Monday, April 12, 2004

the long weekend

Seven of us left early last Thursday with the goal of leaving the hustle and bustle of Manila behind for the cool tranquility of Tagaytay City. Nikki and I are notoriously difficult to persuade to join expeditions like this (we'd much prefer a plane to overland travel), but we both agreed to come along, have some fun or die trying. Vin, El and Charles picked us up before we linked up with Jason and Cams along the South Super Highway.

Being the writers and creatives that we are, immediately upon embarking on the road, conversation shifted to story genres and the craft that we love. I told the group about the new story I was working on, "The Muse of Graveltown", and the technical story decisions I had to make. We all had a laugh thinking of new scenarios - and I started to have fun.

We checked in at El Paso, with a view of a pineapple plantation. The sun was murderous but the airconditioned rooms were great. I got to wear my new orange rubber shoes (purchased for an astounding P500 at Greenhills - it's so cheap it scares me, even if it is a pair of knockoffs).

Lunch was at this place which overlooked the lake (jeez, I can't remember the name but it did have 3 letters in it). We gorged like pigs on everything we could order from the fantastic menu and continued the romanesque decadence with ice cream for dessert.

We played all sorts of games before heading to the Yonzon's for an evening of wholesome gluttony. Zach and his parents, Boboy and Guia, welcomed us like long-lost friends and relatives and made us feel completely at home. It made me think how impoverished my own notion of hospitality is; when I grow up, I want to be like them. We had more fun with Cranium and, in a fit of hubris, I was unable to spell faux pas - I threw in an "x" instead of an "s" at the end. I couldn't stop laughing at myself.

In the wee hours of morning, I caught my first episode of American Idol - and I agree with Rickey - Fantasia rocks! It's just too bad that it was the Country genre that I watched instead of music I appreciate better. I found out that the one of the Filipino-Americans was eliminated later but as of this time, Jasmine is still hanging on, so great!

Friday arrived and breakfast consisted of a ton of food cooked by Cams, Jayce and El. We gorged again, except for Vin who, in a his piety, ate only fish. Then the power died (just before Survivor - so I had to wait until Sunday to see Lex voted out by Boston Rob) so we decided to spend the day and evening out.

Just so you know, Nikki and I were so dispirited by the absence of our regular Survivor fix that the entire trip seemed futile. But Upwords, Scrabble and other games with Charles pushed us on.

The view had such an effect on me. Well-being and tranquility coursed through my body before my natural impatience took over. I mean, yes, the view is great, but now what?

More food, more fun, extending into dinner at Hapag Kainan and coffee at Sanctuario - I love tawilis! Around midnight, when we returned to El Paso, the power was still out.

We headed back to Manila at that very moment and made the trip back in less than an hour.

Nikki and I were glad to be home, after such an enjoyable trip, and see Sage.

Leaving the city is fine, but coming home is even better.


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