071712 The Urban Tracker (In Pangasinan): Before Sunset In Bonuan Gueset

Mang Banjo's neighborhood talipapa in Sitio Las Vegas Bonuan Gueset
ang Banjo's dishes were such a hit in the local neighborhood here in Bonuan Gueset that by afternoon his selection of dishes cooked the traditional Pangasinan way already ran out of availability.  

His carinderia operating side by side with a mini-market or talipapa was being managed in tandem with his beloved wife. Their years of hard toil paid off as Mang Banjo now happened to be one of respected barangay officials in Sitio Las Vegas.

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Mang Banjo takes his favorite rocking chair in the end of the day for a sigh of relief
Aside from that, Mang Banjo happened to be our host. He had been receiving guests and short-term backpackers in his place for years now and so much has improved about the house since the last time I came here 2004. Aside from this rocking chair his favorite hangout in the end of the day, there's more about to witness in the urban setting of fisher folks community here.

Dinakdakan cooked the Pangasinan way has a crunchy twist.
For the past few days, Mang Banjo's dish already captivated my growling appetite with its native touch. Take for example the 'gatang kamansi', Mang banjo's version at par with ones I encountered in Bicol. His pinakbet Dagupan was also a winner cooked in a manner retaining the crunchiness and taste of the vegetables, His secret could be the use of native bagoong (shrimp paste) that gave it an undeniable native twist of taste.

Mang Banjo's dinakdakan and dinuguan were also promising items.  Dinakdakan, a local ensalada using pig's ear seasoned by local vinegar and spiced by siling tagalog. As opposed to the sisig, dinakdakan has no liver that gives sisig its distinct yumminess.  Dinakdakan is simply a precooked pig's ear and its smoking rawness is what makes it ideal 'pulutan' or drinking pair. 

Mang Banjo's dinuguan is loaded with chunky parts.
Meanwhile, Mang Banjo's dinuguan was loaded with pig inner parts with siling tagalog. The version was saucier neutralized by vinegar with chunky slices that could turn off discriminating samplers. But here, it's prepared to match the local palate.

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Barber tales are just a warm up when you try to have a haircut in local barber
Going around and about neighborhood in Gueset was also a good idea in this regular day. There's a Piso-Net Internet Cafe where dropping a peso coin entitles one for a 5-minute online time. A barbershop for 30 pesos could give you a light conversation with barber with what's going on with local politics especially talks of  upcoming local election where actress Maybelline de La Cruz is running for a councilor position. Maybelline used to be active in showbiz but after marrying a vice-mayor, she is poised to get her stint in local politics. There's also a hospital 2 houses away from our place – looking more like a house but actually a clinic, The Decena General Hospital.

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Decena Hospital is one neighborhood hospital in Bonuan Gueset
There's something at least some services to keep locals aground here, and to think about relocating here, well it is bearable. But today as sky set to pale,  I moved into the fishing side of Bonuan Gueset where it's known as to witness the eclipsing sunset. So I took a deeper walk into the neighborhood until small alleys led me into a fishing community.

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Children scamper around the fishpen side of Bonuan Gueset
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Colorfully painted boats slumped ashore by daybreak in Bonuan Gueset.
Kids here were in playful mode, frolicking while immersed in shore waters by the bamboo stilts and the farmers were retreating from their day's catch as they docked their boat and secured their nets. All but I could think of was a promise for this people because their faces reflected of hope.

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That undeniable hope reflected on sunset skies by Bonuan Gueset
Some greeted me along and some kids gave in to my request for a posing or a shot. It dawned on me on how to get to the other islands but I guessed after that sunset in Gueset, life would just take its course while I needed to retreat later on with this small insight on their simple kind of life.
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