Monday, March 02, 2009

weekends, long weekends and week-breaks part 1

This is becoming a habit.

I've always loved going places on foot, especially since I don't know how to bike (*hint, hint!* paturo naman!), and now driving has taken me to greater distances beyond my walking threshold.

Lately, I've found myself making excuses to take long trips on the road, or long walks on familiar pavements. I make it a point to walk around the UP Oval at least once a week for a couple of hours or so, not just for the exercise (after all, it's beach season), but also to have some quiet time for myself.

Last Monday, I took a roadtrip to Antipolo, my second attempt to explore the famed "Pilgrimage City". The first one a few years back was too disappointing that I almost didn't want to go there again. I took a gamble. On a Monday. On People Power Monday.

There still was heavy traffic, I had to drop off something at work, I barely slept the night before and breakfast was skipped, the trip started a few hours late, and the summer heat was upon us as we walked. I realised that there was a choice to be stressed out or to overwhelm oneself with the excitement of a fresh adventure. It makes a world of a difference to choose the latter. I think I got to discover more things. Went to MMLDC to see birds of all sizes, sampled some nuts and ate a man's adobo. I've consumed gazillions of suman in my young life, but somehow the enticing invitation of "tikim bago bili" just made the sticky rice sweeter than usual. (Yes, I ate rice. Sweet, sugar-coated sticky suman rice. BAD.) And arnibal-covered pinipig bars! It's been ages since I sunk my teeth into a crunchy bar. I felt like I was 8 again :)

Antipolo Church was quieter than the last time I was there -- then again, it was a regular weekday so I guess more people were too busy filing paperwork to go on a pilgrimage. I was educated on the huge structure that adorned the focal/altar area. The design was adapted from traditional but didn't quite meet Vatican standards as it probably was drawn from memory by the local artists. The paintings had muted colors which might have resulted from a strictly imposed (read: impossibly cheap) budget for the impoverished yet skillful Angono painters.

Nevertheless, I could see how the church could easily harness its exotic beauty in wedding photographs and glisten like a lone crystal clear waterdrop of what was once a glorious waterfall. Not unlike Hinulugang Taktak, which we steered clear of after seeing its pathetic state just by the entrance to the "national park".

The day was capped by a sandwich and chips and (watered down) iced tea merienda at the UP Ampitheater. The sun was still shining brightly while it slowly made its descent into the horizon; the acacia leaves shimmering like a bejeweled canopy above the Oval. It was such a perfect scene, I had to say it to be heard.

I almost forgot how lovely the campus looked like in the afternoon! I wish I had this moment when I was still in college. Maybe things could have been pleasantly different.

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