Sunday, July 31, 2011

The L Word

Today, I realized I'm utterly worn out and fed up with this man-hunting business that I'm calling
it quits. Seriously. This cherry-popping endeavor is simply way out of my league. So what if I end up with a prunified cherry? So what if I'm a grumpy, lonely, SINGLE octogenarian lady admitted at PGH Ward 1? I am conceding, finally. After years of hoping that I'll ever move out of this singlehood clique and finally be among the ranks of those elite enough to have their Facebook statuses changed to "in a relationship", I'm giving up.

I'm putting that "L" sign on my forehead. Not Lesbian, dumbass. This hot, smart lady (ehem) who used to (used to, take note) believe in Prince Charming is 100% straight. I was only searching for an eccentric, traveling, brooding prince who knows how to spell! I wasn't looking for a Tom Cruise or a Brad Pitt (but I won't say no to a Jim Sturgess, haha), an OK-faced guy would have been enough. And yeah, if he's taller than me, loves the Beatles, plays the guitar and has a good singing voice, I'd ask him to marry me. Plus if he has a stable job, I'd beg him, down on bended knees, please Mr. Endangered Species, please stay and be my man.

Let me tell you about the incident that pushed me over the ledge of prunification. Today, a beautiful, rainy Sunday, I had this rare encounter with His Royal Weirdness, Mr. Endangered Species. Of course my crazy L-self had this silly alarm that went off immediately. It was perfect. He was perfect. We had breakfast but the conversation was so good we had to extend to lunch, then beer. It was pure chemistry. We had to part late in the afternoon though. Too bad.

Hopeful and giddy with excitement, my silly L self decided to play a little flirting game. An hour after Mr. Endangered Species dropped me off at the hospital, I sent him a text: "Thanks for the great time. It's been one rare perfect day."

I was just so happy and so high that if he texted "Tnx rn phow, iMiszqcKyuH... ", I would have ran along Roxas Boulevard under the rain all the way to his house and ask him to marry me. To my chagrin however, Mr. Endangered replied the smartest, sweetest line I've encountered: "Yeah, great weather."

Pak!!! Minsan na nga lang ako lumandi, palpak pa. Waaaaah...

So if you see me walking along the hospital corridors with a sore face and an L on my forehead, just give me a smile and your sincere condolences. I'm currently mourning the loss of Prince Charming. Mr. Endangered Species is now officially extinct. Let the prunification begin!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ilocos in 48 hours

Last weekend, I had this intense, almost pathological need to be on a bus to anywhere. So before I set out for work last Friday, I packed my bag and my camera, bloghopped about possible destinations doable in one weekend, and decided to set out for the Ilocandias.

At 5PM, after a long day at the hospital, I shed off my white coat and my office attire, donned my favorite travel pants and slippers, and set out for another healing journey. For adventure seekers, here's my travel itinerary:

7PM - Leave for Pagudpud (GV Florida Bus with its terminal along Lacson St. in Sampaloc. Fare: P700)

7AM - Arrive at Pagudpud Public Market; Take a trip to Saud Beach for accommodations.
8AM - Start tour. They have standard tricycle rates in Pagudpud: P600 for South (Burgos, Bangui, etc) and P600 for north (Pagudpud areas). Left my backpack at the resort in Saud. I haggled and haggled until the price for an overnight stay was reduced from P1000 to P600.
9AM - Kapurpurawan Rock Formations, Burgos, Ilocos Norte. This was the best sight so far. My tour guide was wise in making this the first leg of our tour. The sun wasn't so hot yet and the place was isolated. I could enjoy the view in quiet and take pictures without other tourists around.
10:30AM - Cape Bojeador, Burgos. I spent several minutes talking to Kuya Celso, the 4th generation lighthouse keeper.
11:30AM - Bangui Windmills, Bangui. The famous Ilocos Norte landmark.
12:30PM - Kabigan Falls. The obscure site can be reached after a 20 - 30 minute trek across farmlands and semi-forested trails.
2:30PM - Patapat Viaduct. This is an engineering feat during the Marcos era.
3:30 PM - Timmagtang Rock, Bantay Abot Cave, Mairaira Beach (Blue Lagoon)
4:30PM - Back at Saud, snack at a nearby restaurant, freshen up, have several beers, watch the sunset (that never came in my case, because of an afternoon rain), sleep

5:30AM - Walk along Saud Beach
7:30AM - Back at Pagudpud Public Market; Take a bus to Laoag
9:30AM - Walk around Laoag, eat empanada, take photos
10:30AM - Jumped into a jeep bound for Paoay. Paoay Church. Missed out on the lake because tricycle drivers tried to rip me off by demanding exorbitant fees. Besides, the sun was already burning hot.
11AM - Batac for Marcos Museum. Seeing him mummified in that glass coffin was eerie and strange.
11:30PM - Stayed at the sidewalk in Batac to catch a bus to Vigan.
2PM - Arrived in Vigan. Took a calesa ride around the city. For more alta-ness. Heritage Village, Vigan Bell Tower.
4PM - Took a Partas bus to Manila.

Total expenses: P4.5K (all in)

I was in the hospital by 12 midnight for a conference at 8AM. By 1AM, I was typing at my laptop cramming for a report the next morning.

Kapurpurawan Rock Formations, Burgos, Ilocos Norte

Fisherman's net and the windmills of Bangui

The windmills in fish-eye

Cape Bojeador, Burgos, Ilocos Norte

Patapat Viaduct, Pagudpu, Ilocos Norte

Heritage Village, Vigan Ilocos Sur.

The famous longganisa of Vigan

To all aspiring solo travelers out there (the females, especially): TRAVELING SOLO IS DOABLE! Do an "Eat, Pray, Love". But be careful with the love part. When you travel alone, you won't necessarily find a man, but you will certainly get to love - yourself and the world around you.