042813 - The Urban Tracker (In Pangasinan) : A Gift Of Life In Tebag

Yellow makes a visually engaging shot with Mangaldan Municipal Hall.
nce you see this yellow-coated municipal hall, then it's no mistake you have landed Mangaldan

This thriving city is a 30-minute commute from Dagupan with a town proper of typically vibrant provincial atmosphere basking under a bursting glory of the summer sun. But the sweeter glories could be somewhere on the streets of its inner corners.

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The Vicariate of  Sto. Tomas de Aquino, Parish of St. Thomas Aquinas 
Immediately across the intersection, we ran into a park, that gave us a brief and stolen relief hanging around the monuments of Mangaldan post and randoming its shaded parts and enclosures. The Mangaldan church or Vicariate of Sto. Tomas de Aquino, Parish of St. Thomas Aquinas had an ongoing mass that invited us for Thanksgiving moment. Peeking inside revealed an old aged ambiance from its rustic entrance doors and old chandeliers.

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Mangaldan's public park features this white-painted porch with a spiral staircase leading to open rooftop
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Veteran's Monument in tribute to its past heroes.
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CSI Mangaldan, your gateway to coolness in the searing afternoon heat.
Otherwise, it's the same relief when we slipped off  CSI Mangaldan. Checking inside, it was after all a one-stop shop format. Just a bottle of mineral was all I wanted to purchase to combat the heat that's coming my way in the inner part of Mangaldan.

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Trikes await for someone to get a transport into the interiors.of Mangaldan
Trikes or sikad are main transporters plying the innermost parts of barangays. The heat here was like inside oven when I took one, but for trike drivers, it was a daily horror but a calibrated task. The roads surprisingly were well-paved thanks to the initiative of Manay Gina De Venecia. According to the trike driver, the congresswoman's road to farm projects facilitated the transport of local goods. Down to the deeper part, the driver brought me to the bordering part of Barangay Tebag where I needed to catch a respondent whom I'd not seen for twice I visited her.

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Such an amazing sight of a mother tending and breastfeeding a day old gift of life.
Just a few days ago, Maribel was telling me that she's pregnant and due anytime though not so obvious. She was told her delivery was due by next week but she confessed her ordeal of unexpected spotting and had to be rushed to the hospital to start laboring before she delivered this baby boy. She still had no name for the baby as I found her slumped on an open-air bamboo bed. She then joked I could have caused her to labor early. She was teasing me to be one of the sponsors. It was a wild offer but I was just a stranger and it's enough happiness for me that she's safe and over it. Before leaving, I gave her some token of appreciation as my gift of victory to a new bundle of joy.

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A view from tricycles shoulders: paved my way to the paved ways
I needed the immediate transfer to this next barangay a 30-minute reach by tricycle. I was contemplating to take a jeep from the market terminal but the waiting would take an hour or two before it hit the road.  With the sun bursting, I must get along - I took a special ride via tricycle.

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A neighborhood tong-it scene in Talogtog
The easy breezy neighborhood of Talogtog just complemented the heat of the day when I arrived shortly and the presence of chunks of woods being dried up on streets indicating their traditional ways to cook food. I made it to this compound where the gathering of neighbors with wondering faces greeted me. Under a shaded tree, they were bound by time bonding over a riveting card gameplay called tong-it.

After I met a local named Jennifer and gave her token, I returned  to the highway to find a store to cool down. The heat was awful that I regretted to stay for some moments with locals. But there I was talking to a stall owner who served me a soft drink break. The guy told me there's a shortcut route going to Bonuan Boquig via tricycle instead of going back to Mangaldan proper.

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Talogtog's neighborhood of greeneries, of simple folks and simple life
With that, I took the first tricycle that appeared and off with the unfamiliar route. And he was right when I got down its already Bonuan Boquig and there's a jeep waiting going to Dagupan passing Tondaligan. Well, that's a discovery! It only took me less than an hour to return home to Gueset compared to more than an hour if I took the usual San Fabian jeep from Downtown.