Trotting across the globe from Madrid to the Far East just to tell Guidepost readers a few tall tales? Why not? Well, actually the “chronicler” is travelling through Southeast Asia anyhow, albeit for reasons that aren’t work-related, so why not write about the more outstanding sights and impressions on the long trip and share them with the readers? They just might prove entertaining – if nothing else.
Here it goes . . .
It was a sultry kind of weather, with the golden tropical sun fighting a winning battle with the threatening overcast, when we landed on the historic shores of Lingayen, the capital of the province of Pangasinan in western Luzon. That is the largest of the 7,200 islands in the Philippine archipelago.
One who is familiar with this part of the world would find it quite as it should be in this bustling first class municipality whose ubiquitous tricycles, so quintessentially Asian, and the jeepneys, the enduring legacy of World War II, habitually zigzag in and out of narrow street lanes with total disregard for civilized traffic rules. You wouldn’t believe it but this daredevil stunt has its charms, in the way that acute danger mesmerizes!There’s an uncanny feel to Lingayen that unerringly takes the visitor to that time when the the Spanish colonists were still the major players in their crumbling empire and the reluctant “Yankee imperialists” brought all their politico-missionary zeal to bear on placid Lingayen.
The synergic mix of the Spanish and American colonialism and Filipino nationalism has given rise to a surprisingly gracious town: young in spirit today but replete with a past that’s overlaid with the rich patina of never-a-dull-moment history.
We would recommend splendid immersion in this magical Filipino-American-Spanish town that the elderly tourists with links to World War II may have forgotten to visit and the young still have to discover.
By car it takes some five hours from Manila to reach Lingayen.
Neighboring towns are a treasure trove of tropical enticements to top off your holiday in Pangasinan: the Hundred Islands in Alaminos, the mysterious coves in Sual, and white beaches everywhere, many of them as yet to be defiled by senseless tourism.
We promise you’ll thank us for this recommendation.
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