Sunday, May 27, 2007

Lian, Batangas

I was invited to take an overnight vacation at Lian, Batangas; at my cousin's husband's hometown. It is near Matabungkay though we haven't had the time to stroll around. The place is purely farmlands. It is such a quiet place - all you can hear are crickets, birds and frogs' sounds. and the "moo" of the carabaos, as well.

I once said to Ann, my cousin, if I am going to be heartbroken again, I would go back in Lian, even without her. It's a place for thinking and reflecting. There's no problem, I now know how to go there, right? *devil's laugh*

I enjoyed taking pictures in the ricefields, plus the fact that the people there are warm and cool - in its truest sense. Warm because they are hospitable and friendly, and cool because they are all funny and cheerful. Everyone fills my stomache. Apple mangoes taste great. My favorite! There was never a time I stopped eating! Gosh, my tummy strikes again. I was so so bloated I couldn't help but accept all their offers. "Hmmm... stop pretending, girl, I know you liked the foods," said my conscience.

How to get there:
From Robinson's Pala-pala, get the bus with the signboard "Lian (Nasugbu)." It is a 3-hour travel, aircon trip costs P104 only. Tell the conductor to get you to Bagbag Bridge. At Bagbag Bridge, you can walk straight to Laparan residence crossing ricefields and highlands.

Here are some pics taken during my stay in Lian, Batangas.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Atimonan, Quezon

One of my officemates (Mago) invited me to go out of town - in Atimonan, Quezon - for his sister's wedding. He also invited my ex. We stayed there for three days. Hehehe! We left the office at 5:30pm and proceeded to the bus terminal near Nagtahan Bridge. The fare costs P180.

It was a 5-hour trip and arrived in Atimonan at past 11pm. It was dark already (of course! it's midnight). Early morning, I was surprised. Their house is along the shore, a few steps from the sea. Exciting.

We strolled around the town until we decided to take a splash on the falls, a 30-minute trek from their house. It is all green and serene. The view is indeed breathtaking!

At the falls, the water is crystal clear. You can also see the school of fish swimming under, they go near the surface if you give them food to eat (bread and chips are their favorite. Yumyum!).

It was also the first time I ate Catmon (the fruit)! Tastes like kamias, balimbing and suha. It's kind of sour. Lots of Vitamin C, I guess. I regret I forgot to take a picture of it. *sigh*

On our trip back, it was only me and my ex who had our way to Manila. We left the house at 2pm and was in Lucena by 4pm (fare is P60). We arrived in Alabang (P158) at 7pm. He came with me to GMA and separated ways at the terminal where he would take the jeepney rides to Dasma-Trece-Tanza. He should have taken the fx from Lucena to Tanza; I was glad he made sure I was safe back home by taking the longer trip with me, even it would cause him inconvenience. Still, thanks.


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Daet and Labo, Camarines Norte

It was not a holiday nor a long weekend. It was just a Saturday and a Sunday. But this supposed-to-be ordinary weekend turned out to be a great one. Why?

We went to Bicol; Daet, Camarines Norte to be exact. One of my officemates, Adel, is a Bicolano and she went home for the 2007 Elections since she is registered there. I decided to go with her, along with 3 other friends - Albie, Edel and Edwin. It was pure fun and peace (I say "peace" because it's unusual that we didn't have any misunderstandings and quarrels at the moment - hehehe!).

Friday night, 9pm - we were in Cubao already, aboard an aircon Superlines bus bound to Daet. P407 as reserved. It was a cold yet stressful trip; sitting position for almost 9 hours, imagine...

Saturday - When we arrived at their house at 6am, we did nothing but sleep. As i've said earlier, it was really a stressful journey. We woke up @ 10am, ate sandwich and coffee for breakfast, then prepared for our beach escapade.

We rode the BFAR speed boat (thanks to Mayor Lo!) and upon arriving to Apuao Island, we had our courtesy call to the incumbent mayor of Mercedes town, Hon. Pepito Lo. The beach was inviting, I couldn't resist to touch its refreshing splashes on the sand. However, we were unable to enjoy swimming. Reality bites, and so as a colony of the "salabay!" There was an attack, not of the popularly known NPA troupe in Bicol region, but of the itchy bitchy jelly fishes!!! Hundreds of them, actually. Nevertheless, Apuao Grande Island Resort is such a peaceful place. A paradise, as I can call it. (Advertisement: the island is for sale, P48M. I would have bought it, if only I could think of a way how to get rid of those deadly salabays).

Past 4pm, our banca fetched us up for home. It was more than an hour of battling against the heat of the setting sun and big waves great for surfing. That was the only time an idea came into my mind: surfers can also use wooden bancas because it would be a perfect alternative to surfboards. Great experience, it is! Promise!

At home, we had some minutes to rest and take a bath. Then, we went to the town proper and had some snacks. We found the "Tippy Toppy," a native-inspired restaurant offering special delicacies of Bicolanos - Bicol Express, Laing, Cream Puffs, different flavors of Ginumis (ice candy-like desert) and more. I had a cream puff and mango ginumis while the others ordered palabok, empanada and cheese roll. One thing that made this dining experience different was that we were in a bahay-kubo (nipa hut) and ate like Japanese and Koreans; nakaupo sa lapag sa harap ng mababang mesa. Back home, a feast-like dinner was waiting for us. Adel's Mama and Ate Lorie Joy were indeed hospitable and warm. And also sweet little Harry, Adel's nephew, who kept on kissing and hugging each and everyone of us. Before midnight, we were all sound asleep. Ngooorrrkkk...

Sunday, 7am - we're all awake and after having an energy-giving breakfast of eggs, fish and rice, we're all packed for our trip to Adel's very hometown, a.k.a. Tulay na Lupa. We trekked, took pictures of nature and loved the cold running water of the river in Sinagtala Park. This quasi-resort has 3 pools - kiddie, average (4 to 5-feet) and deep. We preferred the middle one - just right for our height and swimming capability. Hehehe!

We had lots of baon, courtesy of the ever-friendly and accomodating Adel's high school friends, Anterton, Von, Niño and Jun. Tama nga ang sabi nila, "There are lots of nice guys in Bicol." Sabi pa ng isa sa akin, "Pag wala daw ako mahanap na boyfriend sa Manila, bumalik lang daw ako sa Bicol." Ang sagot ko naman, "Puao ka! (Crazy!)"

It was Sunday night. We're coming back to Manila (kanta yun ah!). Albie and I were excited because we're riding Philtranco's Gold Service, for P650 only. The aircon was at its best, it was so cold, kulang na lang mag-snow at fog. Good thing I had my socks, bonnet, armband and sarong with me. Or else, I would have frozen to death. I didn't notice that we're in Cubao already. Contrary to our trip forth Bicol, this journey back to the urban was restful and relaxing.

Haaayyy... I would love to go back to Bicol, with or without Adel and friends. Hehehe! It is a kind of place where I can find solace and peace of mind. I'm still thinking of buying Apuao Island... We can never tell, malay natin... manalo ako sa lotto, kahit di ako tumataya... Hahaha!

Someday, if time and budget permit me to, I'm going to BE COOL IN BICOL again!

More pics here: