I could not believe that I found comfort in the hysteria of Manila when I arrived from Dumaguete last Monday. I heaved a sigh of relief as a bus swerved in front of the obviously outsized van we were riding in the middle of EDSA, leaving behind a cloud of fumes. The view of tall, shiny high rises with slums in the foreground made say that indeed I'm back in the city. I'm back home.
I was really planning to write something substantial about my weekend in Dumagueta but since I'm loaded with office work right now, I'd simply assess what I did there based on my last entry preceding this trip.
… fly on an airplane for the first time in more than one year
OMG, Cebu Pacific is not serving snacks anymore, thanks to the really reduced airfare. Instead they give out pineapple juice that taste like pee (or at least how I imagined pee would taste). And why were the flight attendants singing in the damn plane when what I wanted to do was get a nap?
… see my parents
This is definitely the highlight of my trip. Having not seen them for more than a year, I realized I missed them more than how I initially convinced my self. It would be too corny to say that it was a grand bonding moment for all us. We bickered, we nagged each other, and I tagged all of them as obese (I swear I have the lowest BMI in the family). But hell, we had a great laugh about all these things.
… take a breather from the chaos of Manila
God, did I really say this? Oh well, sometimes you appreciate something better if you detach yourself from it for a bit. I left Manila for the genteel atmosphere of Dumaguete but I realized I loved Manila better, chaos and all.
… go around Dumaguete
Now I totally understand why people have been raving about the idyllic charms of the city. On the day that we arrived, I went around the city under the midday sun while the rest of the family had their afternoon nap. I went straight to the famous boulevard and on my way there I dropped by a coffee shop called The Spanish Heritage. The boulevard is also lined with cafes and bars that are filled by foreigners and tourists. Since the church is a few blocks away, I found my self at the old bell tower after walking around Dumaguete's streets and finding several ancestral homes.
I stealthily went inside the Siliman campus (they require an ID for those who want to get inside) where I saw more old buildings that serve as classrooms and adminstrative offices. I was particularly drawn by the well-maintained university museum. Unfortunately it was closed.
… see dolphins in Bais bay
Bais City is apparently an hour away from Dumaguete. My sister and I realized that it would require at least half a day for us to take the tour. Last Monday, we settled instead for the Forest Camp, about 20 minutes from the downtown area. It's a small riverside resort and only my sister dared to swim in the river. But it was an opportunity for camwhoring nonetheless… which brings me to the next item…
I'm going to make the pictures (click click click!) speak for all the camwhoring that took place.
… watch my brother accept his diploma
There were about 400 graduates in the ceremony. I did not have the patience to wait for my brother accept the bloody diploma with at least 200 other names being called before him. So I left my parents at the graduation ceremony and went around the campus with my sister (who eventually went back to the hotel to sleep). The graduation started at around 3 pm and it was not finished until eight.
Dwight, I'm sorry I did not see you go up the stage, but really I can't be more proud of you. Good luck with the rest of your life. It's going to be an interesting ride from here.