weekend warrior

work at the DENR, no matter how terribly less stressing it is in comparison to my previous employment in the law firm, can get in the way of other more primordial things, such as blogging. which explains why i’ve been posting less frequently as i have these past few months.

of course that doesn’t necessarily mean i have nothing to report. my first two days at work were spent basically trying to get the feel of things. i’m still in the dark about how things are supposed to be done, but i’ve had my fair share of assignments.

last friday, i received SMS from jerome asking me if i was interested in a beach camp at the foot of mt. daguldol over the weekend. being the kaladkarin that i am, i agreed without hesitation. since my salomon backpack is still out to dry, i decided to go out and get my deuter ACT lite 50+10 2 months in advance. so off i went to bombproof in galleria, asked for rolly’s MFPI ID number, and got a 10% discount. i got it for P5530. i am now the proud owner of this blue and gray (ash and granite) sleek pack which i liked a lot the first time i saw it resting on johnbee’s shoulders.

john hall's reflection?it took me a long time to pack, primarily because most of my gear hadn’t dried yet. eventually, i left for jerome’s house at close to midnight. he had some friends over, and i joined them for a few rounds of pineapple juice spiked with generous amounts of gin. we drank till around 3am, when we decided to leave for batangas. two of jerome’s friends joined us. raquel carried a small school bag, while jr had a huge peak 1 bag with an external frame. it is a difficult thing to fit inside jeepneys and buses. jr is a big, scary-looking young man, who suffers from the silly delusion that he is a deadringer for john hall. come to think of it, he does look like a celebrity. not john hall, but benjie paras’s doppelgänger, only a little darker.

we arrived in san jose, batangas at around 7, and trekked along the beach, past la luz resort, all the way to hugom. jerome, apparently, is quite a popular person there. in fact, he’s a ninong to one of the babies no more than 9 months old. he revealed he failed to attend the christening. that early in the morning, two locals were already busy having some antibiotic: gin bilog. one of them was mang zardo, who, despite having lived a most rural life, is proud of the fact that he is mentioned in the internet. mang zardo already had a distinct drunken slur, and he invited us to join them drinking. his mouth opened wide as he spoke, and his teeth were so rotten they seemed all but ready to fall off. had the circumstances been more urban, i would not have shared the same shot glass he used. we downed two bottles before we finally set up camp by the beach.

i shared this tadpole tent with jr which had no mesh. so after lunch (i cooked ham and cheese pasta), we went off for a siesta, and despite the strong sea breeze wafting through the beach, only the ends of my hair felt the wind. i was sweating inside the tent and before long, i had to sneak out and continue my sleep in one of the bamboo papags near the beach. jerome was actually there in preparation for the dental mission he had planned. this is pure service on jerome’s part because he seeks neither fame nor attention for the charitable endeavor he has planned. the only weird thing i find about the whole activity is that the mission only intends to pull out teeth. no other service is being offered.

at night, i was assigned the task of cooking. raquel remarked she could not believe i am not trusted in the kitchen at home since i did quite well, even with the piece of fish which one of the locals gave to us (she also said that i had an angle which looked a lot like enrique iglesias, and in the same breath, concluded that i also look like duncan of south border. duh!). jerome’s kumare owned a sari-sari store nearby, and i quickly whipped a fish adobo which accompanied our drinking spree. we finished at around midnight but we continued drinking even after we returned to our tents. jr and i played a few games of tong-its, and although i haven’t played this game in over a year, he only managed to win once.

we left hugom early the following day. jerome’s kumpare saved us a few minutes of trekking through the beach under the scathing sun by taking us back to la luz on his banca. by 4pm, i was already back home. i washed my bags, and brushed my dirty boots. they’re still waiting to dry.
Wow...kainggit!! I have a reservations at Balai on the 27th. It's fullmoon so I figured downing two red wine bottles in a San Juan beach would be perfect this time. Can you update me on the transpo sked (jeep from candelaria or lipa)? Is there somebody there I can approach in case of emergency? Thanks. J.

PS> Creepy that story you wrote re Prana.
Re: Hello
hey! didn't know you and marc juliano are friends. met him in makati last week. two days in a row, in fact. now about the transpo sched, if you're commuting, jeeps are aplenty at any hour. we reached lipa at around 5am, and already a jeep was waiting for us. from the bus station in lipa, take a tricycle to the jeepney terminal going to san jose. they'll take you to the san jose public market market where jeeps are waiting to take you to barangay hugom. the first jeepney fare is less than P50, while the second is P25. have fun! kainggit naman. :D
Re: Hello
Thanks for your reply. The cottage I reserved is good for four people. Magyaya nga kaya ako. A few more things: What does your friend recommend -- daan ng Lipa o Candelaria? You left at 0300H and got there around 0700H? Tama ba? Medyo bukana pa ang Balai kasi doon yata kayo sa dulo?

Ah si Marc, hinde..hindi ko kilala iyon. :-)
Re: Hello
well, we arrived in hugom at 7am kasi we had breakfast pa on the road, and the waiting for more passengers can kill you. lam mo naman, hindi aandar yang mga jeep until mapuno. and at 5am, kakaunti lang ang mga pasahero. hehe.

teka, what's your blog?
Yun na nga, the long wait for passengers often mean disturbed itineraries. Kung a-arkilahin naman iyong Palengke-Hugom na jeep, magkano kaya? :-) Can't wait for the 27th. Sana maliwanag ang buwan at makapal ang kumot doon.
Blog ko? Naku, e nakakahiya. :-) J.
I had you linked pala in my blog. Sana OK lang. :-) J.