Summer is when people go out with their families in the Philippines. April is usually the peak of that family get togethers due to school break and lenten season. Thing is I just borrowed the word “Summer” but since we’re a tropical country, it’s called “dry/hot season” :).
I would normally not go on a trip during the hot seasons as my body can’t outlast it. I’m sensitive to light like a vampire. (Maybe I was one in my past life😰😰) . But anyways, I did as the available schedule falls on the month of April.
If you’ve read my other blogs, you’d probably get an idea that I love going to Pangasinan. First, I know I won’t get lost, and second the people are kind and can be trusted. (I feel like I’m an endorser now 😂). That is apart from the given fact that Pangasinan is blessed and fully endowed with beauty even a woman like me can’t have. (wtf?!)
It was a full moon April 8th when I went to Patar Beach. The plan was to iniatially visit Surip and Olanen. Olanen is like a fishing community and you won’t find much in there but boats and people. I rented a boat to Patar where I was assisted by 2 siblings.
Alright, so here I go, moving solo on the first few days of December 2016.
I was just looking at google maps for a place to go. Most people ask me “how did you find this place?” or “what made you come to this place?”, “do you have a relative here?” – I don’t. My answer is just – always – Google maps. It’s the one thing to blame. 😛
Anda is a huge chunk of Island (Cabarruyan Island) northeast of Pangasinan. I checked out the web and there were only a few pictures of the place and it has a nice review from parents who has a huge family.
Reaching Tondol, I understood why. The beach has an ankle-high water on a normal day, vast sand on a low-tide and a knee-high water at high tide at night. That makes it super for families with small children.
To the east side sits a catchy island called Tanduyong locally or Toothbrush Island for visitors. It’s so called because of it’s shape.
That perfect lateral shot.
They better make sure not to cut those coconut trees down or it’ll become a “Spatula island” or maybe a “Nail file Island”.
Okay, I know that’s cheesy.
Moving on, Riding a Bolinao-bound bus, I alight at Anda Rod, from there, I took a tricycle to Tondol beach.
The tricycle driver dropped me to a place where I can stay.
The care taker was very kind to me, she is around 40 and cooks really well. I’d definitely go back for her nilagang baka (stewed beef). It’s epic!
And for the plan for the day, just site check and beach bumming. There were only a few people around. I decided to go around and walk towards the island. As I go farther, the sand is turning into a puddle of sea weeds with sea urchins, starfish, then a lot of seashells. I had to go back and borrow slippers that I can use to protect my feet. I wasn’t able to reach the island that morning as it became high tide all of a sudden. So I decided to reach Tanduyong Island first thing in the morning.
And I did.
The island is inhabited y a family of four. They told me that there is an old UP Laboratory at the other side of the island. We went there and it was like a jungle.
The Torino family taught me how to catch edible sea shells by looking at markings on the sand (like traces of creepy carwlers – lol). As well as how to spot an “Alupihang dagat” – that’s when you see a bubbling water, 1m deep, the crustacean is resting. I kept a video of that when we spotted one.
Ate Lea also gave me lots of freshly caught crabs to bring home. Just imagine how expensive those crabs are in the metro. 🙂 I helped her husband when he was aiming for a catch (meaning morally supported – I didn’t do anything but watch and get sprinkled over with underwater mud from the net) . During full moon though, they said they rarely get plenty of fish.
They offered me food after pulling up the extensive fishing net with crabs and mud (from the sea floor). It’s a freshly caught talakitok. Fried. With soy dip. This is life.
After getting a tour around the island, and chatting with the caretakers, I bid them goodbye. Their 2 sons accompanied me back to Tondol beach.
Torino brothers. They caught the fishes from earlier by the way!
Where to stay?
828 Gems Beach Resort – owned by a Filipino Chinese Businessman. The caretaker here cooks great food!
As I was alone, I got a discounted price. Get your haggling skills at work, though please don’t be too frugal as they also need to earn especially on a non-peak season. 🙂 They are very accommodating and the place is homely anyways so it’s worth it
Here’s a shot of my room (4 people can fit in, though I got the room only to my self) :3
It’s worth noting that there are a lot of resorts to choose from in Tondol. I became acquainted with Mr. Richard Padilla and he owns a beach resort as well. You may check out other places to see which will be best for you. 🙂