February 2017
Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
"...no modern restaurant in Dagupan could ever take the place of these local food in the hearts of Dagupeños and visitors like me."

[DAGUPAN, PANGASINAN PROVINCE, ILOCOS REGION, LUZON ISLAND, PHILIPPINES]
► Bangus (milkfish) has somehow become synonymous with Dagupan. However, the city of Dagupan is more than the bangus recipes and the expanding presence of fusion dishes and contemporary food innovations that can be found in its ever growing inventory of restaurants and cafes.

Earlier this year, I did a walking tour in the downtown district of Dagupan and I found out that the local tupig and bibingka vendors are back near the city plaza! 

As far as I'm concerned, I think they were gone for a while. On my last visit, I found out that the local vendors stationed at the corner of Burgos Street and AB Fernandez Avenue near the Dagupan City Plaza are back!

Tupig and Local Bibingka


Tupig is basically popular in Northwestern Luzon and in some Ilocano speaking towns in Central Luzon. Although Dagupan is not technically an Ilocano city, this city takes pride of its Dagupeño tupig.


Tupig is made of ground glutinous rice and coconut strips (or grated coconut in some cases) wrapped with banana leaves. 

Some of the tupig vendors I saw were stationed near the AB Fernandez Avenue and Burgos Street corner of the Dagupan City Plaza.



Moving on, I think it was my first time to encounter these bibingka makers and vendors in this part of AB Fernandez Avenue located near the city plaza.

Bibingka, like tupig, is also made of glutinous rice and coconut strips cooked with a banana leaf too. Unlike tupig, bibingkas are not rolled and wrapped with banana leaves. They're like cup cakes.






The bibingkas of Dagupan are cooked over charcoal. Bibingka makers cook them right in the streets. They put their bibingkas inside a can then cover it with a coconut shell.

Ending Words


Dagupan's local food (well, aside from bangus) are usually not the highlights of its food scene but they're here to stay.

The city has evolved (and continues to evolve) so fast with the mushrooming of new restaurants and cafés but the local food that make up the foundation of its local culture couldn't be replaced by any modern and posh restaurant.

Tupig and bibingka are insanely cheap yet it's jam-packed with calories to keep you going and strong. It's even healthier with less grease or fats. Indeed, no modern restaurant in Dagupan could ever take the place of these local food in the hearts of Dagupeños and visitors like me. They're here not because vendors need to earn by selling them but because Dagupan's intangible spirit is not complete without these local food, hence, part of their identity. | end |

Map Showing the Location of #Dagupan

MAP OF DAGUPAN
► FOOTNOTES, DISCLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC 

[1] This post was filed under the category "Food and Cuisines." 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 maps.google.com.ph. 

[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.

LATEST STORIES COVERING #DAGUPAN | SEE ALL #DAGUPANSTORIES »

MORE STORIES COVERING PANGASINAN PROVINCE | SEE OLDER STORIES »
MORE FROM THIS CATEGORY (FOOD AND CUISINES) | SEE OLDER STORIES COVERING FOOD AND CUISINES »

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V SF L N S L B T T KL
NAGUSTUAM DIAY NABASAM/NAKITAM? MABALIN MO MET I-LIKE.
Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
...this is the first serving of the blog menu I'll be offering soon covering food and restaurants in Dagupan City.
GOLDEN MAMI HOUSE

[DAGUPAN, PANGASINAN PROVINCE, ILOCOS REGION, LUZON ISLAND, PHILIPPINES] ► This post is the start of my long overdue plan to blog all the restaurants I've tried in Dagupan. Now that I'm less lazy to do it, I'm taking advantage of the hot and brewing motivation I'm feeling now before it's gone.

Dagupan is a lovely city in the contemporary food scene. There are many restaurants here and café‎‎s of different genres. In my case, it's not really disappointing to visit Dagupan if you're looking for places to eat. Fusion dishes, innovative recipes as well as traditional dishes are not hard to find in Dagupan.

By the way, this is not about the typical restaurant review that we've known. You're reading a travel diary and my experiences and feelings are the highlights here, not the restaurant or the food. Anyway, I would like to start my Dagupan restaurants compilations with Golden Mami House.

Year 2015: First Experience in Golden Mami House


The first time I entered this restaurant was on 08 May 2015. I came here because it was the restaurant suggested by a random tricycle driver I hired when I told him that I was looking for a Chinese restaurant or anything oriental.

GOLDEN MAMI HOUSE

It was hard for me to choose for a food to eat here because their servings were usually for a group of at least three people. Yeah, they have big servings. Sadly, I was all alone.

Not wanting to waste more time, money and effort by looking for another restaurants, I chose to order a chicken meal named chokwe.

The first food that I ate here was named chokwe and God knows how un-knowledgeable I am about the name of Chinese food and on how they should appear. They first served me the condiments.

GOLDEN MAMI HOUSE

The price of the food I ordered was more than 100 pesos as far as I remember and I thought this would give me a good lunch! Before they served me the food, I really didn't know how it should look like. All I wanted that time was to eat a rice meal and I ordered this because, yeah, it had to be taken with rice, verbose. I didn't opt to order long-life meals that time.

I was first served with two pieces of calamansi, chili paste and an orange sauce that tasted sweet and sour (mixed taste). I loved the sauce. Afterwards, they served me what I ordered and that was the time I realized that chokwe was pieces of crispy fried chicken!

GOLDEN MAMI HOUSE
GOLDEN MAMI HOUSE
GOLDEN MAMI HOUSE

I thought it was just a regular fried chicken meal but the food, as far as I'm concerned, had its unique qualities that's hard to explain and put in detail. It was crispy but it was more refined (not the usual crisp in fastfood meals or elsewhere) and I actually considered that it was a good meal, better than those sold in fastfood chains. I got a satisfactory experience from what I paid.

The chunks were smaller like it was bite-sized. It was not really the chicken-joy brand we've known.

2017: Revisiting Golden Mami House


Almost two years after, I'm back here! It wasn't really an intended return. It was more of a random return. While walking the streets of Dagupan hungry and desperate for rice meals, I saw this restaurant once again. Since I was craving for a huge meal, I chose to eat here because of the satisfactory experience I had back in 2015.

GOLDEN MAMI HOUSE

On my return, I was confused of the entrance. I didn't know if it changed its location or I was just playing the stupid act not to recognize where should I enter. Anyway, I figured it out and guess what's next—I entered the door, of course. 😜😜😜

I ordered that same food! 

GOLDEN MAMI HOUSE
GOLDEN MAMI HOUSE
GOLDEN MAMI HOUSE
GOLDEN MAMI HOUSE
GOLDEN MAMI HOUSE

My hunger was relieved and I promised myself to try another dish on my third visit here.

So yeah, this is the first serving of the blog menu I'll be offering soon covering food and restaurants in Dagupan City. | end |

Map Showing the Location of #Dagupan

MAP OF DAGUPAN
► FOOTNOTES, DISCLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC

[1] This post was filed under the category "Restaurants." 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 maps.google.com.ph. 

[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.

MORE STORIES COVERING #DAGUPAN

LATEST STORIES FROM PANGASINAN PROVINCE
MORE FROM THESE CATEGORIES


MORE TOWNS YOU MIGHT LIKE TO EXPLORE
V SF L N S L B T T KL
NAGUSTUAM DIAY NABASAM/NAKITAM? MABALIN MO MET I-LIKE.
Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
Dagupan's chaos and hot weather have become a charm for me throughout the years because the city elements I just mentioned have made Dagupan the sweet madness that it is now. 

[PANGASINAN PROVINCE, ILOCOS REGION, LUZON GROUP, PHILIPPINES] ► The year 2017 came rushing like a wildfire but my travel spirit was still stuck in 2016. My 2016 blog backlog was a heavy problem to deal with. I don't know how could I finish it now that 2017 travel opportunities are starting to paint my 2016 travels 50 shades darker. It's hard to ignore the vibrant shades of my 2017 travel calendar which started on 01.11.2017.

Exactly 11 days after the birth of 2017, I was in Pangasinan to continue my search for truth. The year was young in this good old destination of mine. I entered the province via San Fabian town with youthful enthusiasms to grow more as an individual and a student of the universe.

Mangaldan

I passed by the town of Mangaldan. It was bustling. It was busy. It's following the footsteps of its neighbor ▼ #DAGUPAN as a commercial hub.

MANGALDAN PUBLIC MARKET

Approaching the Mangaldan Public Market means a worsening traffic. Vehicles slow down. Road becomes congested. Mangaldan, being a lowland town that is close to the sea (not a coastal town but yeah, close to Lingayen Gulf), the heat added  more discomfort to me. But yeah, I don't complain. Each town in the Philippines is beautiful with different qualities to inspire you depending on what you are passionate about.

Anyway, the economic growth of Pangasinan towns is impressive. Mangaldan is one of them. Actually, I've explored Mangaldan's quieter side in the past years but I haven't blogged them since. Shame on my laziness.

Dagupan


Remnants of the past Christmas season were still decorating the busy streets of Dagupan when I visited the city for the first time in 2017. In front of the city museum was a tall Christmas tree.

DAGUPAN CITY

It's same old, brand new. Old city, new year. Dagupan's chaos and hot weather have become a charm for me throughout the years because the city elements I just mentioned have made Dagupan the sweet madness that it is now.

It's overpopulated during the day yet you have the opportunity to learn and be inspired by the people you might meet somewhere, over there. 

The busy streets with hundreds of jeeps that emit enormous dark smoke are noisy and stressing but you would learn that every commuter with body-squeezing skills could endure the commuter-congested jeep during rush hour because he/she has a mission to accomplish. 

Jeeps are part of the lives of every Pangasinense and they use these transport vehicles to achieve their dreams, to empower people, to educate the youth and to be responsible parents. Professionals, students, working moms, the rich and the poor all join the chaos of Dagupan to improve their lives. 

The thick crowd inside the jeeps and in the markets of Dagupan is the reason why the busy Dagupan I have known is alive and awake and each soul therein consider Dagupan as their home and a provider of opportunities for their lives to improve.

ZAMORA STREET, DAGUPAN
PANTAL BRIDGE
DAGUPAN CITY

But Dagupan is not just about the stressful heat and noisy streets (in my case though 'cause I live in a less commercially-developed smaller city which still has rice fields). It also has its peaceful side that I personally love. 

The city plaza is a good place to relax for me. Near the plaza is the equally peaceful and relaxing premises of the new Saint John the Evangelist Cathedral.

DAGUPAN CITY

Zamora Street played its rightful role during this visit as a street for foodies. Every time I visit this street, I usually see a food strip. As usual, it's a favorite place for the locals.

The bridge over the Pantal River was still decorated with Christmas-related stuff during my visit and the spirit of Christmas in Dagupan continued to be felt 11 days after the birth of 2017.

On my walk around the downtown of Dagupan, I noticed that the bibingka vendors near the corner of Burgos Street and AB Fernandez Avenue are back; so with their tupigs.

I also noticed horse-drawn carriages running on the streets of the city. I'm not sure if this is a recent addition or not. If not, I probably haven't noticed them before.

Dagupan was a perfect city to kick-off my 2017 travel calendar. Hoping for more fruitful travel line-up this year. Minus my laziness, I have more stories to tell from this trip. | end |

Map Showing the Location of Pangasinan Province

MAP OF PANGASINAN
► FOOTNOTES, DISCLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC

[1] This post was filed under the category "Travel Drama." 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 maps.google.com.ph. 

[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.

MORE STORIES COVERING PANGASINAN PROVINCE

LATEST STORIES COVERING ILOCOS REGION
MORE FROM THESE CATEGORIES


MORE TOWNS YOU MIGHT LIKE TO EXPLORE
D V SF L N S L B T T
NAGUSTUAM DIAY NABASAM/NAKITAM? MABALIN MO MET I-LIKE.
Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
His goal now is to instill acceptance. On how he will receive acceptance in this society with set of rules and standards depends on the fruit of his actions.


[DAGUPAN, PANGASINAN PROVINCE, ILOCOS REGION, LUZON ISLAND, PHILIPPINES] ► Our modern world is existing with diversity. Human brain is unique for each individual. Humans follow a certain set of norms and customs while some follow certain beliefs. Indeed, we are social beings. In the sea of ideas and opinions flooding the dry fields of curiosity, humans were given the power to rationalize, to think what's right or wrong and to make decisions. 

Cultures were born. Some practices are socially and culturally acceptable, some are not. Some are controversial. Some are debatable. But unacceptable, conformable, controversial and well-accepted practices can co-exist altogether forming the interestingly complex society where we dwell. 

From the mountains, the valleys to the cities, social codes are present. The extremist, the non-conformist and the unique will stand out amongst the norm. Their presence may leave one thinking, contemplating and accepting; sometimes, raising eyebrows.

An AB Fernandez Avenue Discovery


AB Fernandez Avenue is one of Dagupan's busiest streets. The norm here is to trade, do business, avail and sell services/goods, purchase commodities and more. An afternoon walk along this avenue would bring your to posh shops, street food vendors, restaurants, a public square and until recently, a faith healer.

Although faith healers and fortune tellers have played a part of the Filipino society, seeing a faith healer stationed at AB Fernandez Avenue is so atypical for the set-up I've personally known about Dagupan.

I've made hundreds (or probably thousands) of steps on the sidewalks of AB Fernandez Avenue since 2010 so this typically jeep-and-car-congested strip is familiar to me. I've never encountered a faith healer doing his activity-based-on-faith thing here unless I just failed to notice one since 2010. If the latter would have been the case, I concede.


I've seen (and interacted with) fortune tellers in Quiapo a few times now but never to a faith healer 'cause it seriously creeps me out. Until I saw someone stationed near an electrical post on a sidewalk in this same street, my relative fear blunted. I turned curious.

A crowd of about eight to dozen random curious individuals, both young and old, surrounded a person with a long curly hair and forearms covered with accessories. Apparently, that person was not the typical Mang Kepweng or Madam Auring sort of a fortune teller/faith healer. He was a woman. She was a man! In Filipino slang, he was a beki (gay).

His hair was fake, so with the curves of his eyelashes. With him was a sculpted imagery of the child Jesus (Santo Niño) dressed in white with its own pillow placed in a tray covered with a dirty, worn out maroon clothe. Sampaguita garland placed around the imagery's neck that eventually rested on its chest made it refreshing to look at. The dirty clothe turned negligible.

Philippine peso notes were placed in the tray with the imagery of the infant Jesus.


A "Beki" Gay Faith Healer


It was my first time to encounter a faith healer of his kind, not even in my dreams and wildest imagination. TV shows, as far as I am aware, never featured his genre, let alone fictional series, so I was interested to approach him and hear the words he wanted to say.

In front of him was a woman who trusted his capabilities, or maybe, for the benefit of the doubt, she at least tried. He said he has healed many patients especially those with breathing problems.


He handled a white stone he used as tool for his healing and in identifying the illness of his patient. Curious onlookers had different points of view. Many were mum. Some didn't believe him. A woman even told me that he could be a mangkukulam in disguise. Like what I said above, this happens when someone becomes extreme, doesn't conform or acts uniquely. He would stand out and catch the attention of some members of the public but he should face the clashing opinions of his spectators. His goal now is to instill acceptance. On how he will receive acceptance in this society with set of rules and standards depends on the fruit of his actions.


Did he ask for donations or fee? That, I didn't know. I never asked but several pesos were present in his tray. The crowd was growing and with a suspicious woman insisting (implied) to see my photos, it was a social signal for me to distance myself. I'm not judgmental. I just don't trust clingy street strangers. I had to leave this faith healer although I wanted to hear more of his stories.

Should I believe his healing power anchored in faith? Honestly, its doubtful. And like what I said, clashing opinions on what is right, wrong, acceptable and doubtful in our society is expected to arise when someone breaks the thin lining of the norm. But I don't judge him on what he does. I know he has a purpose, and if his purpose is overt, much better—it would be easy to understand and help him. The only thing that I wish is for him to find contentment and happiness in life. I'm praying he'll soon find the true road to happiness and success, unless, this is already his definition of success and happiness.

As I left the crowd, he held the hand of his patient in the gesture of a woman. His fingertips compressed altogether and his hand flapped like a feather. The nail polish on his finger nails has faded. He needs to put new layer of colors, or maybe a nail art. There were doubts on his healing power but there is one thing I was sure about him: He was a man pushing his right to become/appear like a woman in the midst of a judgmental society that challenges the morality and acceptance of the smaller community where he belongs—the LGBT. | end |

Map Showing the Location of #Dagupan

MAP OF DAGUPAN
► FOOTNOTES, DISCLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC

[1] This post was filed under the category "People." 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 maps.google.com.ph. 

[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.

MORE STORIES COVERING #DAGUPAN

LATEST STORIES COVERING PANGASINAN PROVINCE
MORE FROM THESE CATEGORIES


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VSFL N S L B T T KL
NAGUSTUAM DIAY NABASAM/NAKITAM? MABALIN MO MET I-LIKE.