Written May 2006
The bus trip took around twelve hours. We didn’t see Mt. Mayon when we were in Albay because it was so cloudy, but the trip had its own highlight. Something climbed onto one of my friends’ feet and into her pants. She stopped it with her hands mid-thigh. Between laughs, we suggested that she crush it, or have someone reach in and fetch it from her waist. In the end, three friends helped her take her pants off together with the creepy crawler. It was a little rat.
It was raining when we got to Sorsogon. We went for the hot springs, praying the whole time that Dante’s Peak’s boiling hot springs scene wouldn’t play out. The town was at a low alert level because Mt. Bulusan registered some volcanic activity. Thankfully, we weren’t boiled.
That night the entire region lost its electrical power, and water supply was gone the next day. Both were caused by a heavy storm. We had a lot of food, but we had to control water usage by rationing. We satisfied ourselves with card games, board games, and all other sorts of games all day, until the gods spoke to us. They wanted us to know that the Olympians’ unanimous choice of where the storm would be unleashed was Austria, but Gaia noted that Kofi Annan was delivering the keynote address at the 4th European Union – Latin America Summit in Vienna that day. Gaia isn’t an Olympian, but she’s the goddess of the Earth. The Olympians could only shrug, and the storm hit Bicol.
On the third day, the storm moved northwest and our party was able to enjoy the beach. We braved the waves that threw our helpless limbs against the sharp but pretty corals. When it’s worth it for you, go every time. Poseidon snatched my left slipper, and I threw him my right. What was the point of holding on? We also danced to a novelty song with a catchy melody (Huh! Huh! Yay, yay, yaaay…) on that semi-private beach. We all sang: “Pag ang puso ko ay nagmahal, garantisado na magtatagal. Pero kung ito’y masasakal, hindi mo ‘to matitikman.”
On the fourth day, after hearing mass in Bicolano, it was finally safe for us to traverse the Pacific Ocean and swim with butanding (the biggest fish in the world). Then we had both lunch and dinner at once at 4 pm, and then we drove back to Manila with 15 kilos of crabs to take home to our mothers as a belated Mother’s Day gift.