I love how striking the place could get.

Homeward Bound

The place was so isolated. The whole time, I was waiting for anyone to arrive. But until the very second we were leaving, we remained the only group who was there. Our trip was supposed to be at Palaui Island in Cagayan but due to typhoon onslaught, we opted for Pangasinan. It was a half-hearted decision at first. But it turned out that it wasn’t such a bad choice after all… If it’s any consolation (and perhaps coincidence), the island is slightly reminiscent of Batanes and has that Palaui-feel-minus-the-lighthouse effect… Although the place definitely is more on the rugged side.

Running around midst all the green and blue...
Sure, there's that a sense of freedom that
breathes the panoramic atmosphere

We were supposed to stay longer, but our boatman already arrived at around 2:00pm. And since we wouldn’t want another topsy-turvy journey on our way back (referring to the route we had that morning going to the island), we decided to hop into the small boat and sail away. I was scanning my neck to catch a last glimpse of the place. Until, finally the island was lost in sight and I then realized that we didn’t have any life vest around us. Ahhaha. (Paranoia).

Going back to Tambobong, the waves that met us were mild. Thank goodness, they were mild! But since we were onboard an un-motorized boat (yes, we have to paddle), there were instances when even mild waves could almost capsize us! Imagine the silent heart attacks I had to go through.

Who says that birthday cakes need be perfect?
Oh well, mine's called Tsunami Cake.
I guess, you need not ask why.

Finally, we reached the shore (after about 30 minutes). Nanay Benilda was waiting to meet us. Before leaving, we ate (with our tricycle driver) a sumptuous lunch of freshly cooked (fried) tuna, with unlimited rice! Hahaha. I was eating with such gusto I almost forgot my name. hehehe. After taking a bath and refreshing ourselves, we finally bid our goodbye to our kind hosts and to the idyllic Tambobong. What followed after was an hour of bumpy ride back to Burgos and 30 minutes bus ride back to Alaminos, where another air-conditioned bus (which headed for Manila) was waiting for us.

“Stop worrying about the potholes in the road 
and celebrate the journey.” 

– Fitzhugh Mullan


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