Monday, March 7, 2011

TRAVEL | Going Native at Palaisdaan

Saturday. February 26, 2011.

Change of Travel Plan

The original plan was that at 12 midnight, we’ll travel to my hometown since Kino and Jeenyong don’t have any place to stay in. Unfortunately we had a meeting in the office for an hour so we finished around 12 midnight also. I asked Kino if they can still travel but he said better to go tomorrow. It was better. I slept.

In the morning, I decided to eat breakfast first at Jollibee. Joy, a fellow Communication Research major and a friend of Kai drove Kino and Jeenyong to Jollibee. It was my first time to see Jeenyong and I was just glad he was safe.

After eating, we took the bus going to Lucena. The travel time was 4 to 5 hours I told them. On the way to Lucena, Jeenyong kept telling stories about papaya, Vanuatu, coconuts and nipa huts. The weather was good that day. The sky was bright and the sun was shining. I felt happy to come home with my two good friends. Oh, Kino was sleeping on the other side of the seat. I guess he was so tired from the night before.

The Mountain Water at Batis Aramin

Me with Korean friends
It was already drizzling when we got to my place in Lucena. Good thing it stopped when we got off the bus. Mom prepared fried tilapia and calderatang chicken for lunch. The two of them said the fish looked like piranha. It was funny. The chicken caldereta tasted similar with a Korean dish they said.

After lunch, we started the hometown adventure. My sister Ayana came with us. We decided to go to a swimming resort which was Batis Aramin (Batis is Tagalog word for “river”). I’ve never been to the place and I thought you can actually swim in the river. Unfortunately my expectation was too high.

There were many pools inside but the deepest was 6ft. We just stayed there the whole time. We played some games, but I was never a good swimmer so I always lost. Jeenyong was the best swimmer among us. The funny thing about Jeenyong was that he was able to make friends with the children in the pool. I find that really funny seeing someone like Jeenyong to play with the children. He was so dear to the people there.

Kino and Jeenyong in the pool

After getting tired of swimming, we walked around the place. We tried climbing a coconut tree. They wanted to eat a coconut fruit. They used my towel to climb the coconut and afterwards, my towel was just soiled. Of course we took a lot of pictures.

Climbing the Mountain

The next plan on my list was climbing the mountain. They disagreed. They said they were so tired to climb the mountain. I kept telling them that the mountain was not exactly a mountain and they would see something different there. But still they refused.

Actually all Kino and Jeenyong to do was sleep. They were really tired. But I told them they need to go to the place since they don’t have any other opportunity. So we have to climb the mountain. But they refused.

We ended up drinking the overpriced Nescafe instant coffee at the waiting lobby. It rained. The place was getting darker. Somehow I felt some peace during that coffee time with Kino, Jeenyong and my sister. It was I think one of the best time in their stay in my hometown.

I decided to walk outside the resort to wait for my father to come. Since we’re already out, we went inside the foot of the mountain. Sadly, we couldn’t climb because the place was already closed. But still they saw the mountain. The place by the way is called Kamay ni Hesus. After a while, my father came and drove us to Palaisdaan.

Floating Bamboo Huts

Washing hand area
Dinner was at this place called Palaisdaan. It was a native restaurant. I wanted to show them the live tilapia but since it was already dark, we couldn’t see anything anymore. So we just waited for my other friends to come and order the food. I guess everybody’s hungry so when the food came, everybody was just so delighted.

We ordered grilled tilapia, sinigang na hipon (stewed shrimp), calamares (breaded squid), tempura (breaded shrimp), okra, bulalo (stewed beef bones), lechong manok (grilled chicken), and grilled eggplant. It was a feast. Everybody had a great time. 

Photo of everyone at Palaisdaan

Drinking with Group B
With high school friends and Korean buddies

Kath’s friends were meeting that night and we decided to come along and have a little drink. Kino and Jeenyong met the so called Group B, Kath’s friends. Everybody was just enthusiastic to meet the two Koreans but as with Filipino culture, most of these people were plain shy to speak in English so they avoided talking.

It was cold. The night wind was piercing our skin. The alcohol couldn’t warm us up. We drank San Miguel Light, but later on Matador Rhum. Kino refused to drink. He said he had a stomach upset. Thus the moniker “rooster” (a homonym for “looser”) was born. Anyhow, Jeenyong and I finished the rhum. On second thought, Jeenyong drank most of the rhum. I kept passing it to him. But I got tipsy nevertheless.

We were almost done drinking when a classmate, Romulo, came and gave Kino and Jeenyong a present. It was a gun bullet. The two Koreans were surprised about the bullets. I knew where the bullets were going. Nowhere.

Dancing on the Dance Floor

The last stop for the night. It was a dancing club. We stayed there. Drank some cola and swayed in the dance floor. The bad part was that the live singers took so long to perform, Kino and Jeenyong actually fell asleep in their seats. I almost fell asleep too but Mellany woke me up.

Worse part was, when I went to the toilet and jumped, I sprained my right ankle (which is still aching as of this writing). I was drunk so I couldn’t feel much pain that time. But going back home, I had to endure the pain.

Sleeping Time

It was already 1:30am when we arrived home. We slept in the living room, the three of us. Little did I know that Jeenyong and I were snoring that night. Kino said we were a chorus. I guess I always snore when I feel very tired.

Nevertheless I had a good night sleep. Kathrina woke me up through a phone call. But that’s another story. That’s the next day’s story.

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