Saturday, March 17, 2012


He came at 10 pm when the jug of Fundador Brandy is almost half.

He stayed until a new bottle was opened, when we went to bed at 12 midnight, and when the power went off and the mosquitoes invaded.

He joined our Bating Tournament when we decided to kill the last 3 hours before 5 am.

And through it all, he talked: of the things gone by in the Kingdom of Pee, of secrets untold and moments retold a hundred times, of the betting rules of Bating and places as far as Tuguegarao.

He got down at Pili but his voice stayed and resonated as we hunted for an open kinalas shop, ogled the Naga Cathedral for some photos, and brought packets of pili nuts for those back home, before finally vanishing as we pampered bodies bruised by 3 days of chasing road (paved, unpaved, under repair) in the courtyard of Pagbilao's ancient church...

PHOTOS EXPLAINED (top to bottom): [1] Kinalas is a noodle dish is similar to the everyday mami except for a topping of what looked like a Pansit Palabok sauce, and the meaty dark soup made from boiling a cow or a pig’s head until the flesh fell off. Hence, the name kinalas. [2] Naga City's Cathedral of San Juan Evangelista was first built in 1595 when the Diocese of Nueva Caceres was established. The present structure is the third church and was built by 1843, and repaired in 1862 and 1890. It just underwent a general restoration work. [3] Only the bell tower remained of the Pagbilao church's original structure --- the third of such that was started to be constructed in 1845. Most of the church was destroyed during the war for the liberation of the Philippines in 1945.

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