[Bolinao, Pangasinan] ~ Love is in the Air and Sea : Patar Beach (2 of 2)

Not only because it was Valentine’s Day.  – 02.14-15.15

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Pardon me for the cheesy title but this entry (and the trip) was not intended to be in celebration of Hearts’ Day but simply another weekend of going places together. This time a “lagari” to an odd combo of a festival of everything that flies and a let’s-push-this trip to the beach. 20150215_105346

First the air, now the sea!

It was barely mid-morning when Allen and I decided it was best to call it a day at the hot air balloon fiesta and experience another kind of heat by the beach. We were both set to go to Bolinao but we were in disagreement on how long a travel time we would need to get there. He felt we needed two hours while I could not let go of what I have read online that that should take about five hours.

Regardless, with no specific plan in mind, we targeted to go back to where we got down on our way to Clark, i.e. Dau terminal which turned out to be equal to two crowded (and consequently sweaty) rides from the festival venue. That was in contrast with the more comfortable one jeepney ride from the terminal to Clark.

We were dropped off not the terminal but in an area nearby which turned out actually better than the former as we were greeted by a continuously flowing ‘train’ of buses and this optimism from a  “manong” who sort of implied that there are many buses going to Bolinao. We decided to grab a local pizza first which we initially planned to eat at the bus but the wait turned out longer that we were expecting. I was getting impatient because while the line was never running out of buses, most were bound to Manila (Cubao at that!), Baguio, La Union, Dagupan and other obscure towns.

We then spent some time chatting with the vendors at the pizza place, one of them happened to be from Bolinao. It was then that we confirmed that town was indeed at least 5 hours away. After about each a slice of pizza, we gave up waiting at that spot and decided to walk few steps to the actual bus terminal. We were led to this line for buses bound to Bolinao, with that saddening statement that one bus just left a while ago. We were starting to lose hope that we were considering going to Baguio instead, despite our bags having only beach clothes :D. It did not help too that there were even moments of misunderstanding whenever we would ask conductors on whether they would pass by Bolinao. Allen and I would later on realize though that we could have taken that bus to Alaminos and take another ride to Bolinao. That was actually what we did. Hmm but it took us about almost an hour before realizing that.

We decided to then set a time until when we would look for a Bolinao-bound bus and just hop on La Union or any bus. Yep, we were that impulsive (and hopeless) then. Luckily, we had that abovementioned realization and decided to risk going to Alaminos and just try our fate at either finding a beach there or pushing it for Bolinao.

It was 5 hours of travel to Alaminos but I personally found it to be bearable. Maybe Bolinao was just a set destination in mind. It was a plus also that we got in the first batch of passengers who got to ride the van to Bolinao. Thanks to Allen’s alertness finding us a seat while I was away on some pee time.

We arrived at the place just the right time before sunset. it was an overall busy beach, divided into resorts. It felt though like it was just one resort because there were no dividers and set-up (huts, etc) were similar. We walked a bit more to the right side to find some secluded spot but we were too tired (and Allen too cautious) that we chose a convenient spot right at the center of area. We did not also set camp immediately. (Had this realization that it could this tiring to set a tent twice a day!)

Once settled in, finally got my taste of calm water while Allen had his beer. Then it was our witness to sunset over beer (and mine happened to be that now rare Happy Horse!) and attempts at ‘selfies’ (and until now I don’t know what to call couple selfies.)
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Too bad I couldn’t capture those rays

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People and weed

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Busier side of the strip

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Late afternoon beer

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Stand-out

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Sunset here this wonderful pale. Reminded me of one in Subic Beach, Matnog

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Even the sand looks a bit pink too. At least in pictures. Actually more light brown though

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Tuod

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Spot the magic wand

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Clouds could be scary when afar

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And just scaly when ‘up-close’

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Blurred selfie

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Our spot

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Oh hello, rare Happy Horse

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The smiling horse in previous not so obvious, but the red text in here is!

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Night was spent trying to capture stars that night which were oddly only on a certain portion of the sky.  Made me miss the generosity we experienced in Zambales almost a year ago. We were again on crazy mode that I ended up seeing Allen eating (and drinking freshly caught fish!) with the locals. It was interesting how we were eating fish with the people who caught them while three kids were busy cooking them on the spot. I sat with them for a while to eat before we headed back to our hut. Crazy mode was then turned on again until we found sleep.

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Minimal streaks of color

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One of many attempts at capturing the stars

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This little girl.She couldn’t speak but she was trying her best to be friendly

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Woke up with missing slippers so I had to use Allen’s. Turned out he thought his was missing so he brought a new one too. A local gave me mine which apparently he hid last night. Odd and crazy.

Tide was very low in the morning that we could see others seemingly walking on water. It rained a bit for a while and when it stopped, took opportunity to wade again. Walked as well to the not so crowded part of the beach on the left end. I was doing my beach dilly dally when three girls approached me and gave me this flower which they said came from Kuya Allen. (I was like: Someone’s being unusually all Valentine-y sweet huh).

When I went back to the hut, there was also another surprise from Allen when he got me that key chain of a vial with sand on it. It made me happy as I have been telling him I want this project of collecting sand in different beaches I get to visit.

Another surprise was then he was again eating. Leche flan this time. It was odd because the two of us rarely eat – especially when drinking but for this trip, we seemed to be eating a lot  – from  that to hotdogs to liempo to corn to banana cue to sea urchins (which only Allen enjoyed though because I didn’t like the ‘texture’ and taste so much, i.e. like our local “balut” made soft in much water) to leche flan and seaweed (almost! but just because we did not know how to eat it).

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Couldn’t capture well but that part of the water where most people were used to not only knee-deep

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Too early a day for these two

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And for this one too

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Edible sea urchins. Different from the dangerous ones with long needles

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Getting a little help from our friend

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Victims

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Why too serious 

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Because we were too lazy to return the bottles

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Less people-invaded side of the beach

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Where have all the people gone

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Warning of rain

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But didn’t stop people

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Uh-oh, someone must have had a crazy night

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These little girls who brought that flower

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Happily posing for the camera

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I didn’t even know when this photo op was going to end, especially for the two younger ones

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Too bright a background

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That bestseller peace sign

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Simple something from boyps

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Oh this feet

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Let’s hide my ugly toes 😀

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Missing one in a pair

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More wade time after going back to our spot. When it was about lunch time, we were just killing time at the hut when two little girls approached us, one of them apparently one of those we were with last night ( I can be very bad with faces and names!). She offered me corn but I refused because I already bought one from the three girls earlier. I just paid and told her she could have it. The other one was selling accessories. I got one phone charm and she gave me one for free.

I read somewhere that some guests were bothered by these kids. Well, I had personal experience of some of them asking for money or being quite pushy with whatever they were selling. Those two were even asking for gifts when we go back. Others may find that offensive, true, but for some strange reason, I understood them. They were maybe thinking of any that extends what they get to see or feel. Not necessarily better things, mind you. Just different. It’s a place where each knows almost everyone. Oddly too, kids we met on this trip are either siblings or cousins.

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What a table

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Post-swim

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Valentine’s Day selfie!

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Wait, there was more

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Growing kid!

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Dog can’t move

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Stuck on sand

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A different sit-on for a change

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Busy with play

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Because we didn’t know how to eat seaweed

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Gerelyn and Nicole

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Obviously not candid

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With Gerelyn

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We finished our beer, exchanged friendly smiles with our couple neighbor before calling it a trip. We had arrangements with a driver but while waiting for him, some locals were telling us to just take their ride because we could have arranged it with someone who is not allowed to get passengers from the beach. Local transport organization politics, I suppose. When he arrived though, it turned out he was one of the legit ones. I was not in the best mood by then that I was feeling a bit off by such.

Turn-around though when we had little trouble finding our bus back home.

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Almost fall

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We were trike-traveling so fast our hat temporarily left us. And luckily found its place there 😀

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How to get there: 

From Dau terminal, take a bus bound for Alaminos. From Alaminos, go to CSI (mall/grocery) where in front are vans going to Bolinao. From the town proper, take a tricycle to the beach. Fare at around Php150.

If coming in straight from Manila, there are buses bound directly to Bolinao. If you are on a tight schedule, I have read somewhere there is a trip during midnight.

Other Notes:

There is electricity in the area and just enough food and beverage supplies. Cellphone signal is bad though so ensure to make critical communication prior to finding your spot in the beach strip.

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