Taxi rides have become unbearable for me ever since I stopped going to work. My head spins and I always wanna puke. When I took a cab with Ayi to get to the Five Star bus terminal in Tramo, I wasn’t able to hold down my dinner. But I felt okay during the bus ride.
The ride took a little over 5hrs. I couldn’t get a decent sleep ‘coz they didn’t turn the lights off and after the stopover in Tarlac, passengers were alighting the bus every 30mins or so. By 4:30, we were having breakfast at Adora’s 24hr eatery. I had a scrambled egg on a bun for P20. Then Kuya Ramil and Aris found 2 tricycle boys who’d take us on a tour and pick us up the next day for P1,000/tryke. At 7am we were on a short trail to the falls, which were not the tall ones I expected but a series of small ones that created scattered pools of green-blue water.
We frolicked in the pools for 2hrs. Ate Jen lost her glasses, which sent the boys and myself on a little treasure hunt. Ayi suggested we use my graded Speedo goggles. Before I retrieved it I gave a disclaimer: it’s clouded now. Nobody believed me till they used it. Aris said it’s as good as wearing nothing. Lol. A week ago, I decided to clean my goggles using Scotch Brite ‘coz I was pissed at Ma for waking me up at 6am (she’s mad at something and couldn’t wait till I was awake). Anyway, we didn’t find it and Kuya Ramil just labeled the lost glasses as an offering to Nature. We had a photo ops at the lake and I couldn’t resist so I swam to the far end to see where the water goes. That’s why I missed the part where a guy jumped from the falls into the lake. Ayi half-dared me to do it but all of us were thinking the same thing: only a local folk could pull it off without injury.
So off we went, back to the town center to grab packed lunch from Adora’s. At 10am we walked to the wet market. I stayed outside; I couldn’t bear the smell of raw meat (I’ve been semi-vegetarian for 12yrs). Sadly, a tryke arrived with a pig ready for slaughter. I turned my back and the next moment I was crying. I knew this was happening everyday but to have seen the poor thing while he was alive, I felt helpless. The my phone vibrated, shaking me off my despair. I got a text from Eco, a blockmate I haven’t seen in a decade. A few days ago we’ve reestablished contact on FB and he said he might meet us here. I told him we’ll be on the beach in the aftie; he arrived at around 5pm. All six of us are KaPiTas (UP Kabataang Pilosopo Tasyo, an exclusive college organization).
After acquiring seafood for our dinner at the resort, we left the market for the Wonderful Cave, about 40mins away. We ate our packed lunch on a table a few steps from the cave. I didn’t like my very salty sweet and sour fish so I gave it to the dogs and just had a Reese’s candy bar, which was delicious btw. We all loved the cave; it was truly wonderful. At first the water was so cold, but after much fidgeting we all ended up in the crystal clear pool enjoying ourselves. Aris went on his investigator mode and asked all sorts of questions to our guides. “How come the water’s so clean and clear? Where does it come from and where does it go? Etc.” What’s funnier was Kuya Ramil almost drowned because he was laughing while he ferried Ate Jen to a rock. In some parts of the cave, the water was 6ft deep. There was also a treat for adventurers, where you had to go through a narrow passageway where only your head was above water and rocks enlosed you. I took a peek first then hesitated. One of the guides led Ayi inside and they went out the other way, just a very short distance actually. I went after Ate Jen; didn’t know I had a claustrophobe in me, despite being a competent swimmer. It turned out to be a walk in the park. The boys didn’t accept the challenge. And I thought boys and holes were made for each other, hehe. On a side note, while swimming I found a fire ant and rescued it, brought it outside and placed it on the plants; which reminded me of the yellow frog on top of a rock that I saw along the path to the cave.
By 2pm, we’ve settled on our cottage in Benjie’s Resort, after a very long and bumpy tryke ride from the cave. There were a few people there, much to my liking. I prefer swimming alone in the sea, which I did for hours while the others rested. The waves were manageable but at 4:30, I felt the undertow. I instinctively went back to the shore and called it a day. Soon, Ka Benjie delivered our cooked seafood. I asked him to inspect the extension cord ‘coz it was grounded. That was the first time we saw a lightbulb on fire. Good thing he came with an electrician so it was over after Ayi and I shrieked while Ate Jen stared in vague amazement. As if that wasn’t enough, when we decided to eat on the hut in the sand, rain poured heavily, drenching our clothes and almost ruining our food. “Good idea,” said Kuya Ramil. I felt guilty; I was the eager one to transfer our dinner, utensils and all, to the table in front of our cottage. Anyhow, we went back to our veranda and finished our dinner. The light was fixed during our meal.
Kuya Ramil and Ate Jen went in search for coffee afterwards so me, Ayi, Eco and Aris were left there reminiscing our college days. Apart from being orgmates, the three of us were also N8 blockmates in 2000. We had a sort of trivia game on who can name the most number of N8s and describe them. We were all putting in our 2 cents but it was Eco who was really good, his specialty being our provinces. There was one we all remembered the face but can’t pin a name on. It bugged us until the next day. Guess who remembered her: Eco texted her name to me on the bus ride home. Ayi confirmed it by citing her nickname.
I was up at 6am the next day. Eco and I walked the stretch of the beach and saw the tiny creek that Aris pointed out to us. I had a feast and went trigger-happy on my s2. Too bad I didn’t see the dog who swam under the bridge. The shots are on my next post. By 11am, we were packed and ready to go.
We had our lunch at Adora’s again. Even the sinigang na hipon I ordered was salty. I spent P90 on that. How I wished there was a Jollibee in the area. After our meal Ayi accompanied me to the souvenir shop. I collect ref magnets from the places I visit and I needed to find a pasalubong for back home. Our bus left at 2pm and I arrived in my house before 8pm. Compared to my other trips, this wasn’t that tiring. The tour was just right, covering the falls, cave and beach.
How I missed traveling, what with all the recent happenings in my life… Now, I felt happy again. Let’s go to the Hundred Islands next? 🙂