Monday, March 23, 2015

DURUGIN ANG BATO SA APDO NI TOTOY BATO

Muli, sumabak si Totoy Bato sa ring.

Subalit sa pagitan ng mga round ay namaga ang bato at umalsa ang apdo.

Kaya nakipagbalikan kay Dr. Cayco si Totoy Bato.

Nangawala ang adobong baboy at pumailanlang ang inabraw na labong, sitaw, at saluyot.

Muli, namanata sa malapulbos na alikabok ng mga daang kalabaw si Totoy Bato. 



Maliwanag ang langit, konting ulap lamang ang nakaukit sa ekta-ektaryang pisarang asul.


Malawak at malapad ang mga tuyong sabana na naghihintay sa ulan at mga magbabakod.


At sa basbas ng walang kaubusang apple cider ay pinakawalan ni Totoy Bato ang mga suntok para sa Galing Pook Award at P30 milyong kalsada.

Matiyaga ang pang-unawa niya sa inaarugaang kampanya. 

Dahil lilipas din ang pagmamaliw ng mga agimat na bato at muling sasayaw ng cha-cha ulupong si Totoy Bato...

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

THREE DAYS, TWO NIGHTS

We came for these.





We came with our bikes.




I came for this.




It was good until I saw this.




That stoked the other night's beer and and plates of tokwa't baboy, and stirred last night's flavored lambanog and crispy pata remnants, as the last two months of lechon and Johnny Walker Black caught up too.

The Buscupan helped but Chef Gerry's buffet spread did not despite confining myself to grilled pusit, pako salad, and sweet and sour tanigue.  





We also came for this.




Which quickly ended up like this.




I peed red the rest of the week, so I guess I will be needing more of this.


Monday, March 16, 2015

FOOTNOTE TO MINALUNGAO

Both of us, in our younger days, came to Minalungao.

Me with my starry eyed artist/activist friends, lugging a case of San Miguel Beer, cooking rice in a bamboo tube, exploring one of the caves.


She with the family of a neighbor and perhaps a boyfriend.


I walked, and maybe she did too.


That was many years ago.


Today, a road connect Minalungao to the rest of the world.


A checkpoint collects P20 from each visitor.


And bamboo huts and concrete and humanity litter what was once a pristine and raw almost-paradise. 






For us, Minalungao is somehow one of the dots that brought us into this single continuing journey.

It is a small pocket where a bit of a happy memory is stored. 


But that aside, the Minalungao of today is misspelled tourism at its best.

And I say that a challenging mountain biking trail is its sole and only redemption.