Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Pangasinan: Pangasinan pilgrimage

I'll definitely be blogging quite more often now that I'm done with my MBA. I just came from a business trip to Pangasinan last Sunday. While checking out some properties in Rosales, my brod Ryan Tan mentioned to me that Li-an Ramos (my kabarkada, blockmate in the UP School of Economics and co-dormer at the Kalayaan Residence Hall way back in 1997) was crowned Binibining Pilipinas Universe 2006! Wow! It seemed like only yesterday when we were freshmen at UP. Since we had the same class schedule, and stayed at the same dorm, we often walked to and from the dorm together. Good luck in the Miss Universe pageant in Vanuatu! I'm sure you will take home the crown!

Anyway, we had lunch at Matutina's Seafood Restaurant in Bonoan, Dagupan City managed by the Balingit family which finds its roots in the culinary capital of the Philippines... Pampanga. It's a great beach front restaurant frequented by GMA. Sad to say, the beach area in Bonoan is not well-maintained and badly-planned. It was a chopsuey government, judicial, civic and tourist center with a jail on one end of the road and a cemetery and garbage dump on the other end. Along the road are restaurants, a Masonic lodge, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Hall of Justice and a Muslim community among others. And the whole stretch of the road is connected to various beach resorts and rest houses. Talk about urban planning.

On the way back, we heard Mass in Manaoag. Finally, I was able to visit the miraculous image for the first time! Located 205 kilometers north of Manila, the Church of Manaoag is a major pilgrimage center of the Philippines owing to the popularity of the miraculous image of Our Lady of Manaoag, an image of the Nuestra SeƱora del Rosario. I remember passing by the old church during the HCS trip to San Fabian but we were not able to stopover. That's it for now.
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