Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wednesday, February 06, 2013



I N   L I N G A Y E N

I was craving to see the Hundred Islands off the coast of  Lingayen, Pangasinan one Friday afternoon. I've long wanted to see the famous set of islands as shown in old grade school textbooks. It would be great to experience beach swimming with island hopping at that spot in the Philippines before I even embark on visiting other beaches in Visayas and Mindanao in the near future.

I later on realised that it's better visited with a group of people than alone. Hence, my new destination -- El Puerto Marina. The resort also has a beach front but its well landscaped gardens and fishing ponds were enough attraction in themselves.

El Puerto Marina Resort and Spa is located in Pangapisan, North Lingayen. It's surrounded from the town proper by a quiet residential area, making the environment inside the property pleasant and far from the noise of other business establishments.

Traveling To Lingayen By Bus

Check-in at hotels and resorts is normally at 2:00pm but since I was feeling a bit idle that day, I only managed to board the wifi-ready Victory Liner bus bound for Lingayen at past 3:00pm. The bus fare set me back at a little less than P400.

Surprisingly, the 5-hour commute felt irritatingly slow because of numerous passengers getting on and off in various locations from Pampanga, Tarlac, and all the way to Pangasinan. I started to feel stressed out when I glimpsed of the sunset from my bus window. It was supposed to look beautiful but I just wanted the trip to be over and done with so I could check in at my reserved bahay kubo and get a full body massage.

Arriving Tired At The Resort & Spa

The massage eventually did not happen because I arrived at the resort by 10:00pm. I was barely awake, dragging my tired body from the tricycle and ordering sinigang na baboy for dinner at the resort restaurant. I spotted four Irish guests drinking the night away (at least the band singer cited them to be from Ireland one too many times during her song lineup). There wasn't any time left for a spa moment. I went straight to sleep.

My Wonderful Morning

Waking up to the rustic environment inside the resort proved to be enough therapy for me. Everywhere I looked I saw plants, flowers, trees, bamboo-made contraptions and wooden structures. There were even ducks and chickens roaming around the property where I least expected them like walking past them on the wooden walkway over the pond.

It always amazes me how I could be in the same country but be surrounded by extremely different details in another property. The body of water where my kubo was partially perched over seemed to have added to the provincial factor.

I found it charming to be able to walk barefoot everywhere inside the bahay kubo all the way to the front deck where I spent sporadic minutes of being more idle while seated on a wooden chair. For a little more than P2,500, I was able to enjoy the rustic elements that the kubo could provide, plus its air conditioning, hot and cold shower, and TV set for entertainment. My only regret was settling for the quite uncomfortable bed which had springs that were probably designed for a painful back massage.

Ancient Idol Pool Slide

There was also a swimming pool inside the resort but I let the kids have it that morning. It was enough for me to take photos of it before they even had the chance to play around the area. I consider the ancient idol design of the pool slide to be clever as it effectively allowed itself to blend with the surrounding. 

El Puerto Marina Resort and Spa may not be even close to the beauty of the Hundred Islands but it let me take my time to be more reflective and appreciative of natural things. Beautiful elements that I usually imagine about does exist. It's easy to be attracted to nice and pleasant nitty-gritties because they nourish the soul after a very tiring endeavor.

C H E C K   O U T   M Y   O T H E R   L I N G A Y E N - B A S E D   P O S T S

+ Sunday Morning Catch At Lingayen

H E L P F U L   L I N K 

You can check out the resort and spa's official website here.


More Photos:

My travel stamina partner, Laminine   +   My personal blog, New Self    +   Pasig City Natin


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