Sometimes things don't go your way.
I was frustrated. But really, there's no arguing with the screaming human body.
They serve the usual Visayan staple of rice and roasted chicken plus a couple of other pancit varieties. My taste buds were uncooperative but I knew that the chicken was juicy, too bad I just couldn't taste it well.
It was finally time to see you as the university town. Majority of the establishments were closed on a Sunday and most places were deserted. It was the perfect time for an afternoon stroll. We walked around Silliman's perimeter. The huge trees and the scattered buildings reminded me of UP Diliman.
But where are your people? Where do they go on a Sunday? We saw some of them in the town mall but surely, the kolehiyalas must be somewhere else.
By the time we got back to Rizal Boulevard, it was almost sunset. I was surprised to see a small gathering at the far end of the bay. A couple of steps nearer and we found out it was the famed 'tempura' strip! The vendors and their stoves were neatly lined up in rows and several tables were set up at the back. I'm sorry I didn't buy a tempura (which looked like kikiam to me). It was hard to entice my failing appetite. But I promise I will when I see you again. You make eating street food an organized experience.
We walked further into the side streets to see the Quezon Park. We finally found where your people are! They were making their way out of the church across the street. Some were lighting the candles below the belfry. Suddenly, I was in the middle of a busy town.
For dinner, we were supposed to go to Lab-as but we ditched the plan again and headed to the nearby Sans Rival Bistro. I chose a dish with a fancy name and it turned out to be an order of adobong pusit. It's just a dish name. Why complicate it? I thought it was bland but Aaron said the food was fine, even delicious. Forgive my taste buds. They were failing me all day long.
What convinced my difficult taste buds were the chocolate sylvanas. It was the only thing that got through and tasted real good to me. I'm pretty sure their specialty, the sans rival, was fantastic too. Only I couldn't taste it. How unfortunate of me.
I'm sorry for thinking that Zanzibar Lounge across Sans Rival Bistro was a play of words. Zanzibar and Sans Rival sounded funny to me. I didn't know that there is a real place called Zanzibar, part of Tanzania. Forgive me for laughing at that a bit.
The next day was the day we were supposed to see the dolphins! We were up early for breakfast and we were just in time to see the sun bathe you in a golden light. It was a great day to catch the sun at Rizal Boulevard. I sat on the diner, waiting for our breakfast and just enjoying the sun's warmth.
I was weighing my option of having myself checked at one of your hospitals but I was afraid that if it was something more than a fever, they might keep me and I won't be able to go home. We decided to go back to Manila on that same day.
By 11AM, we were already on our way out to say goodbye to you. It was too soon. I still haven't tried the fried ice cream, the budbud, and the seafood dishes at Lab-as. I haven't seen the dolphins at Bais and I haven't experienced kayaking at the lake. I haven't been to Apo Island nor to the Mabinay Caves. I haven't heard a single reggae music at Hayahay (which 'sunset' ploy I still hate). I haven't seen how laid-back you could be. I missed a lot.
I hated to leave and I would have not left if I could just will my body to get well to see more of you. But my body defeated me.
It seems that the time is not right for us Dumags. Maybe someday.
PS. I had dengue. And just so you know, I also missed Smashing Pumpkin's concert. I know. Mosquitoes are a real pain.
-- Photos and video by Aaron Manila