Friday, March 25, 2005

the road trip that was...

read this: from 18th to 24th of this month, i was on a road trip from manila to bulacan to pampanga to pangasinan to la union and finally to ilocos sur. aptly titled the road trip that was, this blog will chronicle my six day trip.

that's five (5) provinces in a row. our trip to the north (yeah, i am on the red mitsubishi car of albie and lora again) was to attend the wedding of myra (our office mate) in bugallon, pangasinan. friday afternoon, we were all set to go by 6 o'clock. filipino as we are, you wont think we were able to leave the premises of manila not after 11 in the evening. we were 4 hours behind the scheduled time all because of waiting and waiting and forever waiting. well, you probably know what i mean. first, there's jayjay (our driver who picked up the loand car rather late from the Mang Boy). we left the office at 9 in the evening. since miseth (yeah, we christened her Miss Leyte for being always late) cant make it in the office anymore she's still in angono, rizal (imagine the distance and the time we have to wait again), we decided to meet her up in sm north. and so we were there at 10 and had some dinner at mcdo first. finally, miss leyte arrived shortly after 11. and so off we went to pangasinan.

the trip was full of stop over though. rest rooms, food cravings, gassing up, coffee on the roadside tiangge and all. good thing albie's car had good air conditioning unit, from time to time i had the luxury of leaning back comfortably in the backseat and just close my eyes. unlike those who were in the other car which i think had a helluva time in their seats. added to that is we were only four in the car with rolly from records and so it was cool and comfy. the trip nevertheless was enjoyable. we had to keep on talkin and talkin albie might fall asleep. the music on the background provided some relief. lora and i would sing with what the radio has to offer sometimes to our hearts out (think of me belting out some stuff in my crooked voice). save for lora who has a nice and angelic voice by the way. i have to mention the road. yes, the north luzon expressway was just heaven to travel on. i am amazed that roads after all can be this finnese and well for an overstatement so splendidly done. there was never lubak and the travel would just tempt you to doze off to wonderland. but then we cant sleep, there was an agreement..hehehee....

and since we were travelling on the wee hours of the morning, there was not much traffic. all we had were the fresh air coming from the countryside. occasionally though, smell of poultry and piggery houses would come our way but those were negligible. armed with the map given by myra, we were able to locate the place at almost 3:30 in the morning. we almost had all the people in their house waken up due to our naughty and rowdy conversations. look who came with the group and you'll understand why. lemme enumerate them, first on the list is luisa (the rowdiest and the object of joke all the time, tita arlits (the nanay), mam beth, miseth, lyn, aloja, jo (yeah, she came), rolly, lora and albie (my fellow pasaway who were able to join the group. shine, gina and the rest could not make it), jay jay of course. i hope i did not forgot anybody. see, it's a blast. at the wee hours of the morning, we were talking and talking while waiting for the dinner cum breakfast to be served. myra (the bride to be was very hospitable to accomodate the group (if i were her, i mean if it's my big day the following day, i'd be sleeping to wonderland to be good looking the next day) bad thing is im not myra. and so i admired her for taking care of everything for us. the food was superb. steamed fish, fried prawns and some fresh fish in cabbage. i had a good time filling my stomach. dessert was sweetened grounded rice. hungry again.

after eating, we were accompanied by myra's accomodating and hospitable lady relative's (jayjay was elated to be their driver because they sat on the front) to the beach house were we spent the night. it was some 40 minutes drive away from their house. we didnt have much time to talk anymore the moment we arrived in the beach house. tired, consumed and sleepy, we hit the bed right away. it was almost five for chrissakes.

albie had the wrong clock the following morning. he was all eager to wake us up because he said it was almost 8:30 and we would be late in the wedding. it turned out that albie's watch was not functioning well (albie, y'knw wat, it's time to get a new one again. i remember during our last rip to san juan, his watch was lost. i could see a pattern here that in every trip, albie's watch has something to do). anyway, it was 7:30 pa lang on the real clock. and so since we were all ready (well, the five of us, rolly, jayjay, albie, lora and me cos we share the same room) we decided to hit the beach front of lingayen and see what's cooking up there outside. to borrow rolly's word, the beach was magulo (chaotic), the waves were too big it is so impractical and almost imposibble to swim. wind surfers would be delighted to see such big waves. while waiting for the others (waiting time is the by word for the entire trip actually), i bought some boiled peanuts and maja blanca to little girls selling kakanin on the beach.

back to the wedding, we arrived late. yes, the waiting blues is to be blamed again. myra and her husband was at the altar already by the time we arrived. we missed the wedding march. just the same, i went with the group inside to see the couple and decided to go out and find a nice place for me to sleep on. first, i could not figure out what the priest was talking about. the wedding was done in local pangalatok dialect. good thing there was a long bench just beside the barangay hall i was able to strecth out my back ( was able to sleep actually). not far away, i saw albie's car with jayjay sleeping also under the narra tree in the town plaza.

fast forward, wedding done, reception over and everything that has got to do with our main purpose. the road trip again started. first stop was inay's house (that's ate elvie) in lingayen. we were served with sweet mangoes there. after which, we went to julie's house. there i was able to meet her father and her sister and other relatives perhaps they were not introduced to me formally. we enjoyed picking green mangoes from the trees which i should say some of the fruits almost touches the ground. we were also served with halo halo which was a relief since we had a long hot day ahead of us. after which, we hit the road again.

this time, we were bound to manaog (the famous birhen of manaog). it was a long trip again nevertheless i enjoyed watching the countryside again. when we got there, the group went to the church right away. i decided to stay on the car and get some sleep again (hehehe...)

then, we're off to luna, la union. it was another 4 to 5 hour drive from manaog. we arrived at tita arlit's relatives' house at past 7 already. hungry looking as we were, we devoured the food myra gave us from the wedding the moment we got there. imagine, when we were ushered inside the house, we all sat right away in the dining table and prepared the food for our taking. not much of a good guest i guess. but what the heck, we were at home because they were so kind and accomodating also. aside from the food we brought, they served us native tinolang manok. sarap....

our throats (albie, lora and jay2 for that matter) were all eager to have a swig of the wine we bought in san fernando and so we kept on pressing the group to proceed right away to the beach house and start the night.

coral island beach resort was way too flashy from what ive expected. there's the pool, cottages, billiards hall, a bar and some good landscaping you would not expect in a country side resort. not to mention the accomodating owner also who made us felt at home. another pattern here, the people in luna are hospitable also.

we rented the cottage with the videoke machine. and so we all get drunk. well not all actually, miseth, aloja and luisa did not take a single shot of the tres cepas. we sang our hearts out, lora was the star for the night for singing a lot of songs since she's the performer among the group. surprise number from rolly who i did hear sing for the first time (my, the little boy can sing). luisa on the side who kept on drinking our pepsi chaser and eating our pulutan (mangga, bagoong, chucherias, etc). but in fairness, luisa did entertain the group. she hit the mic with her rendition of nanghihinayang (i mean with all choices of songs...) miseth was trying her best too sing also. aloj and lyn? did i hear them sing? i think not. well, there's albie's signature songs and his signature macho dancer moves and of course jayjay's revival of some rap songs (lyn and the rest of us could not contain our laughters because of jayjay's it was the worst rap song i did hear). but the most surprising of all, of course it was me who sang a lot of songs ( i normally dont sing but tres cepas must have set the fire and i sang). to my consolation, i got a 100 score which others did not. oh well, im not kidding, i was shouting my lungs out to the aerosmith's popular song i dont wanna miss a thing. at least im trying. so much of that...hehehe...

the following morning, we transferred to another beach where the waves and the shore is not chaotic or magulo. some one kilometer away is a beach resort not as good as coral island but the beach is rather calm since it is located on the estuary of the river. and so they swam. ol of them except me i dnt like swimming at all in beaches. i took a bath in the shower and did some back up rounds again for lora at the very early in the morning in front of the karaoke machine. another concert on the loose starring lora layugan.

tita arlit's relatives came again with a lot of food. great food actually. we had grilled fish, pinakbet, pork mechado (was it? i dunno), fried white meat fish, mussels, sinigang ng hipon and bangus...really it was a feast. it's like we're eating like there's no tomorrow anymore. we reckoned that we will not go back to manila anymore. what with the fun, the food and everything.

but then we had to go home. but not me for the moment. after lunch, we hit the road again. they dropped me off to the highway and they went back to manila while i went north to ate lani's house.

i got there 30 minutes after and was welcomed by mac. after which, i slept due to fatigue and of course lack of sleep and the effect of the alak, ya know. the days that followed were all fun and enjoyment again. i slept a lot, drink, eat a lot and watch tv and movies a lot. jay and his wife jude were so accomodating i felt at home again. another pattern here, i feel that im always at home when i go to some one else's place. or it's just me and my selfish inner self. it was whole package of a vacation actually. come tuesday afternoon chloe and ate lani arrived. we roamed the town for some time. the following morning, i went home. i had to see cel and bel for the review materials for their toefl exam...

and that ends my road trip.

my next trip is scheduled on april 1st but i dunno if could make it. it's entirely different story now that i committed myself to someone. i have to include her in my plans and what she thinks about it. just the same, the bottom line is to enjoy life and what it has to offer.

bye for now.

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