Monday, May 09, 2016


Long live the Queen!

So exalted the stranded travellers as the royal Amaranthine convoy got trapped in an 8-hour diabolical traffic jam through the Caraballo mountain range, No. 55 jerseys proudly announcing that they have in fact the Queen, former queens, and future queens on board as tempers and kidneys got tested in the mad rush of unbridled counterflows, the road as congested and crooked as the "Tuwid na Daan" and inept traffic enforcers can be, and St. Christopher and Santa Francesca Romana abandoning those they patronize at the mercy of a cold lunch in the middle of an immense downpour while pigs and a cow were being roasted for the banquet in honor of those who once sat at the High Throne. 

God save the Queen!

And us too, from the daily fare of lechon that was once our gastronomic heaven until the doctors unleashed hell upon our diets, when the RMs (Royal Matrons) were not as big as those seated below and the RPs' (Royal Porter/Photographer) blood pressure and sugar levels were not as high as Mt. Everest, and burned pork fat slathered in a pool of bagoong and calamansi mix was the next best thing after pinapaitan.   

Hail to the Chief!

So I do, at Her Majesty's beck and call as the Royal Photographer, documenting every change of royal regalia from pink to green to blue to white, at the commoner's abode in Balai Gloria or at the regal Highlander Hotel and Resort, during official functions or whenever Her Highness wishes so, and in between rounds of free herbal tea and involuntary power naps as pomp and ceremony unfolded.  

I am the Royal Porter too, keeper of the Royal Crown when it's not on display, guardian of the crown bag which is in fact my Scottish cap case, on high alert for any possible photo opportunity or any bidding which I must obey with utmost haste, and sometimes becoming part of the photograph too when the presence of a consort is required.

And so it was that on the last day of the Grand Conclave, the Royal Convoy took off for the remnants of an old Spanish church in Bagabag to appease St. Christopher and Santa Francesca Romana with an offering of pansit cabagan, which continued to a pilgrimage to the fortress church of St. Vincent Ferrer in Dupax del Sur and that of St. Catherine of Sienna in Bambang, camera bag slung but the crown case thankfully left behind, as we prayed for a miracle that will part the traffic in Dalton Pass and allow us a hassle-free passage back to our kingdom in Nueva Ecija. 

The Queen is happy, I have served her well, and was rewarded with a time off my duties as Royal Photographer/Porter to shake off a two-week lay off from the dirt roads...

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