I read back through the comments section of my last blog post and found blogging buddy Renxkyoko’s post urging me to update this space at near death. Well, like most publicized cases of near death experiences, those who go through it claim seeing a light at the end of a very dark tunnel. I didn’t go through some long dark tunnel but I did see some light, a blogging light. At least it was enough for me to scribble a few notes to put together. I can say that these notes are not as powerful as Frankenstein’s “It’s alive!” line, a declaration that something inanimate was finally living and breathing.
Where have I been for the past few weeks? I’ve been doing some traveling around my side of the country. Last time I checked, I logged more than 3,000 kilometers on the odometer. No, I don’t drive trucks for a living but I get to visit the provinces of Philippines very often. My job allows me to meet people from almost every spectrum of society. I appreciate the fresh air and the thinning strings that bind me to Imperial Manila. Frankly, outside of Metro Manila, all the news that bother Metro Manilans are reduced to noise, with an almost striking similarity to irritating radio static.
Simplicity is the underlying theme in the scenes of the countryside. Traveling in the northern provinces, I am just at awe at the patience of our Filipino farmers. I saw people in the fields , as they started harvesting their crops of corn and rice. It’s really amazing how these people do the same thing over and over and over and over again every cropping season. While for most of them there is no choice but to do that, their attitude never wanes.
(Note: If one read this post earlier, my apologies. I sort of prematurely published it. I thought it was on draft mode. The rest of the post follows)
I’m glad that I’m able to drive around the country. Who wouldn’t be happy to visit great locations? I mean, I can stop briefly to check out some interesting locations. Aside from the wind turbines, Cape Bojeador Lighthouse in Burgos, Ilocos Norte is always worth a stop to s, if you ask me. In a previous trip from many years back, I was able to climb all the way up that old lighthouse. Come to think of it, the Philippines has a lot of old lighthouses. Traveling around the country just to check out each one can make for a great vacation itinerary. I just hope that budget restrictions don’t come my way if I ever decide to go on that trip.
In a trip last year, I was also able to do a stopover at the beaches of Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. Like, I love short stopovers, don’t I? Honestly, I am NOT a water-loving person but I do love hanging out by the beach. The soft sounds of the gentle crashing waves mixed with scenes of palm trees under the sun certainly make me “calm” and pacified, even with a lot of tension in my system.
Of course, no trip is complete without the food. In my last “viaje” or travel (the route I posted above), I was able to enjoy two of my favorite dishes, Empanada of Laoag, Ilocos Norte and Pancit Batil Patong of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan. I wrote about wanting to cook empanada before, I’ve long given up on that goal since I discovered an empanada shop in Quezon City. Add the fact that I occasionally go north, the need to cook died down.
As for the pancit (noodles), I’ve long since fallen in love with Batil Patong since I tasted it last year. A trip to Tuguegarao isn’t complete without having that dish. Frankly, that pancit is an excellent reason to have your car washed even if it isn’t dirty. For some reason, the people in Tuguegarao figured out that car wash customers are probably bored and they decided to serve up their excellent pancit. The Jay-ren’s panciteria and car wash is always full, both car wash and panciteria.
I’m now at the bottom of the page trying to figure out how to end this piece. I guess what I’m really trying to say is this: If someone offers you a job with an opportunity to go around the country, just effin’ grab it! Just make sure you don’t get stuck in one location. That sucks.