Easter Monday dawn. Atmospheric sulfur dioxide can be faintly detected (which is the nerd-speak for “The air smells a bit like rotting protein,” owing to those unfound and forgotten Easter eggs). The seminarians in my community gathered, bleary-eyed and unwashed, to pack their bags, containing two-days worth of clothes, at the back of our community car. We’re going to Bicol for our rest and recreation! Afraid of the prospect of getting hungry along the way, we brought: cans of shandy and pineapple juice (in SOT and 202 packaging, respectively), a dozen of 2-Litre PET bottles of assorted soda drink, a case of San Mig Strong Ice, a box of Lapid’s chicharon (walang laman), a box of Ilocos chicacorn, a box of Ruffles (with three kinds of dips), two paperbags of wholewheat ensaymadas, two plastic bags of pandesal, a big box of half-and-half sandwiches, six cans of macadamia nuts and a sackload of assorted chichiria. This is despite the fact that a rich breakfast of sugpo, alimango, lapulapu and buco juice awaits us in Lucena. At the first couple of hours, the trip is actually fun, very promising. But then, we arrived at certain parts of Quezon where there’s no FM radio nor cellphone signal. What promised to be a four-hour drive turned out to be eight hours of pure drudgery. Nakakainep! Ansaket sa pwet sa kauupo! Then there’s the boat ride in Bicol itself, which was a nice change from having to sit at the car. Desperately wanted to pee, we made a beeline for that spot in the boat where you can take a leak at the open sea without getting too exposed to other people at the boat. As we head for the sea, I was listening to Iz, that obese hawaiian singer who crooned about the aspects of island life. We arrived at 2pm at a quaint little fishing village near Ragay Bay, car-sick, seasick. We went straight to this tiny parish, ran by Fr. Nong, a brother of one of our seminarians. Food, glorious food awaited us! Among the choice of viand, I had grilled ribs, ginataang dahon ng cassava and bicol express.
Posted on March 27, 2008 by brotherutoy