[San Fernando] ► December Good Vibes and a Not-So-Wanted Ending

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"Rush hour in San Fernando is equivalent to all bus seats occupied and the only option you have to pick is to grab a space inside the bus where you could stand."

[SAN FERNANDO, LA UNION, PHILIPPINES] ► December 02 was a great day for me and the institution I represent. Regular readers of this travel blog and those who follow my Facebook feed surely know that I work in the hospital. With my co-worker, we traveled to La Union to attend the Pammadayaw 2016, an event organized by the Department of Health Regional Office recognizing the excellence and performances of health care facilities in Ilocos Region. So, what I was doing here?

[SAN FERNANDO] ► HELLO! WELCOME TO SAN FERNANDO!

#SANFERNANDO



Receiving an Award from Pammadayaw 2016

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER. MY ENGLISH PROFESSOR in college hates this saying because he hates late-comers so he used to say 'better never than late." But some circumstances have affected our supposed-to-be on-time arrival at Oasis Country Resort, the venue, and it's a long story so I'll just tell you here that we were 3 hours late—better late than never.

At the reception area, I asked the woman where was the venue of the Pammadayaw awards. She answered me with, "Third floor sir. Ilocandia hall."

We took the stair and proceeded to the escalator only to find out later that it was not working. Anyway, we were able to reach the third floor with our remaining energy. 

When we entered the hall, people were wearing long gowns and tuxedos. We were initially aloof 'cause we did not expect that the event was like that. I was wearing jeans. Both of us were so casual and we would be receiving the award on stage. Anyway, we couldn't afford to change our clothes so we didn't have a choice but to be ourselves.

We eventually received the award on stage in front of medical health workers from the four provinces of Ilocos Region with pride. We may not be the best-dressed but we received an award considered to be one of the best. Hurray for that!

[SAN FERNANDO] ► OUR PLAQUE OF RECOGNITION

[SAN FERNANDO] ► I WAS A PROUD REPRESENTATIVE!

[SAN FERNANDO] ► WITH RICHELLE, ONE OF OUR MEDICAL TECHNOLOGISTS

Dinner at Kawbin's

WE DID NOT TAKE OUR LUNCH BECAUSE our priority was to receive the award. We ran out of time so we had to enter the venue of the event quick. This meant that we had to ditch our lunch and did a little sacrifice in the name of pride and honor. We both hate becoming hungry but I think it's a bit shameful to become late just because you prioritized to eat. Our Filipino culture couldn't take that. Online bashers might turn their eyes on us if this news reaches the social media.

As I said, we hate being hungry so the first thing that we wanted to do was to eat, not to ride a jeep first that could bring us to the restaurants in the city proper. Soon we realized we have to ride a jeep first, eating became our next priority—'cause we couldn't eat without a jeep that could bring us to the restaurants. Spell D-E-S-P-E-R-A-T-E. Our shameful appetite was not helping us become rational ruining our common sense.

Reaching the city proper seemed like a punishment. The traffic jam worsened our agony so we opted to alight and just walk. The flow of the traffic was as gentle as turtle with fractured legs. Pffffft!

After alighting, we started to look for a restaurant that could satisfy our desperate stomach. We wanted some big meals with a good price. We entered Midway Restaurant after few minutes of hunger strike but no one from the crew ever entertained us. We realized the food was expensive. However, if there had been someone who assisted or entertained us, we might still have ordered a food. But since we were so hungry, I decided to leave the restaurant because I didn't want a poor service to worsen our agony. I wanted some pampering.

Thanks to Kawbin's restaurant for being there. It's just located across the street. This restaurant is actually my favorite here in La Union.

[SAN FERNANDO] ► SIZZLING BONELESS BANGUS, I ORDERED EXTRA RICE

[SAN FERNANDO] ► THE VEGGIE SECTION OF MY SIZZLING PLATE.

[SAN FERNANDO] ► THE SOUP THEY GAVE US

[SAN FERNANDO] ► RICHELLE AND OUR MEALS


I've been to Kawbin's many times and everytime I cannot discover a new nice restaurant in San Fernando, my only option is to dine here at Kawbin's.

Christmas Vibe in the City Proper of San Fernando

After feeding our stomach and eventually feeding our brains with common sense, we went to the bus stop to finally go home with an award.

We walked along the sidewalks of San Fernando City's busy streets and witnessed the Christmas transformation of the city proper.

[SAN FERNANDO] ► THE GIANT CHRISTMAS TREE OF THE CITY PLAZA

[SAN FERNANDO] ► CHRISTMAS DISPLAYS BRIGHTENED THE CITY PROPER.


It's my first time to document the city of San Fernando on Christmas season.

The Not-So-Wanted Ending

There were significantly great things that happened this day: We received an award, checked. We enjoyed the dinner, checked. We enjoyed the Christmas spirit of the city proper, checked. One thing received an 'X' mark on our to-do list and that was our bus ride going home.

I realized it was Friday so the weekend follows. I know how stressful it is to grab a bus seat during rush hour here in San Fernando. When it's Friday, that elusive bus seat could leave you there waiting until 9 in the evening. I've experienced this many times and I've conditioned myself to adjust with the situation but I was thinking of my colleague Richelle who might not be accustomed with this kind of situation.

The stress of being in the midst of commuter crowd who were all desperate to go home and have been waiting for at least one hour have consumed our energy and patience reserves. We wanted to go home quick because we still have to report to work early the next day. The travel time would last for at least 4 hours and it was already 08:00 PM which means we would reach ▼ #VIGAN

#VIGAN


at 12 midnight.

[SAN FERNANDO] ► TIRED AND DESPERATE COMMUTERS


Actually, the remedy here is not to grab a bus seat but to grab a space. Rush hour in San Fernando is equivalent to all bus seats occupied and the only option you have to pick is to grab a space inside the bus where you could stand. Of course, the moment we saw the "Vigan" label on the bus windshield in front of the conductor's seat, we rushed to that bus and squeezed ourselves in the crowd as we entered the bus door. I was standing for at least an hour until commuters started to alight from the bus along the way which finally granted me the right to sit down.

Ending Thoughts

My countless trips to San Fernando have familiarized me with the dos and don'ts in the city. Actually, although I didn't want the ending of this real-life story, I was prepared to face it because I expected this. I was just thinking of my colleague who was already very tired. I don't know but I don't feel comfortable if someone with me is worried or suffering. That's maybe one of the reasons why I prefer traveling solo.

This has been my December 02, 2016 experiences in La Union and I've learned new lesson: Every suffering should end. | end |



02 DECEMBER 2016
SAN FERNANDO, LA UNION PROVINCE, PHILIPPINES

SAN FERNANDO, LA UNION

[SAN FERNANDO] ► HELLO! WELCOME TO SAN FERNANDO!


► FOOTNOTES, DISCLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC

[1] This post was filed under the category "Experiences." There is a section below where you can see other related posts from this category.

[2] The maps I used on this post are from Google Earth.

[3] All photos are mine.

[4] The insights, condition and name of places or properties I mentioned here are based on the facts and situation on the day of my visit. Take note that you may have a different experience when you try or see the properties or places mentioned here. Names of places and properties may also change by time so it's not my responsibility to update all the information on this blog because once published, I already consider it an archive and I won't update my narratives because I want them to become my references of what have happened in the past. I'm very particular of the dates because I want my amazing readers to understand that I am writing stories based on my perspective and insights on the day of my visit. You can see dates almost everywhere on this blog. Exempted from this rule are my travel guide posts that need to be updated.

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