Bonuan Tondaligan Beach in Dagupan City – Of Graffiti Walls, Sunsets and Childhood Memories

“From time to time, one must release the grime built up inside them to to free their emotions like the ocean.”
Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

Bonuan Tondaligan beach, we meet again!
Bonuan Tondaligan beach, we meet again!

It was a Friday afternoon. I admit that I needed a change of scenery without going too far from the workplace. When my friends joked about a road trip to Bonuan Tondaligan beach to reduce the stress we were suffering from due to various reasons, I said yeah, why not?

Hurray to Vitamin Sea! (and selpon lol)
Hurray to Vitamin Sea! Hurray to Vitamin Sea! (and selpon lol)

It’s been years since I last visited the famous Bonuan Tondaligan beach. I have some fun childhood memories there with the family, which mainly involved food (ihaw-ihaw pa more!), the videoke machine and board games…. sand castles… happy faces of the people who truly mattered to a young Micaela.

Live outside the box
Listening to your heart vs. Listening to your brain.
Listening to your heart vs. Listening to your brain.


Feed me with colorful words. Make me happy. Come on.
Say colorful words. Feed my mind with happy thoughts. Come on.
Where there is doubt, there is freedom (?)
Where there is doubt, there is freedom (?)

My companions posted some Instagram-worthy images of the graffiti art works in an abandoned building within the area. Several homegrown artists had been organizing some art exhibits in a local coffeeshop/artspot Meshroom or they give a different perspective in concrete canvass like this one.

We rushed to the beach for the sunset.

Team What's Up
Team What’s Up: Always in good company when in Dagupan
Run and catch the waves, little one
Happy kid at the beach


Hearing and feeling the strong waves made me realize that I needed ‘Vitamin Sea’ to give me inspiration. It’s been months (or was it already a year? See, I can’t even remember!) since I swam on a beach and in all honesty, this doesn’t count. I only dipped my feet in the water and unleashed my child-like persona running and trying not to be caught by the strong waves. Scrap the fact that I was wearing maong jeans.

This is how you walk out from weeerrrrkkkk: Walk on water with your blue jeans.

I then remember my Slovak friend Alex when she asked me about locals in Mexico who are wearing full outfit when they’re swimming in the beach. I said it is the same thing here in the Philippines especially in the provinces as it is a normal sight for them and there’s a big tendency they’ll be teased if they wear a proper swimwear.


Well, I’m in Dagupan anyway so no need to feel ashamed about it. Next time, I’ll go and swim with full work outfit on!

Here’s a short video!

It’s funny how I often dream of flying to faraway beach destinations like Boracay, El Nido and La Union when I can just ride a jeepney and spend some time just to breathe a bit here in Bonuan Tondaligan beach.

Let go

These photos were taken a month ago and the text has been on my drafts for weeks. It is surprising on how things can change in just a span of weeks or even days. Sometimes, we are faced with strong waves of emotions. We try to control things and do what we think is right. We care too much until it gets into you. You just let go and watch the sunset (or your let your negative feelings fade away). Hopefully, the sun will rise again.

Are you visiting Dagupan City soon? Join us as we celebrate the yearly Bangus Festival and Pistay Dayat!


  1. I’m not yet done, you Tondaligan Beach!
    Yo’ getcha wait for me for the sunset after 2 months.

    Nilakad ko from doon sa may monumento, passing at the back of BSP hanggang sa crowded area pero hindi ko narating ‘yong graffiti walls. Babalik ako!

    April 17, 2016
    • Senyorita said:

      Sama ako pag babalik ka!

      May 5, 2016
  2. Photo Cache said:

    I grew up going to Tondaligan Beach every year! What fun memories.

    April 19, 2016
    • Senyorita said:

      Wow! How long did you live in Dagupan?

      May 5, 2016
  3. Christine said:

    Awesome wall art! I wanna visit Tondaligan beach and see those walls with my own eyes! How do I get there, do you know the directions?

    December 2, 2016
  4. Ysabell Vinluan said:

    Best (cheap) place to stay near Bonuan?

    May 5, 2018

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