Monday, October 02, 2006

take two, all together now!

One would think I'd be wise enough NOT to attempt a second shot at going to the beach during the rainy season... well, attempt I did and I'm glad I went through with it. I wanted my family to feel and see, even for a few hours, what I experience when I go out on one of my trips. Experience it they did albeit a very "toned down" version. One cannot really expect my mom, creator of heaven and earth (and me on the side), to sleep in an room without airconditioning. After emailing everyone a very detailed agenda of activities and nagging all concerend to go view my previous blogs on the place, every family member turns to me on that day and blames me for "not telling them what to expect"... err... okay, maybe I should have made them kneel on rock salt or put a candle under their hands until they read every last word of both the agenda and the writeups. Short of that, I don't know how else to make them read what they should have. Anyway, the day started at 4am for everyone. I had a quick breakfast of tocino, eggs and rice. Of course, after insisting that my brother eat breakfast because of the long trip ahead, he refuses for some reason and blamed me later for not giving him breakfast.... 'hirap talaga maging kuya ha...
5am, all the essentials are packed into the two cars and we go fetch mom, dad, k.mel and sarah. On the way , turning right to get some ice in 7-11 my big fat brother obstructs all view of the right-side side-mirror as well as blocks out ALL view of the right windows (what can I say? he's titanic!). I motion him to give me a clear line of sight and he shouts something like "eh di mag ingat ka tanga!" and then goes into a hissifit complete with tears and a litany of woes... as I said, 'hirap talaga maging kuya ha... The things I put up with eh? We finally stop for ice so mel goes to the back to continue his bitching there while my youngest sister goes up front to be my co-pilot. (remaining 99.999% censored out)
So finally, with ice in the cooler, we convoy to Tignoan beach in Real, Quezon. Red and family ,had a nice little last-minute complication and could not convoy with us to the place. They decided to go find it by themselves and , of course, I then get blamed again for not warning them of the zigzag road that cuts through the sierra madre hills. Even though that detail was mentioned in my blog along with the name of the resort, contact numbers, contact person, DETAILED directions on how to get there and even time estimates and distances, I get the blame because, apparently, everyone suffers a lack of reading ability. One may conclude that reading instructions are strictly only for engineers. The rest of the world just looks at the pictures. My parents and siblings will probably view this blog and look at all the nice pictures without reading any of this. Thats why I think its safe to write anything and everything here, don't you worry (wink-wink). So, okay, I get blamed because my brother fails to read and follow instructions - everybody say it with me... once again with feeling ... 'HIRAP MAGING KUYA HA... amen, ramen, somen.
(photo, above: Balagbag falls after typhoon milenyo, below: Paul, mom and dad at the OceanBlueResort , all photos taken by FrancisAtendido with a Panasonic Lumix FZ20)

We arrived at the Ocean Blue Resort and settled into our respective rooms. They still did not have power in Quezon so Mrs.Celia, the manager, apologized and said the most they can do is run the generator at night to power some electric fans. Of course mom was in distress over this news but theres nothing we could do about it. Dad, Paul and I wen to the nearby talipapa to get a look at what was available. Unlike the last time I was here, fish was plentiful and much cheaper. We bought kilo after kilo of LapuLapu, Shrimps, Prawns, gigantic BlueCrabs, Blue Marlin, kitang or spade fish, fresh galunggong or round scad. The spade fish was particularly delicious. I didn't know about this fish until my father introduced me to it that day. Kitang, or "spade fish" is otherwise known to divers as "bat fish" because of their wide shape. I recall seeing a school of giants in one of my wreck dives with Gunter in Coron.

After putting everything on ice, we head back to the resort and unload all the stuff we bought. This time we brought cooking materials so I instruct the cook to make hilabos from the live prawns, spicy ginataan alimango out of the 5kilos of crabs, fry the kitang and cook some rice. I haul mom, dad, paul, k.mel and sarah into the car and we proceed to balagbag waterfalls.

(photo, above: yellowfin tuna at nearby talipapa, below right: Paul at Balagbag falls , all photos taken by FrancisAtendido with a Panasonic Lumix FZ20)

Now, I was impressed with this waterfall during my first visit but it was even more beautiful now! I force my mom to walk the 300+ meters or so to the falls (she's so lazy and abhors walking) because I knew she needed the exercise. She complained every inch of the way but actually thanked me later because she felt stronger and lighter from all that walking. Paul went bonkers and immediately explored the different parts of the falls. The water was much more abundant now oweing to the recent deluge from Typhoon Milenyo. This abundance of water made the falls look more majestic and certainly more fun. Its too bad we could only stay a short while as it was nearing noon and we had to start heading back to the resort (mom walks really slow).

Back at the resort, dad was so famished that he was incoherent. I had to constantly assure him we were eating in a few minutes so he'd settle down and keep still again. As usual he started his "tikim rounds" and was soon happily settled in one of the bamboo huts munching away at all that food. The huts are located close to the beach so we hear the waves pounding and feel the slight moist breeze from the ocean as we eat. I was surprised and very happy when my brother Red actually arrived at about 12:30pm and joined us for lunch. It was a good thing we cooked so much food! Mom was elated to see her grandchildren and was soon fussing over them. We all had a great time slowly eating the rest of the food while catching up and swapping stories on the trip to this place.
(photo, above: mom in a hut beside the falls, below: Sancho and Chino enjoying the water , all photos taken by FrancisAtendido with a Panasonic Lumix FZ20)

After lunch, I again haul Red and his family into the car and the driver took them to the waterfalls where I joined them later. Me, mom and my brother went the opposite way to Real town proper. My mom wanted to sleep but, since there was no aircon in the rooms, went with us so she can stay cool in the car. I bought some more fish, some sasa lambanog and freshly baked spanish bread before going back to the falls to meet Red. This was my third time to go to the falls, twice this day na, but I am again awed and enticed by its beauty. I join my brother and his kids swimming in the lower pond while we eat all the delicious spanish bread. It was a very precious moment.

We head back to the resort at around 5:30pm as it was quickly becoming dark. Me and my brothers were just drinking some beer, fooling around while dinner was being prepared. The kids never tired of running around the pools and screaming their heads off - ah, to be young....

The only thing I didn't like about this trip was the sleeping arrangement. Everyone was afraid of getting dengue so they wanted the doors closed. It was freaking HOT in that room. I tried sleeping but finally could not stand it so at around 2am I opened all the doors and windows. Cool air at last! Unfortunately the occupants of the other two rooms thought it wise to keep their rooms closed and so had to endure the sauna-like sleeping conditions until morning.

On the way home we stopped at the newly constructed statue in honor of the brave soldiers who rebuild the city after the great mudslide of 2004. We left at about 10am and was in Valley Golf at noon for lunch. Its been a long time since I tasted garlic chicken and sizzling gambas! Delicious!

This has been another very successful trip. I truly hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did. To Ate Beth and Liezl, lets plan something similar very soon okay?
(photo, right: Mel, Paul, Mom, Dad and Sarah pose infront of the statue commemorating the soldiers that helped rebuild the city , all photos taken by FrancisAtendido with a Panasonic Lumix FZ20)


ewic said...

most of the time, reading is very much helpful. hehehe! by the way, i had my haircut few months ago, im just planning to have it colored. il see you soon Shachou! lets have a photo exhibit.

demeter said...

hello eric, thanks for visiting. oo nga, its been a long time. hope to c u soon!