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.
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!
First time in Matutina Gerry’s Seafood House. I’m glad i now don’t need to travel to Bonuan for this. Seafood delight! This is mild pa :p #Dagupan #VisitPangasinan #FoodTrips #seafood #butteredtalaba #adobongpusit #bonelessbangus #seafoodoverload #ilovedagupan #whatsupdagupan #itsmorefunindagufun #lamonpamore #sigelangkainpamore
A photo posted by Mica Rodriguez (@senyoritamyx) on
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!
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!
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!
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.