Sunday, August 14, 2011

Alaminos: My Other Hometown

I consider Alaminos, Pangasinan my other hometown.  My mother hailed from this town (now a city) known for the Hundred Islands.  I was there two weeks ago though I only passed by to show a friend the beauty of Hundred Islands from Lucap.

Fresh catch of the sea at Lucap.
My parents started bringing me and my siblings to Alaminos when we were in our elementary days.  We would stay there for two weeks in the house of my grandparents who were just excited as we were to be together from a year of separation (We lived in Sorsogon back then).  My grandparents spoiled us rotten.  Before the date of our arrival, my grandmother would prepare the room where we will be staying.  She would have several baskets or tiklis in the vernacular of semi-ripe mangoes hidden under our bed.  I would count the days when these mangoes would be ready to be eaten.  Once ready, I would peel the mango then bite on the meat that is so succulent and sweet and my shirt would be wet from all those drippings.

Going to the Hundred Islands was the most awaited part of our Alaminos vacation.  We woke up early, had an early breakfast before driving to Lucap, the port where the boats are located.  The whole house was already busy for our picnic.  The maids had already prepared our lunch of inihaw na bangus or broiled milkfish, Alaminos sausages, pork adobo, pinakbet and of course, mangoes.  We have to hurry so as to be in Quezon Island before high tide.  It was a 30-minute boat ride from Lucap to Quezon Island.  The sea breeze was so refreshing and water was so clear that corrals of different kinds and sizes can be seen underneath.  I easily forgot my nervousness of the boat ride.  You see, I don't know how to swim up to now.  Lol.

The best mangoes in the world.
While at Quezon Island, we basked on the sunshine while enjoying the coolness of the sea breeze.  We "swam" but only at the shallow portion of the beach.  At around 3:00 in the afternoon, we started to get ready for our boat ride home.  The waves by that time were already at low tide.

When not in Hundred Islands, our days were spent going around Alaminos. We went to the public market and to the houses of the countless relatives on my grandmother's side (My grandfather came from another town, Bugallon).  Our grandfather also brought us to a cockfight derby which had for intermission a burlesque show.  Up to now I still don't know if my grandfather knew that there was going to be a burlesque show in that derby.

The two weeks vacation came to an end and we bade my grandparents goodbye.  We first had lunch at Dagupena at Dagupan City before heading to Manila then Sorsogon.  This went on for several years but was stopped abruptly when my grandmother died. 

I missed my grandparents and I regret that I haven't spent more time with them.  I miss Alaminos but I sure am going back in the very near future.

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