Sunday, November 24, 2013

Long Road Trip with Children: From South to North Luzon

Photo taken at Ilocos Sur
 I never thought that this trip is really going to happen.  Few moths ago, Pakner4lyf told me that he had an invitation to speak at a church in Mangaldan, Pangasinan.  He says that wants us (me and the children) to be with him.  I don't take his word seriously for some reasons.  It's hard to travel with the children that's one major concern. I have seen how serious my husband was about this trip.  He informed my parents of the planned out of town travel and asked if they could join us.  On our thought they are not interested but on the scheduled date of departure I've seen that they were as excited as we are.  It is great that they can come so we have someone to share with the expenses.  Our original plan was to use my parent's SUV (Sportivo) being it bigger and more spacious compared with our car (Toyota Vios).  For some unexpected incidents, one of the SUV's tires was flat and badly damaged, there we learned that the tires are no longer fitted for far travels therefore it needs to have new set of tires.  We don't have enough time to buy new tires and have it changed so we ended up with a decision to leave using our car.

We left Batangas City at noon time November 16, 2013.  We stopped at Petron in Lipa Star Tollway and gas up there at the same time we bought the limited Chevrolet Toy Car.  We would always grab the chance to have full tank outside Batangas City because gas is cheaper outside Batangas City.  On our way to South Super Highway, mom and I noticed Eu-La starts to get pale and complains of her stomach.  So we immediately find a place to have another stop at the nearest gas station for a break and have our late lunch this made Eu-La feel a lot better.  We asked Eu-La to sleep whenever she feels dizzy and I am glad she is cooperative.  Our little girl is asleep most of time during our road travel.  


Ilocos Sur, taken while inside car
Our first destination is to reach Banaoang Christian Bible Church at Mangaldan Pangasinan.  Since they were the first reason why we decided to travel up north. The toy car we bought at Petron helped to pacify the children. I did packed their favorite toys and books too to keep them busy in the car.  We had snacks, biscuits and drinks in case the children and adults get hungry so we can easily reach for it aside from our packed food at the trunk. We reached the North Luzon Expressway late in the afternoon and soon the sun goes down and we're still in the expressway.   I always enjoy looking outside the car's window so I don't care of how long our time travel was.  We get to pass the newly opened Toll Way - TPLEX and we are surprised that the service is for FREE!  We get another stop at SM Rosales City to stretch up and have a restroom break.  What we have in mind was we are already near our destination but it still took us an hour.  We reached Banaong Christian Bible Church at 10pm.  The tiring travel was relieved with smiles and warm welcome from the brethren of BCBC.

Banaoang Christian Bible Church in Mangaldan, Pangasinan
The next morning we all get ready to prepare for church worship service.  I can't help but remember our brethren we left in Batangas City.  Seeing BCBC bretheren reminds me of our first year when Christ Stewards Fellowship is  just starting.  I thank God for the endurance and passion to serve him in CSF where he placed us. And now my prayers for BCBC is for God's grace and guidance be with them as they serve for God's glory alone.  We had some time to have fellowship with Pastor Norving and his wife Sister Jho Villaflor.  As always, it is our co-ministers who can fully understand and knows how it feels like.  I appreciate even the short time of conversation with Sis. Jho.  I cannot forget to mention Ate Virgie who accommodated us at her house, prepared and assisted us with our needs and tirelessly cooked delicious meals for us.  The children got to meet new friends too and still remembers their playmate JR (Ate Virgie's son).
Marvelous Bakery - Agoo La, Union
Since we traveled this far and we wanted to maximize our trip, we chose to visit our relatives here in the northern part of Luzon.  My Uncle Paeng (my mom's cousin) put up a bakeshop - Marvelous Bakery in Agoo, La Union and my Aunt Rose (mom's cousin too) has a bakeshop in Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur named Rose Bakery.  Yes, we belong to bakeshop owners since my mom's clan were from Cuenca, Batangas called to be "The Home of the Bakers".  We left Banaoang, Mangaldan Pangasinan Sunday afternoon at 4pm and reached La Union nearly around 5pm.  Uncle Paeng is my favorite Uncle I should say that.  He used to be one of our bakers in Batangas City and his wife was our former sales lady that's how they met and soon get married.  Now they have their own bakeshop and chose to stay up north and do bakery business.
Calle Crisologo,Vigan City, Ilocos Surr
While at La Union we decided to call the Hotel for a reservation so that we can have a sure place to sleep when we arrive. We can't ask our relatives to have a sleep over at their bakeshops, we know there will be no room for us in there.  From La Union it took us almost four hours to reach Vigan City with one stop over at Mc Donalds, Candon City.  During that long travel my daughter would always ask are we home yet.  She could be wondering we spent most of our time on the road and yet we are not still home. I have previously made an online research of the Hotels to stay in Vigan plus the places we shouldn't miss when we get there.  I did found reviews and blog posts of some bloggers who went there.  It sure helped us to have an idea of what to do and where to go.  I have a lot more stories to tell while we were in Vigan so I'll make a separate post about it.

We left Vigan City Tuesday at around 11am.  We stopped at Sta. Maria to visit Aunt Rose then continued our travel going home.  (We forget to take photos with her.)  We stopped at Damortis to buy dried sword fish.  Then stopped at Rosario Pangasinan to gas up at another Petron gasoline station then buy another Chevrolet Toy Car as we promised to the children.  We continued our travel had another stop over in Villiasis Market because Eu-La needs a rest room break.  There we learned that they call this place "Bagsakan" where most of the vegetables, fruits, dried fish and market items are sold at a very low price.  Next time we'll choose to buy those stuffs here since we can't buy any because there's no more room in the car's trunk because of our suitcases.


We hit the road again and I noticed that there are a lot of road constructions in Pangasinan causing the heavy flow of traffic.  Glad we were able to find TPLEX entry and having the service for FREE again made us a lot more happier.  We had our dinner at Mega Station in North Luzon Express Way.  The children played in the playground I bought food in ChowKing.  I asked their crew that we're going to eat outside so we can look for the children who were playing outside while having our dinner.  He was so nice and said that he can go back to get the plates and glasses after we eat.  We reached my parent's house around 12:30am so it's  November 20, my dad's birthday. Pakner4lyf did a great job driving for us!  To date this was this is the longest road travel I have.  Counting, we literally spent one day inside the car traveling.  But all in all it was a wonderful trip that everyone enjoyed.  This one of the best bonding moments Pakner4lyf and I had with my parents.
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