I have to admit that I've never heard of the town Mayantoc even though I (almost) passed by it countless times whenever I'm passing through the province of Tarlac en route to Pangasinan. An invite from a friend to attend Mayantoc's fiesta patronal led me to discover a rustic town and its charming and hospitable folks.
If there is one thing that abounds in Maantoc, its rivers and streams. Camiling river and its tributaries criss-cross the town, providing countless swimming nooks. Folks from nearby towns and provinces flock to Mayantoc during the hot summer months to cool off. You don't even have to go far, you'll find cool clear water just a stone throw away from the town center.
a cool swimming nook
Going around Mayantoc gave me the impression that it has not changed much for a long time. It rural scenes brought back memories of long gone rice fields and haystacks in my own hometown, now erased by urbanization.
Here the rivers and streams not only refresh but also nourish the land. A good portion of the town's land area is still devoted to farming.
On our second morning of our stay there, our host brought us to the hilly part of the town to wait for the sunrise. The cold morning breeze reminded me of other "summer capitals" I've visited.
We climbed up a small hill to get a good view of the surrounding areas. While waiting for the first light of day, I lay on the ground and watch the nightjars flew to and fro just above us.
We had a great view of the town in the east, still blanketed in fog, as the sun rose. On the opposite direction, of the Bantay Lima (Five Mountains) peaks, Mayantoc's recognizable landmarks, stood steadfast against a rosy sky backdrop.