NLEX Lakbay Norte 5 Day 4
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Three days have gone by with so much exhilerating activities and we have never ran out of good food to taste. On the first half of our trip this day we were treated to a culinary tour involving two restaurants to give us a better idea of how Pangasinan’s local dishes are prepared by several cooking demos.
The first one was at the iconic Matutina’s Restaurant in Dagupan. It was named after the famous 80’s local sitcom “John en Marsha”, which the owner of this restaurant was fondly called by the locals. Among my favorite dishes were the breaded fish fillet in cream sauce topped with mango, and the talaba, which is basically oysters dipped in vinegar. Yum!
They also served the sinigang na nilaga, inihaw na bangus, and pinakbet,
Take note, we had breakfast prior to coming here so I was saving room while tasting some of the dishes here but I ended up finishing a whole plate of its delicious dishes. After which, off we went to another much-loved local restaurant for another round of cooking demo – Patio Elmina.
This nature-themed restaurant had a romantic feel to it but the scent of the dishes to be prepared in front of us were quick to distract us as soon as we stepped in. For this cooking demo, everything was fried – from shrimps to vegetables to oysters. To get a better taste, vinegar was in place for dipping and that did not disappoint. For the health conscious like me, try not to think of the amount of cholesterol for once because it’s worth a shot. We wouldn’t want to miss out on life’s yummiest treats every once in a while, do we?
Next up was the province’s most distinct landmark yet – the Capitol Complex located in the capital town of Lingayen. It is said to be more than just a government facility and when you get there, you will see why. We had the chance to take a peak into its Capitol Building, which serves as the seat of both its executive and legislative branches of government.
One of this Capitol Complex’s unique features is having its own extensive beach front, which can serve as a venue for beach concerts, camping sites and sports events like beach volleyball. They also have available water sports such as kayaking and skimboarding. For this tour in particular, they got us to try the kite landboarding along the Lingayen beach.
Kite landboarding is based on a certain sport called kitesurfing, where a rider stands on a surf-style board and is pulled over water by a kite. This is something fairly new to most of us in the team so we were quite intrigued by how this works.
An instructor from the Pangasinan Power Kites Group gave us a short brief on the sports mechanics. It was then followed by a short demonstration on how to properly control the harnesses so we can safely power through the strong wind with whatever energy we have got left for the day. After a few minutes of holding on to the handles, it began to feel like a TRX workout. Except, of course, one wrong move and the kite that are suspended up in the air crashes down on the sand. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to finish the course since there were a lot of us cued up for a first-time lesson so we only got to perform up to a certain level called power kiting. I guess the kitesurfing itself, which is when you are mounted onto a board while maintaining your balance by pulling the harnesses, have got to wait for next time. Well, that’s a reason to come back then.
As always, a fully packed day ended with another hearty dinner. This time around, the newly opened Riverside Restobar enchanted us for the evening in Bugallon.