Through the invitation of Micamyx, fellow travel blogger who hails from Dagupan, a bunch of us bloggers went to the northwestern province of Pangasinan to enjoy and discover what this beautiful place has to offer. Thank God there are no big malls in Lingayen, people would not be enjoying this peaceful place with a beautiful Capitol ground, tree lined park lane, a war memorial and historic beach where Allied Forces landed in the twilight of World War II, 9 January, 1945.
This is actually my second time to visit this place but it was night time when I got here, didn’t enjoy it much and never expected the extent of its expanse. On this afternoon with other travel bloggers, it was heartening to see that people are actually enjoying the park and getting acquainted with its history.
There were lovers having their own private moments, seated at the grass, friends laughing while huddled at wooden benches, or promenaders coming out from work. Gnarled tree trunks, bushes and wrought iron lamps give it a tranquil feel in this breezy afternoon.
In the middle is a tall, lifesize bust of former Gov. Aguedo Agbayani, the longest governor of Pangasinan who has been reelected many times in the span of his political career.
A few minutes from the park and just behind the capitol is a war memorial with where tanks and other remnants of war machines were displayed. Here, children were enjoying the displays while the teenaged boys were talking and laughing while at the same time glancing at the group of girls their age a few meters off.
But beyond the war tanks and machine guns, now silenced, is a reminder of the important role Lingayen, the capital of the province played during World War II. On her shores, the Battle of Lingayen Gulf was waged, one of the significant fronts between the Japanese and American forces.
It was here that the Allied Forces led by the Americans made headway and landed unopposed and eventually became a vital support line for the Battle of Luzon.
The Lingayen Capitol, built in 1918 and reconstructed in 1949 as it suffered heavy damage during World War II, is beautiful to look at at night. However, during daytime, much can be appreciated because of the many decorative details that can be found on its facade. It is neoclassic, an architectural style favored by the Americans during that time.
Inside, a grand staircase, with beautiful wrought iron details, leads to the second floor where the office of the governor is located. It is a masterpiece that has been refurbished just a few years ago with the ascent of the current local government leadership.
For lovers of heritage structures, the Lingayen Capitol is one of the country’s architectural treasures, a fact that is not known by many. That’s why, visitors to the capitol grounds are often amazed or awestruck that in this sleepy place, a structural marvel can be found.
The historic beach head where the Allies landed is scenic where locals usually go during late afternoons. Nothing really special other than with some children bathing in the water. When we arrived there, some were just looking at the restless sea and the undulating waves. While others, it was a time to bond with partners or friends while walking the shoreline.
No malls, no game arcades but what you have in Lingayen are simple joys that are clearly lacking in big cities. And I just loved it here.