It was an invitation that I knew I couldn’t ignore nor resist! First, because I know I will enjoy the 4-5 hour “roadtrip” from Manila to Unisan, Quezon. Second, I will surely be in awe with the idea of experiencing my first trip to Southern Luzon, passing Laguna and Batangas and reaching Quezon. Third, it will serve as my one and only bonding moment with a dear friend and colleague who was migrating – for greener pasture they say, both literally and figuratively. Finally, it will be the best time to know more about the people I work with and to discuss everything there is under the sun, except work stuff. So I basically said yes to the weekend adventure and booked a flight to the “big city” 🙂
The adventure started on Friday – the day after Valentine’s Day! After such a “stressful” experience with a local budget airline (flight delays and all), I arrived in the big city an hour after noon and headed to our office in Mandaluyong to wait for my workmates as they finished their shifts. I took my time and decided to take MRT from Magallanes to Shaw! Everytime I am in Manila, I always include MRT rides in my itinerary because (1) we don’t have it in Cebu, (2) I am always amazed on how commuters survive the face-to-hair or sometimes face-to-armpit encounters and (3) will you judge me when I say that I enjoy watching these encounters? Hahahaha!
Off we went around 8PM and started the Unisan, Quezon roadtrip. In a convoy of two cars, EDSA greeted us with beeps and endless bumpers and we spent a good 1 hour traversing EDSA to reach SLEX. Thanks to the Facundo Jokes and “MRT Station” jokes, we survived the traffic ordeal. Our first stop was in one of the “huge” gas stations along SLEX. We had to stop for gas, for food, for more food and yes, for more food. I bought lots and lots of things to eat and drink as we prepared for the looong drive. Since it was my first SLEX experience, I didn’t stop talking about the tollways stationed in almost every kilometer and how expensive it was 😦 This is something I don’t want to experience in Cebu!
Our only stop before reaching our destination was another gas station near Lucena City! I heard (for the first time) the infamous Tagalog “punto” of folks from Southern Tagalog. It was music to my “Bisaya” ears 😀
Photo Credits: http://www.wikipedia.org
The zig zag and curved roads welcomed us to Unisan. Unisan is located on the western coast of Quezon, facing the beautiful Tayabas Bay. The town traces its roots to Malayan settlers, albeit short of being officially declared as one, if not, the oldest town in the Philippines. Previously named Kalilayan from the word Lilay – a kind of palm that once grew in abundance in the area, the town is the first capital of Quezon province. Its modern history started in 1876 when it was declared as an independent municipality and was named as Unisan from the Latin word Uni Sancti, meaning “holy saint”.
Our group arrived at our hosts’ humble sea-side home a little after 2AM. Everybody wanted to sleep to stretch their travel-worn bodies but I preferred to stay in the garden and discovered a swing! I stayed there for half an hour as I communed with nature, with the lonely moon and the restless waves. I have traveled far and long but Unisan’s serene and peaceful breeze was all worth it!
The sound of waves greeted me as I woke up on a sunny Saturday morning. The Puache’s (our hosts) were very gracious enough to serve us with sumptuous breakfast that made my tummy uber happy. Our first activity was a boat ride tracing the coast of Unisan 🙂 We found an islet with small caves in it and with a short challenging walk, we were able to take the required photo-op just at the mouth of one of the caves. The waves and current was a little stronger that morning so we decided to head back to the resort BUT my adventurous work mates decided to take a plunge into the water half-way to the nearest coast. The “adventurous” part of me kicked in and hell I jumped overboard. This might be too easy for some but for me, a certified islander who doesn’t know how to swim”, the decision was thisclose to be considered as insanity! I usually bank on my height when i’m in the water so I tried reaching the floor – the ocean floor – but ALAS, my feet touched nothing but water! Imagine the horror in my eyes as the truth unfolds and as I try to hold on to the boat’s outrigger. I trembled probably not because of the cold sea breeze against my skin but because of the fear of drowning inside of me. It was such a “Life of Pi” moment for me. Then it was time to go back for lunch, my teammates – as light as they were – jumped back into the boat. Then it dawned on me that if i’ll jump back in, I might just be harming everyone because with my weight, the boat might just be turned upside down! Good gracious one, those were my only words. I decided to do the unthinkable, I held tight onto the boat’s outrigger and asked our “boat man” to drive us back to the coast WHILE I WAS IN THE WATER!!! Thinking of the possibility of me being carried away by the strong current or of the possibility of me being eaten by a hungry shark which was probably staring at me from down below thinking that I was a baby whale shark (I insist on adding the term baby here) or the possibility of me being laughed at by Nemo and his colorful classmates thinking I’m a baby whale shark stuck in a fisherman’s net! Whatever it was, I’m just thankful I made it to the coast alive 😀
Because we live to pose….
Did I survive? Yes!
Will I do it again? NO!!!
Did I enjoy the experience? A big YES!
Did they laugh at me? YES!!!
Did I laugh at myself? YES!!!
What happened next?
Craziness, to be continued….
Photo Credits: RizrizNicole
— Domzee for Kattera —