here’s the beach- errr…. where?

i was so disappointed that my teenage siblings were shocked about how clearwater turned out that i have to drag them to pangasinan and to a three-hour drive to the town of mapandan. that, after waiting for hours and hours for jo who was supposed to pick us up around 3pm (there was nothing to do after 1pm, seriously) but only arrived at 4:30pm because there was a last minute campaign rally along the way. it wasn’t her fault; the initial agreement was that they pick me up at 6pm.

but i was feeling lousy and when i feel lousy, it is so hard to hide it from friends. that is just me; i could really be a bitch sometimes.

it wasn’t until 7pm that we reached the quiet town of mapandan. the ride was uncomfortable because there were four of us squeezed at the back of a nissan car. that doesn’t need any more elaboration so i will move on.

i was surprised to see roselle all homey and maternal; nobody thought that among the four of us, she will get married first. her two babies were adorable; i say, ariel (her husband) does his paternal responsibilities fast. they’ve been married for two years and already have two kids!

friends
(preparing our 11-ish dinner)

anyway, there was a lot of catching up to do; i haven’t seen these people for five years. it was just a little strange that nothing seem to change: roselle still has the tongue, jo is still all nice and accommodating, lou is still chatty and jolly, and i… i still dozed off in the middle of our conversations.

the following morning, we went to san fabian beach. i have high hopes this would be better than clearwater. i can see from my teenage siblings they were too. so it was again a surprise when our truck (yes, we couldnt all fit in the car so we brought one of those huge, gigantic trucks they used for their grain&salt trucking business) parked on a sandy area.

“where’s the beach?” i asked.

“your back’s on it.” ariel’s friend said. i couldn’t see it from where i was standing because the truck was covered with a heavy cloth. but the realization of a beach that allows trucks as huge as the one we have to park on its sandy beach was just too horrible for me to fathom. i love and worship the beach that any act like that is such a sacrilege.

beach

the beach was horrible (i know, i know, all i did was complain about the weekend).

beach

aside from the overflowing number of jeepneys and trucks and SUVs, there were people everywhere. it was like boracay on holy week. only this time, the sand is not as white or powdery; the water neither crystal clear or romantic. and everything else, quadruple times five as worse.

beach

if it weren’t for my friends, it would have been a total waste. in fact, the fact that we’ve gotten in touch after five years of being excommunicated from each other made everything else tolerable. i came to see them first and foremost; everything else was supposedly just a bonus.

it was a little strange, though, that we kept talking about the past. our money-hungry-ed landlord. the “instik” merchant across the street. the housemates who didn’t like us for reasons we really did not give a damn about. the guys lou and i dated way back. the “sawsawan” i made that got them addicted. the strange blend of guys next door.

but then, what else is it that we have? friendship seeks oxygen to breathe in strange mediums. the past was that medium. where others forgot the people they live with during that tormenting five-month review, we held on.

we didn’t forget.

and so, yes, it didn’t matter to me that on the long way back home, between tarlac and pampanga, the car died down in the middle of the highway and we got stuck again. and after forty minutes of trying to figure out what was wrong (strangely enough, there were no shortage of mechanics along the highway!), we found out we ran out of gas!

it wasn’t quite a perfect weekend getaway.

but what is it they say? a more profound beauty is found in imperfection.

i found my friends again. and for that, i am happy.

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