Thursday, June 18, 2009
it rained hard that morning when i woke up and was supposed to rush early to the bus station where we had to meet up and board the Jac Liner bus to Tiaong en route to Dolores, Quezon where Kinabuhayan cafe is. i was fashionably late but blessings rained in as well when the sun finally came out and i managed to get free rides both in the LRT 2 and LRT lines since it was June 12, Independence Day after all.
the bus ride to Tiaong was just about 3 hours but we went past the new public market where the jeepney station to Dolores was located hihi. we had to take another tricycle ride where we saw a big jeep where a few passengers were also waiting. we found out that it was a byaheng alas-puno. meaning we had to wait for it to get filled up unless we were willing to pay for the vacant seats, hmpf.
we finally got to Dejarme St. where the cafe was located. there wasn't any sign whatsoever but we knew it was the place where we intended to go and stay the night. the staff made us rush to our little hut to change for swimming outfits and leave our bags as our lunch was supposed to be waiting at the nearby spring. what greeted us was an idyllic place seemingly straight out from some 80s local TV where love teams will just come out to sing kundiman in their baro't saya and kamisa chino !
then we met Jay who served us our food in an unassuming manner. he had long locks and was dressed in simple shorts and shirt. but boy, taste his food and you'd easily worship this man.
lunch by the batis consisted of mushroom risotto, succulent barbecued pork and fresh dahon and kamatis and bulaklak drizzled with vinaigrette. yup, we actually ate the petals and deemed it truly appetizing. we then dipped our plastic glasses at the nearby bamboo "faucets" where fresh spring water flowed eternal.
after that truly filling lunch we then looked for adventure as we hied on in search for the so called 10 feet falls at the end of Jay's property. we felt like kids again being able to tumble on rocks and got wet and took dips and trudged on uneven path.
we waded through mud, clear pools up to the knee or lampas tao we had to keep ourselves afloat. we'd stop by once in a while to take photos or scrub ourselves clean with the gugo bark Jay provided us with. we would take short breathers and clown around and take more pictures and laugh and giggle and just be ourselves having such a grand time. then we finally got to the mini falls. it really wasn't 10 feet, they say the man who discovered it must be so short he miscalculated its height.
then we all headed back to our table then to our hut again. we almost forgot that we just arrived that same day. it felt so good to be giggling like crazy again. we knew we were in for one truly wonderful day.
dinner later that night consisted of roasted chicken and what i believed was curry rice. i seemed to have wolfed it at once. sarap!
we spent the night having endless kwento with Ralph and Jay and some more friends over bottles of lambanog while their pet Onion, the pig comfortably nuzzling on the sofa with his baby pink blanket.
we later slept on the top floor of the hut with mattresses laid out on the floor and some mosquito net protecting us from, er, mosquitos and other creatures of the night.
we woke up feeling refreshed and raring for more adventures that morning. we did trek down to the more than 200 steps leading to Sta. Lucia Falls where the mystic waters of Banahaw flow and is flocked by many pilgrims and believers. it was another truly refreshing and cleansing experience in spite of the almost taxing climb and the company of many people wishing and praying to get cleansed us well. we were there mainly to sightsee and take dips though. feeling the cleansing powers was just an added bonus to that trip.
then came goodbye time as we were bound for another destination. it was a bit heartbreaking, and i'm not even exaggerating here. i kinda felt sad leaving the place, Ralph, Jay and his bevy of animal friends that i could not keep myself from giving him a hug as we were about to leave.
indeed there is some certain charm the place possesses. must be the mystery of the mountain itself. or it's rustic, idyllic feel. or maybe Ralph's and Jay's personalized service and attention and care to their guests which makes this place really endearing. but wow, i really hope we could go back.