(I just returned from my week-long retreat at Tagaytay. )
A week ago, I ended my story on arriving at the shores of Sipocot. Since the memory of this Bicol trip is being superceded by new memories at Tagaytay, i-fast track na lang natin ito, mga Ate’t Kuya.
It Always Hurts at the First Night. The community had its first Bicol Mass and still couldn’t help but laugh each time “Daga” and “Asin” are mentioned. At sup, we had nilupak, among many other things. We watched, God help us, “Meet the Spartans” projected at the makeshift “telon.” Needless to say, the kitchen staff who joined us in this pirated DVD viewing were scandalized.
Tsinelas Lang ang Tunay na Islander. The following morning, after praying the lauds, we went to Tres Marias, this group of islands (guess how many?) which is a 30-minute boatride away from the parish. I swear to God, the Most Holy Trinity, that as we cross the sea, the water is so calm, it looked like a big spread of blue silk fabric, with occasional flying fish to stir the surface. We landed on one of the islands, which is uninhabited, quiet and simply awe-inspiring. Our community camera, which, despite being digital, isn’t at all hightech, clicked away at each scenery. Sayang nga lang, the better looking places were not accessible for us to take pictures at, because we had to swim to reach them. Anyway. We still wandered about this deserted island like those characters from the much-celebrated Joey Giosengfiao movie in the 70’s starring Dina Bonnevie. At a certain point, in my attempt to find better views, I skinned my shin at some rock formations that looked like Wolverine’s claws when he was de-adamatium-ized. They scraped deep that it’s as if my tibia is showing. My formator, squimish at the sight of blood, shuddered in “diri”. It should be noted that not a single animal, plant or any living creature was wilfully harmed during our island invasion. Nor did we pee on open seas again. Here are a few of the pictures we’ve taken (di pa ako marunong mag-upload ng mga litrato so napasobra yata ang baba ng file size).