What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? – it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies. - Jack Kerouac, On the Road

A brand new year, a brand new page and what better way to fill it than go travelling with friends?It has been a custom between my circle of friends to go travelling every time another year ends. The original plan was to go to Iba, Zambales but we decided to go to Dasol, Pangasinan instead.

A cozy place under the coconut trees I was excited for the trip because it has been a long time since I last went to the beach. We had everything settled in the accommodation and transportation department so all we had to do was prepare the meals, eat, lounge, and sleep. We wanted our cooking ingredients fresh so we made a quick visit to Alaminos Public Market before heading to Dasol.

It was surprising to see just how rural Dasol is. We went to the town center to look for a place to eat but left unrewarded. Most of the establishments were just the bare necessities like the barbershop and the supermarket. We had no choice but to push on for Villa Balinmanok, our chosen accommodation, to cook our own meal.

The first half of the first day was spent settling down and requesting for necessary equipment from the resort while the second half was spent going around the resort premises to see what it has to offer. The resort is divided into four different areas owned by siblings and each one offers a different view.

Tropical feels

I am a firm advocate of lazy travel and try to shy away from itineraries as much as I can. Having said that, I do research beforehand for places that I could visit along with the directions but I try not to be too specific with the time and date of visit. There are cases, however, wherein itineraries are needed especially when it comes to group travel. The funny thing though is that it almost always never gets followed and that is exactly what happened to us.

Our meals during our stay - along with the schedule on who gets to cook, when each meal is supposed to be cooked, and who gets to wash the dishes - were carefully planned out before the trip. Aside from the actual meals and cleaning duties, most of the plans were never followed which is a good thing because it's usually the unexpected stuff that makes a trip more fun and memorable.

I woke up early the next morning so I could watch the sun rise and it did not disappoint. Sitting by the shore while the whole scene in front of me slowly turned from gray scale to full color is an experience that I would love to relive everyday.

Kids enjoying the water Spontaneity came a knockin' and by lunch time we were already on our way to Cabongaoan, Burgos. My friend has been there a couple of times and suggested we try the beach. We passed by the house of the fisherman that he met some time ago and ordered some lobsters for delivery.

We ended up staying late which isn't recommended because the road back to Dasol was a journey in the middle of nowhere and there is a risk of running into cows, goats, and other farm animals in the middle of the dirt road due to the lack of streetlights.

The original plan was to stay in Dasol for the whole duration of our vacation but the lure of Cabongaoan's beach (along with other reasons) was too great so we decided to cut it short and spend the next two days in Cabongaoan. We then spent the third day lazing around the new beach and taking a dip in the cold water.

As the sun started to make its way to the horizon we decided to take a walk at the beach to pick up garbage. We managed to get a lot and were satisfied to have done something to help Mother Nature but ended up doing more damage instead because they burned all of it the following morning.

We spent the last morning gawking at the sea creatures on the reefs exposed by the receding tide.

I know people who love climbing mountains and reaching summits and I guess I feel the same way with the sea and it's sunrises and sunsets. There's just something about the sea that never fails to heal tired hearts and clouded minds - be it the sound of the lashing waves, the feeling of the soft sand, or the smell of the salty breeze - but, alas, as quickly as it started, our four days of vacation went by in a flash and it was high time again to dance beneath the city lights.