Sunday, May 14, 2017


I don't know how all the gowns and shoes and extra clothes fitted into a medium-sized trunk and one small hand luggage but it did, more so going home with additional bulk from session kits and giveaways, small boxes of pasalubong, and a lot of mostly pleasant memories from 5 days and 4 nights of pure and unintruded vacation in the City of Golden Friendship.  

Pomp and ceremony dominated Sunday, the stiff decorum punctuated by the wisecracks the Grand Master composed from our brief conversation in NAIA's Terminal 3 earlier until dusk mercifully came and ushered us back to the Mallberry Business Suites, to the Grand Caprice Restaurant where mortals pretended to be goddesses, where I got bewitched by alluring maidens into guzzling plastic cup after plastic cup of kryptonite Tanduay concoctions.     

On Monday, lesser royalty had their revenge as they made the Queen raise their hands and say their names, as in all of them which took the whole morning, such a tedious Escorting task we thought so we decided to skip the Draping Ceremony and lose ourselves in the zip line of Dahilayan in Bukidnon and smother ourselves with slabs of steak at the Del Monte Golf Club before heading down back to the City just in time for the Cowboy Rodeo where the enticing Tanduay Girls seduced me into slugging more of their steely brews.    

Then Tuesday came and I was prepared for it having cracked the internet access codes of the Luxe Hotel, minding my Facebook account while Chosen One was upended by renegade votes, responding to my emails as the next regime and her court were duly installed, coaxing a beer and a fruit platter then finally a bowl of soup from the waiters of the Grand Caprice until they finally relented and opened up the buffet table as I ogle the Tanduay Girls one final time and took one last swig of their poison before realizing that dinner in fact was served at 10 pm and it's time to go to bed.   

Wednesday was liberation day so we left our fate entirely to Waze and took a leap of faith; it's" Maria Cristina Falls or bust" we told ourselves, but Waze got lost and the park is indeed closed to the public due to a red alert of sort, so we prayed to the Brods and our faith in them opened the locked gates that led us to its majesty, the grandeur of the Maria Cristina Falls, the "pinakamagandang talon sa buong Pilipinas" according to Balong's textbook, then a lightning trip to the Ultra Winds Mountain Resort of a Right Worshipful Sir in Bukidnon before finally celebrating Mothers' Day in advance with a bottle of Australian wine and a moist chocolate cake in the humid heights of the High Ridge.  

On the fifth day of Thursday, Kuya Ferdy took us to the airport in his Toyota Innova that still reeked of the red wine spilt by a drunk Lupo Alaba, but not after a pit stop at Vjandep for some boxes of its famous pastel, and not after a photo moment at El Salvador's Divine Mercy Shrine, after which we finally boarded PAL's Flight 2522 back to NAIA Terminal 3 where we waited for almost an hour for a Grab car to take us to 56 Mother Ignacia Avenue where our ride to Nueva Ecija was safe kept. 

That is how we were able to go home for Kuya Fitz to pick me up on the sixth day, a hot Friday, for a Michael Schumacher-induced drive to Baler where I got to officially wear the purple of our fraternity for the first time before feasting on sea snails and raw fish and indulging ourselves to boxes of Johnny Walker Black and bottles of San Mig Lights.   

We drank until 2 am and woke up drunk, but sane enough to plant a few mangrove pods, take a few photos, and indulge in a breakfast boodle fight of boiled greens and eggs, fried hotdogs and dried fish, and that welcome cup of really hot instant coffee which perked me up for my first official District visit to the Manuel L. Quezon Memorial Lodge No. 262 and then to Kapitan Pepe Lodge No. 294 five hours later and 122.4 kilometers away in Cabanatuan City.   

That was Saturday which is the 7th and last day of this journal...

No comments: