March 08, 2007

What Pleasant Surprise

The rains were pouring heavily outside while my eyes stayed glued to the TV set. I lay on the bed contemplating whether I should be doing my laundry, but alas, Food Network got the better of me. Ahh, another week’s gone by quite uneventfully save for a few close calls at the office and the previous night’s intermittent phone rings from my mom (yep, I do get regular calls from my parents still ..). The week turned up to be a bit of a drag, actually.

Well, on days like this, nothing beats a hot mug of something to sip while lazing around in bed. I finished watching My Best Friend’s Wedding (for the nth time) and fell asleep halfway through LOTR.

Then I was awakened by the sharp beeps of my phone. I turned to read my message as I felt around for the remote control. There were already a few messages in my inbox. I slowly scrolled along each message and replied to the senders. When I got to the last message, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was from my good friend Lennie saying she’s in Tagaytay. I scrambled out of bed hastily managing to toss a change of clothes into my Masferre bag (thanks to Me-anne for getting me one from Sagada). And immediately rode a jeep to meet Lennie at Olivarez Plaza. She and son Matthew were grabbing a few needed items inside the supermarket when I arrived.

It’s been over a year since I last saw Len. And how Matthew has grown since then. Upon seeing me, he was like testing the waters at first. It took several minutes for him to warm up to me again. He has been eyeing me for about 20 minutes before I heard him utter a few words in my direction. When asked his age, he answered “Four” as he flashed 4 fingers to my face.

It was already seven when we arrived at the hotel. Len immediately started preparing the meals while Matthew splashed around in the bath tub, afterwards happily changing into his Spiderman shirt.

As we proceeded to catch up on all that’s been happening in each other’s life, I realized that nothing but a good talk with your close friend can really warm the heart.

Walking down memory lane, we talked about both past and recent events that have made us stronger as a person and which have helped develop our character. We talked about people both familiar and unfamiliar, and places that we have been to. We reminisced of the old days back to our Cubao senior year all in between munches of Sinaing na Tulingan and rice for dinner and antipasto brownies, a pack of chips and gulps of softdrinks. The next thing we knew, it was already 10:30 and Len’s husband George was already texting us. We went to fetch him and his friend Gary. Back at the hotel, we got into a few more talk at the table then went to bed exhausted for the day.

Sunday brought more torrential rains as typhoon Glenda lashed out its fury outside. There was no more adventure that we could do in the downpour. So the guys slept of the whole morning while Len and I continued our catching up all through breakfast (which naturally lasted for a few more hours).

We checked out at 12:50 just after we finished Batman Returns on HBO. Lunch at Mushroomburger was at 1:30 and soon we were on our way to Tatay Ato’s home in Silang. Tatay Ato is a farmer who took George into his care when George was still doing his College fieldwork practicum organizing a farmer’s cooperative in Silang, Cavite. George proudly mentioned that Tatay Ato now has a big house as well as huge tract of land. He was able to sell a portion of his land by the highway and managed to secure another piece of land in the interior at a much lower price. Now he enjoys his days manning the store they have built on their new land and also selling a variety of ornamental plants in front of the store.

We enjoyed the crisp cold air in their land and spent the whole afternoon with Tatay Ato’s family. They treated us to a sumptuous dinner of authentic Tinolang manok, Braised Pork and Pork BBQ. It was such gastronomic delight!

Upon learning that George now pre-occupies his days off doing some gardening activities, Tatay Ato segregated a few pots of ornamentals for George to take back home. I managed to snag a couple of pots myself – a bromeliad in bloom and a money tree. Along with the plants, George also took home several pineapples and 2 bunches of banana.

Stars were slowly creeping up the twilit sky as we got ready to hit the road again. After saying thanks to Tatay Ato’s family, we went on our way. I was dropped off at the staffhouse where I’m staying as they went their merry way to Ampid, Rizal which is still a good 70 kilometers away.

By and by, typhoon notwithstanding, my Tagaytay sojourn was a marvelous weekend topper. Thank goodness for wonderful friends!

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