My Summer Vacation – by Kyle Zyra Lazo

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Kyle Zyra Lazo

Kyle Zyra Lazo, SAS Ai Scholar Class 2010-11

Summer is synonymous with adventure. And adventure includes exploring, finding and discovering new places off the beaten track and doing fun things.

I joined my parents and siblings this past summer on vacation in Pugo, La Union. “Heaven on earth” aptly describes Pugo, my favorite place in the world. When I am here I am stress free.

Pugo’s quaint towns and Barangays, all accessible by paved roads, sport huge public market places with its small shops, cantinas and cafes. Small farming enclaves sprout in the middle of vast rice fields and in the thick of limited forests. A beautiful river flows and winds its way to the open sea. To the east stands a line of foothills studded with rocky promontories resembling far pavilions. Beyond the hills, mountains rise so high their peaks disappear into the low-lying clouds.

Vacation wouldn’t be complete without our yearly family reunion with the Salvo Clan in Barangay Labayug, in Sison, Pangasinan. Speaking of reunions, we managed to squeeze into our busy schedule a get-together with the Sigman family last April 22nd. Let me tell you about these family reunions. There were endless trays of food, coconut sweets, mango and pineapple ice cream and party favors. A couple of talented cousins who played guitar and sang entertained us. We attempted to sing along and to be honest, wildly and off-key most of the time, we were politely ordered by the elders to pipe down – which we did, albeit begrudgingly. Oh well, that was all part of the fun.

River

Tapuacan River in Pugo, La Union

We enjoyed and had the most fun swimming with my siblings and cousins in the deep pools and swirling waters of the Tapuacan river. Compared to the waters of the huge Amburayan River and the massive Abra River, the flowing waters of the Tapuacan River qualify as the most pristine in all of Northern Luzon. As a side note, the name Tapuacan in Ilocano means “jump off point”. This name appropriately describes the high cliffs that rim the river. Swimmers would literally stand at the edge of the cliff and “jump off” or dive into the deep and crystal clear water pools.

Later we needed to replenish the firewood stack. We walked up to the foothills early in the day to collect and gather firewood. Trekking through narrow gullies and extended ravines – waterways for torrential downpours – our gradual climb was long and our hike arduous. But the scenery… As we stopped to catch our breath we looked back and saw from our high vantage point the lowlands stretched for kilometers, a patchwork quilt covered with moss-like green. I enjoyed the ascent but the walk home proved harder since we each had a cord of firewood to carry. I have developed new respect for the woodcutters and gatherers who sell firewood in the public market.

Like all good things, the summer vacation came to an end. So soon, I thought to myself. But there will be next year. I really love Pugo. When I’m here I feel I’m stress free. Someday soon, I hope to give you a personal tour of “Heaven on Earth” – Pugo, La Union.

37 thoughts on “My Summer Vacation – by Kyle Zyra Lazo

  1. Thanks for your article.
    You convinced me to visit Pugo when I travel to Tagudin this Summer. I might not be able to survive the heat however your description of the beautiful winding river was very soothing! Ah……I must visit Pugo! W.B.Santamaria

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  2. ” SAS Ai is not just simple team who are helping the adolescence, adolescence who are not just poor either those who can give their best to show that poverty is not the hindrance to reach our goals and dreams in life. They help us to make our future easier to reach and close to our dreams. I am one of the SAS Ai scholars who are proud of who we are and what we have because SAS Ai gives us the courage to study well for our own future. “

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    • SAS Ai expects only the best from all sponsored scholars. These students are inspired to remain curious, studious, and hard working. Their motivation is what got them into this scholarship program in the first place. SAS Ai appreciates their effort and stands most proud of their accomplishments. Thank you for stopping and posting.

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  3. I want to go in Pugo. I want to tour that place with my friends and family and also with my co-scholar. I assure that if I saw that place I also love and like that place.

    rocel ann vinluan
    ..sasai scholar

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    • Rocel Ann you are the very first SAS Ai scholar to comment on this post. Yes Pugo is a beautiful place and everybody wants to visit there. You know that the province of La Union is very proud of Pugo. It is the last town of La Union to the south and close to Pangasinan. Thanks for dropping by and posting.

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  4. I really appreciate Kyle’s story where she shared her wonderful experience in Pugo, La union. I can’t help but to feel a bit envious of her summer escaped.
    I’ve never been in Pugo but the way Kyle described the place makes me wonder in awe while my mind started to wander far away within the cool words she used to describe Pugo. I think this is an ideal and excellent place to beat the summer heat.
    the story was driven my curiosity to “explore” other places of interest and if only I have the means, I would love to do so.
    I am the adventurous type and I love the outdoors. I love being in communion with nature. The most interesting part is that even if i am only confined within our own house the entire length of vacation, I made sure that I spent it in a worthy manner. I tend my own vegetable garden comprising with different varieties neatly laid in several plots. it felt so rewarding when I made my first harvest only a week ago. Now, this is what they call “productive and fruitful” vacation.

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  5. This narrative story is great. While reading, I also feel the excitement you had during your summer vacation. Now, I want to go and visit Pugo with my family and friends. I will also suggest this place to the people who want some sort of adventure.

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  6. What a happy family and a very enjoying summer vacation!.. While I was reading this article,I felt the happiness and the excitement they have. And I wish that someday I will also go to Pugo with my family and feel the same feeling they had.

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  7. I hope that I will have a vacation that full of adventures like kyle.
    I like to explore places that not familiar from others but full of sceneric spot that will relax my body and my soul. But before I think for the future, I will study first, so that all of my ambitions will be fulfilled.

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    • Maiah I am glad you liked Kyle’s story about her summer vacation in Pugo. She tells a very interesting tale indeed about how beautiful the place is. We would all like to visit Pugo someday. Hers is an example of good writing. You may want to give it a try too one of these days. Just send me your story and we’ll publish it. Thanks for posting. Yes – do study hard so that you can finish your schooling with a big bang and make your Mom and us proud!

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  8. This entry is from Mariella Tacho. She tried to input it the other day but was met with some problems. She asked me to post it for her:

    Writes Mariella,

    “Even though I haven’t yet set foot on Pugo ground, I can truly say Pugo is a beautiful place, a perfect place to have bonding with our friends and peers. Kyle you enticed me to go there with your excellent descriptions of Pugo, La Union. Your words caused me to imagine how lovely the mountains look, how peaceful that river flows, and how green the fields and hills. Oh how I wish I could go there so that I can also experience the peace and lack of stress that you said you felt.”

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  9. Kyle your summer vacation is so amazing and exciting! I wish that someday I will also experience all the things that you have done to Pugo. And I want to say thank you for your nice, exciting, beautiful, inspiring and wonderful story that you have shared to us. And I’am so very happy to your story because you had express your feelings well and because you had describe all the things that you had seen and experienced. So all I can say to you is…… your a great writer. Thanks again!

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  10. According to Kyle, her story about Pugo best describes a haven for individuals seeking the ideal vacation spot. I have never seen the place and judging from the descriptions she gave, I am convinced that Pugo, in it’s entirety, is truly a “Heaven on Earth”
    It sounds so cool to me for it quenches one’s thirst for adventure, that’s for sure deep in my heart, I want to go places and experience what I only see in the television or even in the magazines. If given the chance, I would love to visit the Holy Land Israel! I am a devote Catholic and I am always fascinated by stories in the bible about Jesus. His life, his teachings and Christianity as a whole. I like to visit Jesus ‘ brithplace and also the way of the cross on other words, I’d like to feel and experience the place where Jesus had lived since birth until his resurrection. I may not the luxury of travelling at present. I sure am working hard to realize this dream.

    Geraldine Layco
    SASAi Scholar

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  11. When I read Kyle’s story about Pugo, La Union, I closed my eyes for a moment and pondered on how it feels to be in a place I’ve yearned all my life. I can just imagine myself enjoying the cool,clean and refreshing waters like the Tapuacan river with mu family. Vacation time is family bonding time. How I wish I could get to enjoy this out-of-town experience like Kyle. Sad thing is the trip may hurt our budget. To compensate for this, I keep myself busy at home and do everything to ease the pain of being confined within four corners of our home.

    Krisha Teodosio
    SASAi Scholar

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    • Krisha what a pleasant surprise to read your eloquent commentary. Thank you for posting and come back, read all the posts in the SAS Ai BLOG and comment. Thanks.

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  12. Everything ends but in every ending there’s a new beginning. Like a song when it ends , you like to hear it over and over again. Kyle’s vacation in Tapuacan, Pugo, La Union was filled with fun and adventure. As she mentioned Pugo is beyond compare, It’s heaven on Earth because it is naturally beautiful.
    I feel so delighted to learn of a place like Pugo’s Tapuacan river undisturbed by commercialism. It’s pristine beauty untouched by human hands in the name of greed. I appreciate the local people of Pugo for preserving this natural beauty. After all it is God’s gift for us all to enjoy!

    Juzel Ann Macanas
    SASAi scholar

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  13. While I am reading the story of Kyle’s summer vacation I thought it was her unforgettable moment of her life because they are bonding together with her family. I wondered and fascinated I was able to imagine that Pugo Is really the perfect place where you can relax and enjoy because you can find here on this place having a fresh water comes from Tapuacan River, cool air comes from the trees around and perfect viewing from the mountains and fields. Even if we always busy we have to take time to rest and fulfill the flow of happiness of summer. I like to also go their because you are like in a paradise site seing all of God’s creations. And I believe with their closeness and happiness of kyle’s family.

    Scholar- Abigail

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  14. Kyle’s summer vacation in Tapuacan, Pugo, La Union is very exciting, interesting and adventuresome. In fact, it’s almost a perfect vacation with the family reunion, the foods and the fun is almost unimagination. I’d saw Kyle’s story depicts a once-in-a-lifetime experience where not everyone may be able to do.
    I come from a poor family, but I can never allow poverty to hinder my plans and dreams to spend a grand vacation at a popular resort someday!. I want to visit pugo too!

    Fegie Yvette Layco
    SASAi scholar

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    • Fegie, keep that dream alive. Someday your time will come and you will most probably be vacationing in the French Riviera with those movie stars at the Cannes Film Festival. But first, you must finish high school in the honor roll. Study hard.

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  15. All I can say about Kyle’s vacation I’m very happy that you celebrate your summer vacation together with your whole family and I know that Kyle was very happy too.Her summer vacation was very interesting because I want also to go to Pugo, La Union with my whole family to relax and enjoy.I don’t even now about that place but when I read the article of Kyle I’m very amaze because in my mind it was a paradize.I’d like also to go their to experience the beauty of Pugo,La Union.

    Ma. Cristina Javier
    Sasai Scholar

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    • Cristina I am glad you posted your comment on Kyle’s vacation. Indeed she is fortunate to have a good family with whom to hang out. We all should appreciate our families. Thanks for your post.

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  16. The story is very interesting.I know that they had enjoy the place.Aside from the experience.I also saw to Kyle the love that is in her family.
    If I will be given a chance to go in that place I want to grab that opportunity and enjoy the beauty and see personal the beauty of the nature.

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  17. I would like to thank Kyle for her wonderful and inspiring story…. The story is very interesting to read, it inspires the reader to go and visit Pugo, La Union like me. If I will have an opportunity to go and visit Pugo, La Union, I think it will be my most unforgettable experience for the rest of my life. Someday, I will go there with my family to have some fun and adventure……exciting!!!!!!!

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  18. I would like to thank Kyle for her wonderful and inspiring story…. The story is very interesting to read, it inspires the reader to go and visit Pugo, La Union like me. If I will have an opportunity to go and visit Pugo, La Union, I think it will be my most unforgettable experience for the rest of my life. Someday, I will go there with my family to have some fun and adventure……exciting!!!!!!!

    phoebe balala
    sasai scholar……..

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    • Phoebe I am happy you like Kyle’s vacation story and are going to visit Pugo – Kyle’s escape. Make sure to bring hiking shoes and swim wear.

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  19. Hello to everybody! Thanks for all the positive reviews about my story. It was really a fortunate of me to be born in Pugo so that I could share the beauty of my birthplace. I come from a not well-off family but we see to it that we spend our summer vacation in Pugo to hang out with my grandparents and relatives. I hope someday I could bring you all to Pugo. Happy vacation to all!

    kyle zyra
    sasai scholar

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    • Hello Kyle Zyra – your story is filled with many good points. For example, you mentioned you love the place because it calms you down and you feel stress free when you are there in Pugo. Another point is your annual family reunion and your get together with the other family in Pangasinan. What I want you to learn from this story of your vacation are the following: 1) Be more descriptive 2) Use a good narrative style when you tell a story 3) Think of the person listening to or reading your story 4) Re-read your story to make it cohesive and tightly knit. Thank you for submitting your summer vacation account. I really think you have what it takes to write. Congratulations.

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