The Woman from Dagupan, Pangasinan

9:00:00 PM Pinoy Boy Journals 14 Comments


She’s a mother, a friend and a soul mate. She was born and raised in the northern Luzon province known for white sandy beaches and first-rate marine sanctuaries. She grew up in a province known to many for the famous hundred islands and the tasty milk fish. Apart from the sunny days and green paddies, this province’s hidden gems are the natives who call this magical place their home. My mother, born and raised in beautiful Dagupan, my Pangasinan.

I was a bit uncertain at first because I didn’t have full confidence to write about a place I am quite unfamiliar with. It's been almost a decade since i set foot in my mother's hometown. But I thought about giving back to the province where my beloved mother is born. For such a beautiful woman can only come from a truly magnificent place. I decided to grab my pen and sketched a picture in my head of what I remember from this place, just beautiful memories.

I remember retreating to Dagupan in Pangasinan during all soul’s day in November and “Pistay Dayat” in May when I was still a little boy. I would walk by the shore, and run against the cool breeze in mid-afternoon. Sometimes, I would pick multi-colored sea shells and store them in my little box. I’ve forgotten whatever happened to my collection, I've forgotten the simple joys back then. I guess my fascination for the ocean started when I was a little boy, which up until now fuels my passion to discover and explore this beautiful country of mine. As I look forward to a then, 8 hour trip to this town, I would remember feeling as if time is slowing down on me. Then, we would feast over the freshest catch and enjoy a full meal together with my cousins. Other than that, my memory is now filtered with the atrocity and modernism of city living. 

It’s always different when you’re born and raised in the province, I always tell people that. When I finally have a child of my own, I would prefer my little one to grow up where life is at its simplest, where life and the past become more meaningful and unforgettable. Although i was born and raised in the city, my heart belongs to the province.

Although, I have less than vivid memories of my mom’s hometown in Dagupan, Pangasinan, my mother has successfully immersed me in her rich and colorful upbringing. My family’s meals are always coupled with “Bagoong” or fish paste, a food staple I can never ever leave without. Our food for the week is composed of roasted or broiled “Bangus” or milkfish which the province is proud to produce the best, and Pinakbet Ilokano of course, an assortment of simple cut vegetables cooked again in “Bagoong”. My foreigner friends can agree that this dish is world class. Even a few words I have come to know has become my treasures, and are often my way of sharing a bit of my heritage to the people I know. Words like “anggapo" - wala - none, "magangana" - maganda - beautiful, "ener" - saan - where and phrases like "antoy ngaran mo? - ano pangalan mo - what's your name, "Antoy tay kuwartam" - wala ako pera - i don't have money, have become fruits of my tongue. I know these few Panggalatok words but that’s about it. 

My mom lived her young life in a quaint fishing village off the coast of Lingayen gulf in the town of Bonuan in Tondaligan. She’s a humbled woman who has always been a hard worker. She began working at an early age taking odd jobs to support her family, and her studies. She respects and values her parents, one which i think is the greatest legacy of my mom. My mom remembers her hardships in life, which later on became my strength to persevere in my own personal journey in life. Her sufferings became my inspiration to make the lives of my offspring better. Although she has almost forgotten her life in poverty, she has continued to become grounded and humbled of her past up until now. She never fails to extend her helping hand to our relatives back there. And for that, I hope to imitate the same values she has, and hopefully pass it on to my little kids. She is the most remarkable woman I know. She is my mother. She is the greates gift this beautiful town has given me, and for that i will forever be in debt for.

She is now living the best of her life and she deserves all the wealth she never had when she was younger. I am proud to be a son of a native Dagupeña, a woman scorned by poverty but is continuously blessed with an immeasurable delighted future. This year's Mother's Day and the May edition of Pinoy Travel Bloggers' blog carnival, I offer to the most beautiful woman in my life, the one who inspires me to become the best, the one who shares with me her greatest treasure in life, her love. Happy Mother’s Day, Mama! You are the most beautiful thing that has ever happened to me! 

Malinak lay Labi

Oras la’y mareen

Mapalpalna’y dagem

Katekep to’y linaew

Samit da’y kugip ko

Binangonan kon tampol

Lapu’d say limgas mo

Sikan sika’y amamayoen

Lalo la bilay

No sika la’y nanengne'ng

Napunas lan amin

So ermen ya akbibiten

No nanonotan

Ko la'y samit day ugalim

Ag ta ka nalingwanan

Angga’d kauyos na bilay

A night of calm

An hour of peace

A gentle breeze

Along with it is the dew

So sweet is my dream

Suddenly I awake

Because of your beauty

You are the only one I will love

Best of all, my life

When it's you that I see

All are wiped away

The sorrows that I bear

When I remember

Of your sweet kindness

I will not forget you

Until life is gone

Photo sourced from here

This entry is part of 

Theme: Hometown
Host: Mhe-anne Ojeda of My Comings and Goings


sweet! kaka-touch! "It's always different when you’re born and raised in the province..", I couldn't agree more. ;)
It's always nice to hear stories like this.. from humble beginnings come great things...I guess when one is used to poverty & sufferings s/he really tends to struggle to survive and succeed..and your mom's story is a testament to that. truly inspiring!
Happy Mother's day to your mom Jerik, and tell her someone just said thank you for bringing a boy with a huge heart in this world. :)

[Con Tour] said...


I can relate to your story, especially your mom's odd experiences to raise you in way that someday your offspring be proud of. I happened also to us when my father had lost his job. My mom raised us to survive in all those hardships in life and let us finished our study with all their sacrifices. I am so touch with this story because it hits me and my life. That when we do all the sacrifice right now, we know that someday, we will embrace financial freedom.

I agree with your thoughts, that "It’s always different when you’re born and raised in the province, I always tell people that. When I finally have a child of my own, I would prefer my little one to grow up where life is at its simplest, where life and the past become more meaningful and unforgettable. Although i was born and raised in the city, my heart belongs to the province." That's that reason also why I chose to work in the Province where what I am now. Please extend my best regards to your mom. They are the living heroes in this generation.

Chyng said...

galing, same hometown pala kaya ni Mica. i always notice people from the province are sweet by nature, and has smoother and unpolluted skin! hahaha

@thepinaysolobackpacker thanks so much! this lifetime is not enough for me to thank and love my mom. She's the love of my life. I don't know what i will do without her! Happy mother's day to your mom too!

@[Con Tour] Thanks so much for your kind words. I've always found myself more comfortable in the province. i am a simple guy, and my vision of future isn't complicated. i don't need the luxuries of life. i can get by. Life is more meaningful when you have few things to thank for.

@Chyng Yes, i've read nga she's also from Dagupan! ha ha i know the air in Manila will cause your skin break-outs (we're talking grooming already he he). Thanks, Chyng!

nakakatouch naman =) diba dito yung bangus festival tama ba? btw thanks for sharing . buti nalang may blog carnival somehow may alam ako bout ptb's hometown ... =)

Aleah said...

So sweet naman, Jerik. I always wanted to write a post like this, you know, a tribute to our parents. Thanks for the idea :)

@chinchanlakwatsero salamat ng marami. This is the least that i could to show everyone how much i love my mom. I wanna go back and re-discover her hometown. Who knows i might just hop on a bus to Dagupan and rekindle back my lost memories. Salamat Salamat talaga! This means a lot to me.

@Aleah Yes please. There's no us, if there's no them! They are the reasons why we can all travel. Send me a link once you've written your story, would love to read it... :)

Wow, kababayan pala kita hehe :P I wasn't able to submit an entry for the PTB Blog Carnival hometown edition kaya namiss ko to. Kung sakali pala, pareho tayong Dagupeno hehe :P Just in case you're planning to go to Dagupan again, sabihan mo ako. Kain tayo ng pigar-pigar :D

@Micamyx|Senyorita i know si chyng told me you're also from Dagupan! Yes, for sure. i hope to be back sometime this year! i still have to google what pigar-pigar is! he he thanks mica!!!

a very heart-warming article,I'm from bolinao,pangasinan btw.I wish I have read this sooner.

@Jose Cabarles Hello Jose and fellow Panggalatok. How are you? Thanks for visiting the site. Hope you can come back on this page to read more. Thanks ulit!