(This blog is all about our 2nd vacation back in the Philippines in 2008. I wrote this at a site and thought of transferring it here since I will be canceling it soon. Feel free to browse the images and read at your own risk.)

[ DAY 1 ] December 13,2008 - His curly mustache seems to sway with every beat of his hand. His skip never fails the beat of the have-a-good-travel tune that he plays with his musical box. As I looked at Prof. Peppino I braced myself for the travel ahead.

When we arrived at the airport there was already a long queue at the NWA check-in counters. But with Rya having a machine readable passport, things were processed faster and easier. All went well except for the minor inconvenience that we caused by carrying a lighter in our checked-in baggage.

One fact about me is that I always get restless and uneasy during flights especially when I am seated at the window side. Aside from the fact that there is not enough legroom, it is mostly because my shutter-trigger-happy nature demands it.

[ DAY 2 ] December 14,2008 - We need to stopover Manila for two important reasons. Rest and meet good friends. Emil & Monet met us at the airport. We needed to wait until evening for the long bus ride to Ilocos Norte so we arranged to meet for an eat-all- you-can lunch at Glorietta with Ryo, who was aching to get his hands on that Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Book. And as usual his busy sked made him miss all the fun and coffee at our meet-up with Michiko and Neris.

We had one early Christmas gift from Michiko. This is perhaps one of the most colorful gift I received during the holidays.


After visiting Von & Lea and meeting the kids. Monet was kind enough to give us a tour at the Mall of Asia. I never liked crowds and when I saw those holiday rush shoppers, an indescribable tension came over me. I requested Rya to be as fast as she can with whatever she wants to do there so we could get out of there fast.

We left Manila early night. It was another 8-hour bus ride I need to endure. By midnight we arrived at our first stopover, Rick's Cafe. Everyone could really feel the holidays here. The place was all decorated with life sized Santas, and christmas lanterns & lights.


[ DAY 3 ] December 15,2008 - I passed the night inside the bus without sleeping. For sure it was my excitement of meeting Ken after a year. That day, the only thing that I can remember happening was the three of us, together again. No one dared to disturb us that day. It was a day spend with the love of my life.


[ DAY 4 ] December 16,2008 - I slept the whole morning to pay off all those sleepless nights. And when I woke up, went down and look for Ken and Rya who were playing with Aunt Amy. But when I went to join the squabble, it was aunt Amy's orchids that caught my eyes. So, I went up, got Tank and shot the flowers.

Later that day, as the golden hour was nearing, we went to nearby Paoay church to yet again shoot this World Heritage site.

After exhausting myself, we rested at nearby Herencia's restaurant. This place used to be one of those gastronomic experience havens. But it seems that the quality of their customer service and food have gotten worse. They really made a great first impression on me. Or was it me who have gotten used to the Japanese way of politeness and fresh served food. Anyways, I'll skip the details of what happened as it is just depressing for me to remember how things ended that day. 
[ DAY 5 ] December 17,2008 - Miguel, our nephew, had a school Christmas program this day. He played the role of one of the three wise men in the Nativity play. Though I would have preferred sleep over school programs, I said to myself that it will be a good time to practice shooting and be dizzied again by kids.

We spent the whole afternoon playing with Ken in a box. And who would have thought that playpens can be this cheap!

[ DAY 6 ] December 18,2008 - Six days had passed and now I am starting to get bored not shooting something challenging. So I decided to go to nearby Currimao to shoot some seascapes. I never thought that I was in for a surprise this time when the tides are low. The corals were as what I expected it to be, easy to cross from one to the other.

Last time I visited this place, we waited till sunset and the tides were up so the corals were not even visible like this time. I was so fired up that I spent an hour shooting this natural beauty while waiting for the sun to rest.


[ DAY 7 ] December 19,2008 - Today, JR and Sylvie arrived with the jolly news that they overslept and went all the way to Laoag. It was good to see this couple once again. They are fun to play with the camera. No qualms. Crazy. Need not be told to smile!
So while they were resting, Rya and I went to Laoag to shop for things that are needed for Ken's birthday. We ended up having lunch at Macy's. My all time favorite is their breakfast meal... Tapa and the Lumpia, available even at lunch! The best!

Death of a mobile phone. I wanted to write a spin-off about how my trusted Nokia 6260 ended its service. I was supposed to give it a 21 gun salute, out of respect to the service, loyalty and money that this mobile phone rake in for me. It opted to be honorable and committed its own brand of seppuku. Now, it is encased in glass and in the years to come be known as my first real business partner.

[ DAY 8 ] December 20,2008 - When things get old they lose their meaning for existence. Such was the case of all the things I kept in my boxes. It took me until 3 in the afternoon to check which have outlasted their use and which gets to be retained. In every piece that I go about, a whole set of musical genre plays inside my head as I am reminded of past events. Sweet. Bitter. Sadness. Laughters. Past Life. Almost all ended in flames, although some were still kept in the boxes. Good memories are worth keeping.

This day I think I gave Tank a rest. I was all filthy with dust and soot from the chore of the day. Although Rya managed to take some shots of me with trusty S3IS. The files are nowhere to be found. Anyway, Mafe and Monet also arrived today. It has been Monet's tradition to treat everyone for an afternoon Miki merienda whenever she arrives in Batac.

[ DAY 9 ] December 21,2008 - A Filipino children's party is never that easy. Last time Ken celebrated his birthday, the preparation was as dysfunctional as it was in the actual gathering. Well for that part I'd rather not talk about it too. For what it's worth it was a children's party and it is supposed to be full of fun and kid craziness. For this year's celebration, we made it more of a family gathering with some close friends and Pastor Sam, Ate Rina, Bing & a friend.

Personally on occasions like this, it is the food that I get to enjoy the most. Thanks to Boyet who headed almost everything in the food preparation. He was the one responsible for slicing and dicing the juicy, tasty lechon. So, the program started. Ken gets to have his song sang first. It is also an Ilokano tradition of putting a crown of flowers on the celebrant's head and all the other children take turns giving the celebrant flowers. Then all of the people around would toss grains of rice for prosperity. Then comes the hard part for me (physically hard with 19-kg Ken). Carrying Ken for all the photo sessions. Ken with Rya and me. Ken with Rya, Papa Old, Mama Old and me. Ken with the whole family. Ken with the whole clan. After withstanding the duration of the photo sessions which lasted for almost half an hour it was Pastor Sam's turn to give his blessing unto Ken, to us parents, to the people around Ken and to the food we were about to partake. Instead of plunging my fork on those slices of lechon or paboreta, I needed to sit down and rest my arm. 

The children were restless when I went outside to join the merrymaking. Mafe was preparing the "pabitin" and I was surprised to see that even the oldies were eager to join in the fun. I even saw Mama Old grabbing a Hello Kitty. The older men were just content on watching everyone having their fill of the day's celebration. Uncle Mulo was the recipient of my shot of the day. The sun was moving down and he was perfectly backlit. Extra plus were the tiny bokeh.

Everyone was climbing up and finding their places inside the truck to go back to Solsona when Mike, Pepsi and Gabriel arrived. For all the joy that I saw in every child that day, everything would have been perfect except for the cake that we all forgot to slice and share. Nevertheless, they all returned with a smile on their faces and the excitement of seeing us again on Christmas day.

[ DAY 10 ] December 22,2008 - With lots of leftover from yesterday's party, we didn't need to prepare for today's trip to Pagudpud. Indefatigable Boyet woke up as early as 3AM to heat up the lechon paksiw and cook the rice. When you schedule a 5AM trip in the Philippines, it is actually a 6AM trip or worse you get to leave 7AM. The jeep that we hired arrived around 6:30AM and thus we left at 7AM.

All aboard. Mama Old. Auntie Amy. Manang Perla. Couples Mike & Pepsi, JR & Sylvie, Boyet & Mafe, Rad (me) & Rya. The boys Rio, Harry & Kevin. The girl Monet. The kids Gabriel, Ken & Miguel. Everyone was off to an unforgettable adventure that day.

We arrived at Laoag after 30mins. As much as the driver was mean with the accelerator there were not many vehicle on the high-way that day. When we passed by Bacarra, that was the time when my photo adrenalin started pumping. I never thought that the rice fields in Bacarra during the morning would be filled with mist. I wanted the jeep to stop but didn't know if Rya had an agreement with the driver that stopovers would sometimes be necessary for my shooting spree. I only knew that when we were nearing the corals of Burgos. Only a fool would not stop to shoot those great seascapes. I only spent 30 mins and did some quick shots. Although I would have wanted to stay longer because there was a spot I wanted to shoot in this place, I said I'd reserve it on other trips to Pagudpud. Trips that I control my time and will not be a burden to others and besides I had this sense of shame towards troubling the driver to stopover. Everyone was joking of they would just leave me there and come back to pick me up after they had their dip at Pagudpud. I asked them if it was possible to spend the night there and the unified suggestion was to book at Pagudpud and travel back to the corals. I might do it someday, that would be a blast.

The waves were still rumbling when we left the corals. Our real stopover was the windmills of Bangui. I kept seeing this gigantic energy generators during past visits to Pagudpud and I never was able to really get up close and personal to the place where they were built. I think we spent an hour watching the windmills, shooting jumpshots & just fooling around with the windmills. Rya was to take care of everyone's shots. I went a little further to shoot some land/seascapes. And just when I thought I had enough shots of the place, I saw Nana Luming. She is a stone collector. The stones of the shore of Bangui are known for their flatness and had some ornamental value. Rya earlier had talks with her and Mama Old bought some of her collected stones. Nana Luming's face has character written all over. Her body beaten by poverty and time had caused her back to bend permanently. The clothes that she wore perfectly contrasted with the blue sky. Who would have thought that I would find an exhibit-worthy shot in that place.

Blue Lagoon. Lagoon. Yes. Blue. Hardly. After over two hours of ride heading to Mairaira where the famed Blue Lagoon is. We were ravaged by rain and the waves were not so friendly and what was blue turned kind of grayish white sand unexplainable. So, we decided to turn back and head back to Saud in Pagudpud. We were all laughing inside the jeep when just a few kilometers away from the place something interesting happened. No rain. But we knew that the weather was acting erratic that day. And as we arrived, I went to do my business of shooting quickly.

After a few minutes of shooting I turned unto Ken and give him some sea dipping. Then the drizzles arrived. I had Ken out of the waters, gave him a rinse, have him wear his jacket and stayed with Rya. I enjoyed the waters further since the boys were still having fun. For almost two and a half years I have not had a taste of the sea. After the water frolic, I strolled around for things that would interest me.

We were all ready to leave as the gray clouds were approaching. It was still early afternoon but the weather had gone disagreeable. I only had one regret along the way. That was, not stopping the jeep for a rainbow shot. Again my sense of shame kicked in. I thought to myself that we already have troubled the driver to go to Mairaira and it would be troublesome to stop him at this speed. We did have other stopovers as we head back to Laoag though. We bought fresh from the sea yellowfin tuna. We bought 50 kilos of iodized rock salt. We bought soft and toasted biscocho at Pasuquin. What eased my regret most of all? We went to Fort Ilocandia to shoot yet another sunset and jumpshots.

Resting for a while when we arrived. I then set-up the tripod for JR and Sylvie's Christmas portrait shot. As Sylvie was going back to Manila, JR hummed a sappy tune... you know I can't smile without you (which went on for days..).

[ DAY 11 ] December 23,2008 - Too tired! I woke up almost lunchtime with my back aching. I wanted to drag myself back to bed but what I didn't know was that everyone was in for some surprise. Baguio dish. Broiled squid ensalada! Ah food! A real upper!

After lunch I tagged along with Rya. Who was still anxious about what to give everyone for Christmas. Especially Papa Old. So, as we walk toward the city square, I took some shots of the Batac Catholic church.

Batac has some real, interesting, antiquated architecture. My all time favorites are the doors and windows of the Marcos mansion house.

[ DAY 12 ] December 24,2008 - Every year Manong Romy and family comes for a visit and have lunch with us and it has also been yearly that we all get joyfully stressed preparing what food to serve. It's a happy tradition. As for me, I got to broil the catfish and ate one whole later too.

Later did we know that Manong Romy's visit would bring good tidings to us. Since they were off to go to Solsona, they will be leaving their cottage at Nipa Resort in Currimao which still runs for another night. The rewards of timeshare. And we get to share the time of the reward. So, off we went to the resort. Me, Rya & Ken. Boyet, Mafe & Miguel. Michael, Pepsi & Gabriel. Another day at the sea.

As for me. My third sunset shot opportunity and some night photography. 

We went back with Mama Old telling us to why don't we all spend Christmas at the resort. We laughed it out and Rya told her that she already checked out. It was also this night that I first felt that my body has gotten too much accumulated fatigue. But I slept it out and woke up at midnight to celebrate the "Media Noche". Everyone was already up, feasting and the kids opening their presents.


[ DAY 13 ] December 25,2008 - Christmas Day. I always rest on Christmas Day. Make it a very special day. But this day was different. It's the only day that we can get to visit Solsona and we promised the children that we would be taking shots of them in their Filipiniana costumes. Although my body felt like it was prohibiting me from going, we had to. As everyone left in Mike's pick-up, I requested Rya that we commute via Laoag and leave later that I may rest some more. Lapse of judgement due to fatigue or is it the number 13. Nah, I'm no superstitious guy. The trip up to Solsona was mild inside the passenger jeep but the tricycle ride was where we had our share of dust. My worry was with Ken, but it seems he was enjoying the whole ride on the side of the mountain and down the rice fields until we reach the ancestral house. And as we got off the tricycle, Ken was greeted by the children and his face beamed unceasingly. Rya and I went directly to the table and filled our appetite. Ah! Venison.

Promise in action. Rya behind the camera while I get to direct her how to shoot the children. Ken and Gabriel also joined the fun and featured their personal brands of getting everyone's attention. One was missing though, Miguel, who was more into hiding. Talk about growing up. When Rya's session was over, I took Tank and strolled to see what would catch my eyes. Grass? Snoop Dogg would agree. Smoke it!

Too strong? Alright then, I'll go softy. Orchids. Not just one. But two. Sweet.

Then out to the fields I went to explore further. Stopping for a while to take some Carabao shots. Looking for points of interest, I traversed the rice fields and saw some bovine blessings that fit the landscape.

After the clan shots, couple shots, anything goes shots were taken, we geared back home. While we were enjoying the sunset along the high way at Dingras. Papa Old, JR, Rya and I were talking of dining out instead of letting Manang Perla prepare dinner. So, we passed by San Nicolas where there is a Shakey's Pizza. Two Manager's Choice thin crust, another pan pizza, chick n chips, mojos and salad were more than enough for our Christmas day dinner.

[ DAY 14 ] December 26,2008 - Kazuyuki's birthday celebration was a surprise for him. Ma'am Shirley intended to give him the all Ilokano specials. So, he was crowned with flowers and was sang the traditional song as Ken and David gave him bouquet of flowers. I got to capture the occasion with Tank. My glass is really struggling when it comes to low-light. If I was the birthday celebrant that day, I would have been wishing for an f2.8 70-200mm L IS. Big grin.

As Kazuyuki san sliced the cake, everyone seemed to be getting on with their own dose of enjoying the day. Jlo and cousin were on the karaoke. I was able to disturb KAnn & Milen, who were busy eating at the lawn's round table, for some portrait shots. The oldies inside were chattering. Even Kazuyuki himself was a blur. One second he's here. Another second he's there. He seemed to enjoy serving everyone or isn't that the Japanese way?

Everything went well that day. Kazuyuki san was happy to see us and said that he can be no more than happier having us around, meaning, some people to talk to in Nihongo. For that matter, that was the only gift we could offer him during his vacation. Company. Since we tend to get busy taking care of Ken, who on the other hand went home with some gifts of his own.

[ DAY 15 ] December 27,2008 - The truck from Solsona in which Uncle Rolan and the oldies were riding arrived earlier than the jeep where the children were. We were off to go to Baluarte, Vigan (Gov. Singson's Mini-zoo) today. Before we went back to the Philippines, Rya was already planning for an educational trip for the children. She knew exactly what treat to give them. The place was already jam-packed when we arrived. At the entrance hall we were greeted by several parrots who were so popular almost everyone wanted to have their pictures taken with them.

Some of the children went directly to the pony ride which gives them a tour around the vast ground where the ostriches, camels & deer sroam. Some odd features of the place were the Yellow Submarine and some canons on display. The over all stag/ rest stop was situated at an elevated ground so that everyone can conveniently see the full view of the place. Near it was the butterfly garden were I spent most of my time.

The sun was scorching as it closes in on noon. I suddenly felt a slight sting, but I didn't mind it. Everyone was tired and hungry, so we decided to seek refuge. They first decided to go to Jollibee for lunch, but the place was too full to accommodate 30 plus heads we ended up at McDonald's which was just adjacent to the Vigan Catholic Church.

Meanwhile, I was starting to shiver, so I popped an Ibuprofen. We waited for nearly an hour for all of us to have our share of lunch then went on our own ways to explore the city. We opted to ride the calesa. Me and Rya. Mama Old, JR & Ken. Boyet, Mafe & Miguel. Our first stop was the Tower of Bantay. I didn't let the sun's cruelty to hinder me from taking a few images. For sure that moment was the triggering factor to what will happen to me later.

We then pass by the Burnayan (pot making). It was a shame that no one was at the potter's wheel when we arrived. I was expecting to take some shots of the process. So off to Calle Crisologo we went. This time Michael, Pepsi & Gabriel convoyed with us. Calle Crisologo is more enjoyable when strolled, so we decided to stop the calesa ride. My head was starting to get heavy and begins to ache. I would have loved to stay longer and take more images of the place but, with the condition I was in (I did not even had the time to change glass to take an ultra-wide shot), all I did was take random shots. Perhaps Vigan wanted me to visit her again.

I went straight flat on the sofa when we got back home then later transferred to our room. Rya gave me a sponge bath on the forehead, arms and chest meanwhile, the mercury rose to 39 degrees. Fever.

[ DAY 16 ] December 28,2008 - Ahhh... the cool breeze of Naguilian. Loud music of Session road. Boom! Illusion's gone. We were supposed to be in Baguio before lunchtime today. Argh! Instead, I wanted to shout in irritation about the old, lousy, loud music but I couldn't because I was shivering! Peak of the flu and I decided to be admitted. It took the nurse a while to find the spot, so she wiggled the butterfly to my vein. Breakdown day! ECG. X-ray. Blood tests. Urine test. You name it. The whole 9 yards.

Fortunately for me Mafe was still around and she kindly made some chicken macaroni soup for lunch. Heaven! She stayed with us until it was Michael's turn to bring us our dinner. Rya went home to orchestrate Boyet, Mafe & Miguel's Christmas portrait. They will be celebrating New Year in Baguio and be leaving the following morning. So far... the shots turned out well.
[ DAY 17 ] December 29,2008 - Day 2 at the hospital. With nothing to do but cough unceasingly, ideas (both crazy and some real, serious ideas) flew inside my head. But I am sharing the stupid ideas. 
Like here is a list of 10 Important Things to Bring when you get Admitted to a Hospital (from somebody who forgot to bring some of them). Of course, this is in no particular order. This list would benefit both the patient and the watcher. Bwahahaha. I'll laugh out loud in advance. I'm sick remember!
10] Clean underwear. It's the only necessary piece of cloth you can wear comfortably around and not be ashamed even in bed. 
09] Cotton buds. Being hospitalized is sometimes depressing. Tickle yourself to sleep with this buddies. Gives you clean ears too! Happy now?
08] Puller. Yes. That tiny tool you use for pulling dead hairs and white hairs really comes in handy. Bonding time.
07] Nailcutter. And everything that goes with it. The whole shebang! Ladies love to pass their time in pain and pleasure.
06] Books & Magazines. Too all those who love to read and loves to pretend reading. This one's for you intellectual!
05] iPod. After cleaning the airways. Blast those eardrums with some Linkin Park. But some people say classical music makes the healing process faster.
04] HGC. Handheld Game Console. Merge 06 and 05 if you have an iPod touch to play with. So... How will you create the universe?
03] Mobile phone. If you don't have a mobile phone you are not a Filipino! Enough said. Now go text your friends till your thumbs drop dead!
02] Canon dSLR. Or a P&S will do. Portraits of nurses. Macro shot of dripping IV. Yourself in the mirror. The possibilities are endless. Oh! other brands will do.
01] MacBookPro. Ok. Any portable computer will do. Watch a movie. Write a blog. WiFi enabled hospitals? Check e-mails. Surf the net!

Ok. I'm not a big fan of the gaming thing and I didn't want Tank to catch the flu. I know. I am missing big time. But who can actually take a decent shot when you are coughing and coughing. Handheld shake alibi.

Kazuyuki san was also kind to pay us a visit. And like I said... a P&S will do. Seriously.

[ DAY 18 ] December 30,2008 - Today is my last day at the hospital. My wedding photography session with Edgee is now a bust! But today I have my share of couples too. Twice have my room been barged in and without saying sorry they just scamper leaving the door unlock and wide open. Who wouldn't when they knew that I will give them their day by the look in my eyes.

Case 1. Religious old women. Slowly turned the knob...waited for a few seconds... and like a turtle out of her shell slowly peeped. I was at a middle of Collateral, where Jamie Foxx just got freaked out by the man who was dropped on top of his taxi, but my eyes were glued towards the door. She seemed to have been surprised by the loud sound of the thumping body, so she scampered leaving the door unlocked and wide open. So there we were exposed, I to the hospital corridor watching my own private movie and her trying to make those giant steps away from the door. I went to close the door, looked at her entirety and said to myself she maybe some religious fanatic of sort going from room to room for clearly she does not bear the appearance of a patient. Around her neck was a rosary. Religious.
Case 2. Drunk teenager. Who just got into the wrong room. Not reading any room number, just directly opened the door and saw me peeing. Ha! He almost dropped that basket he was carrying as he scampered leaving the door unlocked and wide open again. What was awful was the room suddenly stunk of alcohol. And when I am sick or in a focused position, my senses are a notch up. Good thing I brought one of those tiny White Flower bottles. I immediately dabbed some to my nose. Drunk.

All of that made me miss my privacy. As I was just saying inside my head on how I wanted to Dr. Cocson to come, he knocked to check on me and approved my release. Later that afternoon I was sleeping at the comfort of our bed. I woke up hearing some laughters outside the window. I went to the veranda and saw Rya chasing Ken. I got Tank and shot them from where I was. I also took some shots of Kevin who was asked to picked some malunggay fruits and Mama Old's flowers at the veranda.

[ DAY 19 ] December 31,2008 - With three days left, I was now raring to go to Laoag to buy presents for the office back in Japan. Michael was really a great help, always more than willing to drive Rya and me every time we need to go somewhere. Laoag's street was congested and finding a parking space was as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack. Rya and I dropped off near the shopping mall, while Michael went to look for a place to park his pickup. I had my share of candid street photography.

We had our lunch at Max's. I missed the Sinigang na Hipon. Hot sour soup! Refreshingly good for me. Then we had one last round to go buy some groceries for tonight's "Salubong sa Bagong Taon". As we were walking the streets, I remembered that I haven't had any nice shots of a moving calesa. So, I stopped and waited for one.

JR, who also wanted to have some pizza, told us to pass by Shakey's. Along the way, we parked a few minutes near the San Nicolas Catholic Church.

Night falls. With Boyet & Mafe not around, someone needs to step up in the kitchen department. Although Auntie Amy was preparing some food for everyone. We were all in for a surprise that night with JR leading the BBQ session. The ingredients were his personal formula.

Outside, the "BOOM" from the fireworks are getting louder and louder. Inside, after the family shots, the men's eyes were all glued to the TV watching boxing. The women were busy with their usual chit chats and serving food. My pocket was full of coins and I was in my traditional cinking of coins merriment. The clock is ticking. Nearing its 12th mark. Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven. Six. Five. Four. Three. Two. One.

[ DAY 20 ] January 1,2008 - Sweet beginnings. As we greeted the new sunrise of the new year, happiness was written all over my face seeing my lovely wife and lovable son. We were inseparable that day again. I thank my God for this wonderful blessing.

The family also wanted to start the year healthy and wanted some fresh vegetables and fruits. So we went to the market. Another opportunity knocks for Tank.

It's been a while since I have tasted Bagnet. The experience of eating its somewhat chewy, crunchy and oily. The latter is not recommended for my heart.

So I turned my eyes on the seaweed. Which is always measured using cup noodles cup. I forgot how much Rya paid for one serving. But I think it was only 5 pesos. Affordable healthy living.

That afternoon, I had my final photo session with the family. First subject was the Tomas family. Uncle Ben, Auntie Amy, Monet & Kevin. Then the yellow team, Michael, Pepsi & Gabriel. Last was JR with Mama Old and Papa Old. It took all my strength to let them show their teeth. Late that night, JR left for Manila. As for me and my family. We were all smiles, red and shaded.

[ DAY 21 ] January 2,2008 - I didn't notice that Mafe & Miguel already arrived from Baguio that morning. I was busy packing up things and I wanted to be alone. I dread the thought of leaving Ken again. He doesn't even fully recognize us as his parents. These are his formation years. I want to raise my son with us. In his first year, I was his constant companion. It was I who watched over him when Rya was in the university. This is something Rya's parents don't understand about me. That I hold a special bond with my son. Anyways, I am sulking. I skipped lunch. When it was time for us to go to the airport, I gulped one shot of Carlo Rossi to another. Went out also to share it with Uncle Ben, Manong Rany and Bryan who both came to bid farewell to us.

Six o' clock. It is time. All except Manang Perl came with us to the airport. I love the Filipino way of sending off love ones. Rya who was in her usual tear shedding fit was saying her goodbyes to everyone at the airport. I on the other hand after shaking everyone's hand was saying to myself, if the plane crashes I have insurance and Ken gets to be richer. Of course it was my own way of assuring myself and holding back the tears. I kissed Ken in the forehead three times, patted him in the head and said "Be a good boy." Then moved on.

Inside checking in, as the case has always been, my glasses and laptop needed to be checked along with the Tank. Outside we knew that they will not leave until the plane lifts off. While Rya went to buy us some mineral water, I braced myself for the flight ahead and assessed the plane we were about to board.

When we arrived at Terminal 3 aka "The Ghost Town". Only the lights were flickering and there was no one in sight. We waited outside for the shuttle to Terminal 1.

Oh and I was already hungry by that time so I asked Rya to buy some food for both of us while I watched our bags. Guess what she brought me?

[ DAY 22 ] January 3,2008 - Midnight at the airport. Pearl Jam started playing inside my head. Waiting. Watching the clock. I really do hope that it will be 4 o'clock soon. That's the time for Northwest to open and we can check in our baggage. Good for some people they can just simply drift their their way off easily.

Times like this I really don't get to sleep. I just sit, watch the people come and go, listen to music and click the shutter. Anything will do just to pass the time.

I woke up Rya and told her I needed to go to the john. When I came back I saw that there was already a line of people at the Northwest counters. Everything went well. Again at the boarding area my glasses and laptop saw what was happening outside the backpack. As we were waiting for another hour before boarding the plane, I became sleepy. I fought it back until we were securely settled inside the plane. 63D was my bed for the whole duration of the flight. The only break was when I was asked "corned beef or sausage & egg?".

Nagoya at last. Our initial plan was to take the bus and wait until four in the afternoon. Our bags were cumbersome for Rya and me that taking the Shinkansen will really be a problem. But when we checked out the bus schedule, a bus was just leaving for Shizuoka. We didn't waste time and went to the bus station. Perfect timing. We slept all throughout the trip. Snoring even. Too tired that when we reach the stop over we didn't know what to buy for the rest of the trip. Traffic was too heavy that day. Must have been a lot of people coming and going from their holiday vacations.

As I looked at Prof. Peppino I smiled that we arrived safely from our travel. He skips and now plays the beat of the welcome-back-home. His curly mustache and beating hand is now dusty.


  1. kuya, ang ganda ng blog mu :) keep it up! hope to have photoshoot with you one day :) God bless po and stay happy :) -gracie sayson

  2. interesting images...sarap ng lechon..musta na?



Post a Comment

Popular Posts