Non-Fiction / Travel Writing

Beaches and Bitches

Last Saturday was the first out-of-town I had with my Elementary/High School friends. It was just a random thought when my best friend came here to Manila and we hang out over a tower of poorly blended cocktail drink. It was really a bit difficult to organize because of our schedules and some people’s notion of “joining.”

Anyway, after a lot of blabberings, threatening texts, and excited messages, at last! We were able to pull it off!

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Since some of us were coming from Bataan, and some from Manila, we decided to leave really early. Our call time was 2:00AM. I just had a class that day and I had to meet one of my closest friends in UP. I also watched our college’s annual Meeting de Avance (Hot off the Grill) to support some of my orgmates. (Go Beata and Yski!) After that, I attended the Birthday celebration of my former colleagues at Londa Online Technology (Happy Birthday Jeff and Clarissa!)

I got home at around 1:45 AM and I only had 15 minutes to prepare. Luckily, I already packed my things the night before so I just had a quick shower and I was good to go. I waited my Elementary friend (Adrian) and the van to pick us up. Then we proceeded to pick up our other classmates (Sheena and Katrina).

We thought we could sleep during the ride but we just talked all the way, how we couldn’t believe that it was really happening! We had our minor set back when we arrived really late at the pick up point.

Travel Tip: If you have a really strict time to follow, and your friends have histories of being really late. You can have a really early calltime and impose a big penalty per hour. The combination of the two will help you tremendously to meet the time you desire.

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On our way to Anawangin. Cast based on their outfit:
(Black-Adrian, Red Stripes-Lemuelle, White Shirt- RR, Bonnet-Harren, Yellow- Sheena, White with Shawl-Katrina, Cutie Suit- Me)

Our first order of business was to shop for food. We bought Rice, Noodles, Seafood and Meat to Grill, some fruits and alcohol. We bought around 2,500 worth of food because we were really afraid to be hungry in an island where food is really scarce (or really expensive.)

We arrived in Pundaquit at around 9AM. We got lost for a bit because we enjoyed looking outside and enjoying the sceneries. But at last, after several setbacks, we arrived and the place didn’t disappoint.

Capones Islands in the background. We were'nt able to go there though because of the strong waves.

Capones Islands in the background. We were’nt able to go there though because of the strong waves.

Before we went to Anawangin Cove.

Before we went to Anawangin Cove.

Me helping the bankeros... well, for the photo's sake. But I did actually help in the pushing part. :)

Me helping the bankeros… well, for the photo’s sake. But I did actually help in the pushing part. 🙂

Our first stop was Anawangin. Because of the Pine trees, it looks like we’re in Baguio. Although we were expecting that there would be no place to do your numbers 1 and 2, we were surprised that there were many, and they were acceptable “pwede na.”

We stayed there for around 20 minutes, enough to take tons of photos. We could actually trek to some hills but we chose not to because it would take another hour to go to Nagsasa Cove and we could trek there anyway.

Travel Tip: Bring cameras. And make sure it is fully charged. Also, bring an extra memory card, just in case. Also, bring a lot of zip lock plastic bags to protect your gadgets.

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Sandy Baguio!

Perfect for creative pang profile pic shot.

Perfect for creative pang profile pic shot.

When we arrived to Nagsasa Cove, after setting up, the first thing we did was to prepare our lunch and dinner. It was a very chaotic moment as our resident Senyora was just being herself, bitchy. I also had my bitching moment when I prepared my own, signature dish adobo.

Disclaimer: I have cooked adobo for n times and I know my recipe by heart. 

So I marinated the chicken with 2 cups of vinegar and 1 cup of soy sauce with a lot of spices. I added a tablespoon of sugar. I hid it from the rest, because I really wanted to let the juice penetrate the meat. But because it was really hot that time, and I already changed into my swimming outfit, me, my bestfriend Lemuelle, his girl friend RR, and Adrian took a dip first. When we came back, I saw that they already cooked my dish. I was thinking that I hope they tasted it before they covered it because if the vinegar didn’t cook properly (evaporated properly) it would be too sour. I didn’t give it much though because it has always been my problem to prevent most of the vinegar to evaporate. But but, one of the bitches tasted it and found it too sour. That was fine. But he felt the need to ask everybody else, sarcastically, telling that it was okay, and then laugh it off when he saw the faces of those who tasted it.

That’s when I lost my cool.

I prepared it, so I should cook it. My plan was to fry first the meat, and then glaze it with brown sugar. After that, I would pour the marinate and let it boil without cover, and when it already boils, I would simmer it for an hour, partially covering it. That was simple. And tested. I already fed my organization with it, and my close friends and I never heard a bad review. And I could have done that had it not been to that bitch who think he knew everything. He put the pot on the stove without even tasting it, and without even thinking if it should be cooked that way. And he had the nerve to humiliate me that much? Oh well.

I nearly exploded that time, but I tried my best to keep my mouth shut. After all, it was a trip to relax. I mustered all the patience in the world to not say anything, which was not really me.

My tentmate Adrian and should-have-been tentmate Katrina. It was a pretty strong tent as it withstood the strong winds and it kept us safe and warm.

My tentmate Adrian and should-have-been tentmate Katrina. It was a pretty strong tent as it withstood the strong winds and it kept us safe and warm.

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My bestfriend (left) and Adrian (right).

This was the lake/river (I don't know what it is) but this is a fresh water near the beach.

This was the lake/river (I don’t know what it is) but this is a fresh water near the beach.

After lunch, we decided to go to the “famous falls.” We were given a disclaimer that because it was already summer, the falls might dried up A BIT. A BIT. Remember this.

So it took an hour of walking to go to the “falls.” It was funny because everytime we ask our guide, James, how far were we, he always answered in time like 20 minutes more, 10 minutes more, etc. but none of those were true.

The path was a combination of grassy land (make sure to wear a light jogging pants), rocky dried river (make sure you wear proper shoes), and dried hot land (make sure you wear enough sunblock and protection from the sun). It was really tiring and we were expecting to enjoy the falls and to drink cold water. But when we arrived, there was no falls. All we found out was a group of disappointed people. We actually encountered a group that already went to the falls on our way but when they asked them about the falls, they said “sakto lang.” (Or, it was okay.) I wasn’t able to ask what brand of dictionary they were using to brand the place as OKAY. It was not okay. It was a really dried up falls. ABSOLUTELY NOT A BIT.

But of course since we wanted to relax, we just made the best out of it. Even if the stagnant river was full of dried leaves, we just played around with the cold water. We joked around a lot with another group and imagined there was really a falls there. When another group came, we decided to go back. We raced toward our camp site because we were really thirsty.

Travel Tip: Do not forget your sunblock, sun glasses, hat, shawl, bottle of water, proper shoes, and proper outfit when swimming and trekking. 

On our way to the falls.

On our way to the falls.

This is the "falls." The other guy was our tour guide, James.

This is the “falls.” The other guy was our tour guide, James.

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In the falls with other disappointed trekkers.

We spent the rest of the day swimming, preparing dinner and fixing our tents. The wind was intense! It blew off our tents and most of our things. Although it was chaotic, that wasn’t enough to disturb my peaceful sleep. Although the sand was painful in the back, but if you have no choice, you will have to adapt.

After dinner, we had a bonfire. But because we were too tired, we weren’t able to enjoy the night playing and sharing stories. All we wanted to do was to sleep.

The location of the campsite is very important. Some of us decided to go for the scenery but we weren’t able to foresee that we would suffer from tremendous discomfort due to the wind.

Travel Tip: Make sure that you had a decent sleep before the trip. Or you could nap while on your way. An out-of-town trip should have a minimized allocation of time for sleep. The rest should be for having fun and bonding. Unless you are going for a pajama party out-of-town.

Sunset Swimming!

Sunset Swimming!

Shadow Jump Shot! Woooo!

Shadow Jump Shot! Woooo!

On our last morning, we took our time to enjoy the beach more and explore. It was fun because the water was cold although the wind was intense and we experienced sand-slap (the sand is slapping us). It was painful, really. But at least the sceneries were great.

In fairness, Nagsasa has a better view than Anawangin although there were fewer Bathrooms. But the people there were really accommodating and helpful. They would attend to your every request and would help you when you need any assistance.

Early morning dip!

Early morning dip! The water is freezing!

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Our supposedly candid shot.

Last minute Swimming!

Friendship on the rocks!

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Last minute swimming!

Telenovela pose won't be forgotten in any group pose!

Telenovela pose won’t be forgotten in any group pose!

We encountered a minor set back when the bankero arrived late. We were supposed to go by 11AM but they arrived at 1PM. It was too late already because we had to be in Manila by 5PM. But of course, since there was no mode of communication available, this was a very common incident.

Travel Tip: There are so many uncontrollable factors when you are travelling. So make sure that you yourself is on schedule. This will help minimize harm or at least, it won’t be your fault if there is any damage.

My Classmates! (From the left) Adrian, Aiko, Me, Sheena, Lemuelle, Katrina.

My Classmates!
(From the left) Adrian, Aiko, Me, Sheena, Lemuelle, Katrina.

Although we were really pissed because we were already late, but it didn't matter in front of the camera! (On our way back to Pundaquit)

Although we were really pissed because we were already late, but it didn’t matter in front of the camera! (On our way back to Pundaquit)

At last! After all the dramas and problems that we experienced, we really enjoyed this weekend getaway and it was cheap. We were already looking forward to have our next adventure, hopefully, more of our friends would come. 🙂

On our way home. We were already planning our next trip either in Vigan or Pinatubo.

On our way home. We were already planning our next trip either in Vigan or Pinatubo.

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