Monday, May 01, 2006

Because We're All Entitled to Moments Like This

*stretches, purrs, and yawns*

Three days. Three days of pure, unadulterated, oh-happy-day bliss.

I didn't have to think about work, or projects, or writing. All I had to think about was how to get from this point to that point, how much I was going to spend, and whether I wanted to buy this thing or that thing. And well, of course, you can't escape the inevitability of group dynamics, or the fact that if you put four girls and their boyfriends (there were only two of us singletons in the bunch), it is potentially a recipe for disaster.

Still, on my part, I tried to behave as well as I could given the circumstances. And I slept. A lot. Which is nice. ^_^ And there was good - good, home-cooked, seriously fattening food which we were happy to partake, especially Dean's lola's leche flan and the bangus, which, given the fact that it was the Bangus Festival in Dagupan City, we should all not be particularly surprised.

So yes, we managed to find ourselves trudging towards the Victory Liner station along EDSA in order to get a ride to Dagupan City, where our friend Dean hails from; she and her boy Jay were our tour guides for the weekend, and we happy few - Jilly and Paolo, myself, and Polly - managed to survive the crush of the Labor Day weekend crowd and get ourselves halfway decent seats in the bus. The travel, for the most part, was uneventful. Five hours can whittle away conversation to almost nothing, and with the last few days of sleepless nights still catching up on us, we just decided to spend the time sleeping. ^_^

Dagupan, much like every other provincial town in the Philippines without an SM mall, is basically comprised of the residential areas and the smaller, more concentrated downtown areas with its own version of a quaint shopping center. In this case, Dagupan has Magic Mall and Neta (?) Mall, which may or may not be the same thing, since I only remember one structure that resembled a mall. There are tricycles and jeepneys as the main mode of transportation, and regular van trips going to and around Pangasinan, and even as far as Baguio City. The surrounding "country" side is actually miles and miles of fisheries neatly divided by nets and small raised furrows of soil where the fishermen balance themselves as they harvest the bangus that the city is famous for. Unlike the usual miles of rice fields that border the national highways that one sees when they travel, you'll know you're in Dagupan when the rice fields give way to fish ponds and bucketloads of mussels being sold at roadside kiosks.

Sleeping at the family home of Dean's maternal side is simply an experience to remember: the wide wooden slats on the floor, the narra walls, the wide windows that looked out at their fisheries and the occassional mango tree already weighed down with fruit, the smell of varnish and salt water. That was perhaps one of the best evenings I've had in a long time - simply sleeping for a full eight hours and then waking up to a lovely breakfast of kapeng barako and bangus and sinangag. ^_^ If not for anything else, I am grateful for that.

I'll be posting pictures tomorrow, since dial-up is rather slow.

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