Why I Moved Back to Dagupan City

Are you crazy? Why are you moving back to Dagupan? Why don’t you just get a job in Manila and earn more money?

No, I am not crazy. I considered the option of moving back to Dagupan, my beloved hometown because of a job offer I couldn’t resist (nah, I wasn’t promised a high salary or my own house and lot). I chose a job in the province over a possible job opportunity in Makati because I want to pursue my personal projects.

Blogging at the newly opened Caffe Angelito

I was about to leave the UK in November 2013 after months of staying with my family when a relative asked me if I’m willing to move back to Dagupan to work with her. The job had something to do with online tasks and a chance to work on a possible start-up hotel. Digital and Hospitality are two industries I am passionate about. Thanks to my travel blogging background, I can say that I don’t just depend on what I’ve learned from school in order to do my job well.


After negotiating on the terms of my new job, I happily moved back to Dagupan.

It’s been almost three years since the day a decided to start anew and I think it is the best decision I’ve made as far as my health, sanity and self-fulfillment is concerned. Let me share you some reasons on why moving back to Dagupan turned out beneficial for me:


Haha of course food is #1! 😛 Growing up in the so-called ‘Kitchen of the North’, my standard for fresh seafood is quite high (well… not really that high, but I am spoiled with a reasonable supply!). Imagine how frustrated I was when I did my OJT in Manila. I ate lunch in a nearby mall’s food court and was served an overpriced Sinigang na Bangus. The taste of the soup? Bland. The taste of the Bangus? I’d rather not answer.

Another one is the Papaitan I ordered in a Filipino restaurant in Makati. I am not a bitter type of person, but so is the Papaitan, which should be bitter. Wah!

When I am in Dagupan, I usually eat lunch in the school cafeteria. I often spend Php 60 for a cup of rice, a vegetable and pork or beef viand. Plus bottled water. Ayos!

When I have extra money, I do pig out. Love Seafood? There’s Matutina’s. Love Pizza? There’s Panaderia Antonio Restaurant. Love Coffee? There’s Yellow Tree Cafe, Beans and Roots or the newly-opened Caffe Angelito. Love Pigar-Pigar or Kaleskes? There’s the Galvan Strip. So many choices!

ALSO READ: Pangasinan Food Trip: Must-try dishes in Dagupan City


2. Less Temptation to Spend

Despite having Ilocano blood, I am not as thrifty as my mom. You have to blame my dad for it!

I recently compared my spending habits when I’m staying in Manila and Dagupan. There’s a huuuuge difference!

Let’s just say that I am not the best when it comes to resisting the urge to go out to work outside and sip overpriced latte, watch movies plus Potato Corner or eat ramen and pho, which we all know is not really cheap when you’re in Manila.

In Dagupan, I have the option to drink a glass of mocha for Php 24. It’s just the powdered one, but it is still good!

ALSO READ: Where to Eat in Pangasinan (Dagupan-Calasiao)

3. No Traffic = Less Stress

Time in Manila is often wasted dealing with the ‘normal’ traffic jam. Commuting is stressful either via MRT (imagine long lines, pushing strangers for survival and unreliable time table), bus (stopping from time to time to pick more passengers), taxi (some drivers ask for more money at times) or even when you drive your own car!

Pwedeng-pwede rumampa ng ganitey!

In Dagupan, I just walk on my way to work. If I want to go to the Downtown area or somewhere else, I can just take a jeepney or tricycle ride. I can even travel to the next town with these options!

Imagine what Manila workers have to endure everyday. They wake up too early and get home too late. No time for family, friends or even to develop a romantic relationship (not that I’ve developed one here lol). When you’re tired from commuting, sometimes you tend to spend more by eating outside or drinking coffee somewhere. When I was still working in Makati, I was killing time by gallivanting around Landmark or SM Makati as I wait for a less stressful time to ride the MRT… which is 9pm. Huhubels.

^ You have an option to explore Dagupan City at night via Kalesa!

Also Read: A Quick Guide to Dagupan City

4. Comfort Zone

I am lucky that I was born and raised in a thriving city. I can say that my upbringing is ‘balanced’ – the city and provincial life. You can place me anywhere and I can survive… i think.

When I’m in Dagupan, I am assured that if things go wrong, I have someone to run to – whether its a distant relative, a former classmate/collegue or even a stranger. You are also more comfortable to do some things without thinking too much if you’ll be judged or what… like you can pig out or just walk around even if you’re just wearing a pambahay to the mall.

5. The People

I can’t say the people in my city are perfect, but we’re surely fun to hang out with! Catching up with former classmates, childhood friends and special people I shared good memories with when I was younger (my mom and dad’s friends and relatives) is always a pleasure.

What I do now is travel Manila-Dagupan almost on a weekly basis since my grandparents are staying in Manila for good. While I am here, I try my best to cover more Pangasinan destinations. Obviously, I am struggling. Why? I get stuck in new restaurants within Dagupan and some of my Pangasinan-based friends have their own families, which means hanging out with me is not the main priority. I do understand them though.

If you’re in Dagupan City this November to early December, let me know. 🙂


This is my entry to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival for November 2016 with the theme ‘Stories from my Hometown‘ hosted by Celine Reyes of Celineisms.


  1. Seriously rethinking moving back to my hometown in the next few years. I also miss the food there. And yeah, less temptation to spend. Haha.

    November 22, 2016
    • Senyorita said:

      I will visit you in Naga if you decide to move back. I wasn’t able to eat a lot of Bicolandia cuisine when we passed by the region last month #PagkainPaRinMainMotivation

      November 25, 2016
  2. After the extra expenses of living in Manila, do you really earn more netto?
    Higher rent, commuting, food. Not to mention the nouse and pollution.
    Dagupan is a place ive not yet visited. You make it sound worthwhile making a trip thete.

    November 24, 2016
    • Senyorita said:

      It’s the commuting that really stresses me out. The next time I apply for a job in Manila I will make sure it is just walking distance from our home. You should visit Dagupan City and Pangasinan in general 🙂

      November 25, 2016
  3. Yanna said:

    I’ve spent some time in Dagupan, doing OJT for Dagupan Doctors Villaflor. Huhu even if I’m not from Dagupan, reading this makes me want to move there too. I miss Puto Calasiao and the carinderia that sells awesome sisig in front of the hospital! Also, the prices of daing na bangus is crazy cheap compared to Manila!

    November 24, 2016
    • Senyorita said:

      I only realized how special Puto Calasiao is when I moved to Manila. Iba talaga haha 😀

      The Pork Sisig or Dinakdakan of Pangasinan is really good. Fresh bangus ftw!

      November 25, 2016
      • Harold Melvin said:

        you got that right!! 😀

        November 30, 2016
  4. Veronika said:

    Nice, Mica..1 Dagupan sounds like a lovely place to live. Main thing is that you’re happy 🙂 Btw. what is Bubuhels? :))

    November 24, 2016
    • Senyorita said:

      You must visit Dagupan and the rest of Pangasinan on your next trip to the Philippines! Just be ready to eat a lot 😛

      Huhubels – it’s a gay lingo or pabebe version of *cries*. Will explain when we meet haha

      November 25, 2016
  5. Claire said:

    Wow! Envious! 🙂 Looks like you have everything you need! I still don’t see myself moving anytime soon to any of my grandparents’ provinces, though hehehe. But we’ll see.

    By the way, out of curiosity, did you dream of Badette and her story while you were in Dagupan? 🙂

    November 25, 2016
    • Senyorita said:

      Thanks Claire! Badette’s story started when I worked in a tabloid in 2010. I was asked to contribute a story for ‘that’ page but I couldn’t do it. I met the person behind majority of those stories and there you go 😀

      November 25, 2016
  6. Same reasons why I refuse to work outside Angono. I just cannot deal with Manila and its traffic . Stress! I hope to visit you in Dagupan soon, Mica! 🙂

    Thank you for joining the Blog Carnival 🙂

    November 26, 2016
    • Senyorita said:

      I would like to visit you in Angono! Went there once and never really explored the place. I experienced my first Higantes in… Villa Escudero. Yep. Peyk! Haha 😀 Let me know if you happen to pass by Dagupan and thank you for waiting for my entry <3

      November 29, 2016
  7. Jeff said:

    So inspired with this topic on your blog..also a dagupeno just like you, been assigned to places,in.central luzon,olongapo pampanga bulacan but when opportunity came, i didnt wasted my chance and grab it even if it means losing some perks of my job..no regrets at all and i could say i made the best decision in my life..1. I was able to finish my masters degree 2.i got married and had our baby 6mos after our wedding day which i think wont happen while im away as my plan is to really settle here for good 3. Felt more stable with my career and lastly 4. Be with my family and friends..
    Truly, home is really where the heart is and theres really no place like home as they say!
    Please keep on featuring Dagupan!

    December 25, 2016
  8. Lawrence said:

    I’ve been to Dagupan early lasr year and with that, I can say that moving back to your hometown is a good decision.

    I miss eating pigar-pigar.

    Hopefully I can visit Dagupan again on April for the Bangus Festival.

    February 22, 2017

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