Monday, February 18, 2008

Fine Time at San Fabian

My Pa is an ardent devotee of the Virgin of Manaoag. Last year, after he got this cool job in an oil company, Pa drove us to the famous pilgrimage site in Manaoag, Pangasinan to give thanks for all the blessings the family has received from The Big Guy above. After hearing mass and lighting our candles, we went to the nearby seaside town of San Fabian.

I have been to San Fabian before and my memories of that trip are somewhat bleak. It was during my kindergarten years when Angel Mama tagged my sister and me along in this pilgrimage trip sponsored by the Golden Babies, a parish group for ladies above fifty years of age. ‘Ma Sisa (RIP), my Grandma’s younger sister and our neighbor, invited us to join the trip. ‘Ma Sisa was also one of the prominent members of the Golden Babies. I think we went there during the rainy season. I remember this because we visited typhoon ravaged churches, one of which had its roof totally destroyed. All I can recall of San Fabian is me building sand castles and catching crabs with other kids along this long stretch of beach.

Our trip last year made me anticipate the enjoyment of coming back to a place I almost lost in my memory. Pa brought us to this spot perfect for reminiscing: San Fabian PTA Beach Resort in Barangay Bolasi.

SFPTABR was established during the time of former President Ferdinand Marcos and was formerly known as “The Presidential Resthouse.” It served as a place for the first family to unwind whenever they were in the area. Because of its obvious native characteristics, the main building of the resort is much like a Bahay Kubo Hotel. I was also informed that SFPTABR also has a Presidential Suite. It’s always fascinating to imagine getting pampered in a room fit for a President.

SFPTABR also has a good share of the tourist market which is quite impressive for a simple town resort. I spotted some Caucasians having coffee at the resort’s spacious veranda. I also saw this American lady playing with the local children by the beach. At the beach entrance, there are two markers, shaped like tombs, commemorating the landing of the Japanese Troops at San Fabian Beach during World War II.

The resort also has a swimming pool near its beach front rooms. Its picnic sheds are ideal for relaxation and comfort. I took a nap in one of these. The addition of the sea breeze blowing right through your face and the soothing sound of sea waves just made napping more special. The picnic sheds are also a good venue for studying alone. I saw a girl reading her books in preparation for the Philippine Nursing Board Examinations in one of the sheds.

My return to San Fabian is just as special as the sparkle of its clear blue waters under the summer sun. It would always be nice to escape the city hustle once in awhile to enjoy the serenity of San Fabian beach. My felicitations to Pa for the experience.

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