Tuesday, March 01, 2016


Caffeinated nerves, conjunctivitis eyes, metal rock voices.

These we were bringing back to Manila but not to home and rest, not yet, but to change terminals for a detour to Tacloban.

It's almost rest --- the queue at the Davao check-in desk, an uneventful flight to Manila, watching a mute NBA game at NAIA 3's Gate 6, and flying to Tacloban --- in the deepest "hugot" possible, in the absence of real work, although colleagues will surely argue that travelling is in fact part of our work.

A 3-hour flight delay did enabled me to finish Amy Tan's "The Bone Setter's Daughter" which pushed down my stress level and partially exorcise the haunting remains of the Davao F2F.

Yes, there was pansit in Tacloban, which is welcome, although I consider Hotel Rodolfo's version of the carbonara as B-.

And there was a night of beer and videoke, in the warm company of Kuyangs first met, on the 7th floor of a hotel two spans wide with a decrepit elevator, so narrow it stands almost unnoticed like the apartment on 12 Grimmauld Place, the Rose Pharmacy not helping as a locator since it actually has three branches along the same Zamora Street.

But I walked, went lost, arrived, and got happily semi-drunk.  

The hour-long flight back to Manila the next day took off earlier than scheduled but I was made to endure a 3-hour navigation to Cubao from the airport via C5, half of it asleep thankfully, and another 4-hours riding the bus to Bacal 2, most of it asleep, early dinner at sweet home Bacal 2, to the bed, and not being able to sleep .

I was mentally and physically hurting still so the next 3 days [except Saturday for a funeral and a beer speed drinking moment in Sta. Rosa] were spent detoxifying the fumes of Davao and Tacloban in the saddle of AGT, exploring new routes through Villanati and Maragol and then Maragol and Basang Hamog, cooking dinner for the wife and Balong, placing bet on the lotto, and mediating Masonic jurisprudence in Quezon.

Then Monday, a rare 29th of February, my quest for Bagbagui-ing, a brave [and stupid] decision to ride through a rice paddy dike connecting a dirt road from another dirt road, losing control midway and crashing into a ravine-d rice field that earned me a coveted trail biker's gash on the knee.

And I am a non-zombie again, the adrenaline rush confirming that yes I am alive and back, and I proclaiming to the world that this is what trail biking is all about, that I am again prepared to travel to the ends of the world at any time!

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