The guard seemed puzzled that a guest would be heading to the beach as early as four a.m. “Mag sho-shoot lang po sir! (I’m gonna shoot some photos sir!)” I said. “Ah cge sir! (Go ahead sir!” he replied with a smile as he unlocks the side door. It was the main gate from El Puerto Marina Beach Resort and its a few meters walk to the beach walking, by the resort fence on a dirt path. The nocturnal salty air got stronger as I near the shore. I seemed to have stirred the attention of a resident dog who doesn’t stop barking seeing (or was it smelling) my presence there. Another guard doing his round saw me and I sent a quick wave to let him know I saw him there and start setting up my tripod for a shoot. The landscape was well-lit by the waning crescent moon. I wanted to shoot stars but this dreamy and solemn landscape will do. Lingayen beach in all its vast morning-glory unseen in slumber.
Gray to black beaches aren’t as popular as white beaches in the country. But if ever there’s a non-white beach I can recommend people, Lingayen Beach would be high on my list. The wide breadth and dune-like shores, the fine and oh so soft sands, gently sloping sea bed, often small lapping waves and a beach stretch as far as the eyes can see makes this beach far from ordinary. My first impression upon stepping on this beach with my companions were all good. No sunset that afternoon since the beach faces east but the low-tide and gentle waves carpeting the shore made a reflective ground mirroring the subtle pastel hues of a sky saying farewell for now.
Remembering the Liberation
Lingayen Beach is actually at least 12 km long deep into the bottom curve of Lingayen Gulf. A site made significant when General Douglas McArthur landed on these shores when he liberated Luzon from the Japanese back in 1945. In fact, Lingayen celebrates this Leyte Gulf Allied Force Landing annually and this year had a grand 70th anniversary. A Lingayen World War II Memorial was unveiled in 2009 containing history panels, timeline of events, documents, paintings, WWII memorabilia and other artefacts. The memorial is at the back of the grand capitol of Lingayen.
Speaking of capitol, the Lingayen Capitol staunchly stands amidst tree-lined boulevard flaunting its beautiful neoclassical style architecture that has somehow survived the ravage of World War II when it was built in 1918. The capitol has gone through several restorations to keep its stately glory, though at times changes not loyal to the original would make heritage advocate weep to their dismay. Though at present, the yellow and white edifice is still a marvel to look at. Much more is the spiral staircase, the elegant rooms and the rest of the interiors. I remember having snack at the roof top here when I first visited the capitol during a Lakbay Norte tour, now at daylight, the surrounding area can clearly be seen. Students from nearby schools promenading along the boulevards and the public Lingayen Beach nearby.
Beach life and essential information on the next page…
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.