Sunday, November 8, 2009


IT WAS IN THE morning of June 12, 2009 when me and my office mates left Mandaue City for Badian in the south. Nine of us from Tactical Security Agency and five from Mac II Auto Sales were comfortably squeezed inside a Toyota EX 20-seater air-conditioned shuttle bus driven by Joseph Rojo. The objective: a team-building affair at the Badian Beach Resort in Matutinao.

From Tactical Security were, of course, moi, Joe Patrick Uy, Omar Pace, Marylou Cagang, Eddie Alberca, Grace Villar, Noel Ronquillo, Liza Sesante and Al Albaciete. From Mac II were Tellie Aguilar, Ginalin Guiriba, Juliet Cellar, Miriam Salaban and Danilo Janao. We were in very high spirits and looked forward to a pressure-less, paid, weekend excursion! A perfect diversion in an exclusive beach at that. Wow!

We left at 9:30 AM and the mini bus cruised the south highway until we stopped by in Carcar town to take a leak, stretch our legs or buy their famous chicharon. From there, we went on our journey and saw the very inviting seas off Sayaw in Barili. It was a very “high” high tide. I'm very very sure the sea in Barili is contiguous with that of Badian. I am most certain of that; and it was very clear.

We finally arrived at our destination at thirty past twelve and we were met by our gracious host - Ms. Jonnette Librando-Alquizola – and she was already waiting for us, along with a lechon, a stew of freshly-caught clam and a special hog's blood thick soup of a concoction that is so different from others I've tasted before. The eating was inspired on an empty stomach and in an open atmosphere where sun, sea, sand and sky met. You wouldn't have wished a place and time as good as this. Oh, blessed me...

At two in the afternoon, we started right away our team build-up (or team building). I kept looking over my shoulder trying to calculate the water level if it has abated or not while in the midst of a puzzle to make the best possible package to prevent an egg be broken when dropped from a height of twenty feet! I proposed an idea and Eddie, Al and Liza did the rest copping us the prize of the only team that never laid waste an egg. The ever gracious Ma'am Jonnnette rewarded us each with 500 bucks each. May the good Lord bless her!

After these cross-hairs, we were like wild horses let loosed from our pens as one after the other, dived into the reassuring coolness of the sea. For two or more hours we swam and dove and frolicked carefree aided by endless rounds of Gran Matador Brandy laced with Cobra Energy Drink that we brought over which heated up our bodies and raised our adrenaline to levels where we have never been gone to before inside of a beach resort. We were red-faced, yes, but the drunken and uncivilized behavior are not there.

We were boys again, in that lazy afternoon swimming in the private seafront. A place where, a month ago, was just a vague idea, an unthought of suggestion, a wishful thinking of sort. The girls, after a few hours in the saline liquid, decided to transfer their frolicking in the fresh-water swimming pool just above the tidal line. Eddie and I would take turns in rotating the glass from Omar to Noel to Patrick and us. The bottle would either float or stay in the breakwater.
It was almost sundown when we emerged from the sea and, finding that the sea level have gone down, we prepared ourselves for supper. Sir Wilson Ong arrived just in time for the meal. Yes, a good dinner where (once again I led the prayers) lechon paksiw, sinugba'ng bariles and a soup of anduhaw fish with Valencia rice, plain rice or fine-grounded corn. After the feast, a board meeting, of a small scale, ensued. That was the most serious part of that weekend. Then the dance of the glass began again...

Patrick, with his trademarked boisterous laugh, echoed in the night while Omar, without a beat, gyrated and danced to an imagined tune. Noel, the most legal minded member of the party, dissected the pros and cons of a case while Al, the silent one, just grunted and nodded. Me, of course, held the glass and cast judgment on whom to have that opportunity to down the sacred liquid.

As the night progressed on, it was time to make a beeline to our sleeping quarters. The gentry passed the night in the main beach house; the girls in the guest house; Omar, Patrick, Al, Noel, Eddie and Joseph remained cowboys to the bone (or maybe just plain drunk) and slept exposed to the elements; while I, a true-blue bushman, snored comfortably inside my Coleman tent in a sleeping bag.

I awoke to a perfect morning on June 13 and boiled for myself water on my new Bulin portable stove to savor tea. I tested and became familiar with the stove right there and then. Elsewhere on the beach, I found Patrick's and Noel's place vacant. They left at dawn as what they have planned in the wee hours of the night. Sound, or voices, travel fast in the night, you know. Then, before breakfast, a slight rain showered over the place. The whole area is deserted.
After the shower, the place became a hub of activity again. Tellie cooked her prepared breakfast menu and the others helped her. There was a low tide and we looked for a calendar. Then, it was time for breakfast. Leftover lechon paksiw were served as well as pasta, lumpia and fried fish and rice and ground corn. I, again, blessed the food. Hmm, it was much silent this time. We missed Patrick today!

While waiting for the tide to rise (which never came), I rushed to the sea and swam its shallow deep with a diving mask. I enjoyed the school of fishes below and the seaweeds and the life among and between the islands of solitary rock. Then I found a remnant of an artificial reef wrought of used tires. Submarine life teemed among that remaining refuge. It was a great discovery...until it was time to go!

By now, residents of Gentle Breeze Subdivision began to trickle in at eleven in the morning and we gave way to their presence. Joseph conked to life the mini bus and we left the private resort and followed Ma'am Jonnette's SUV. It led us to her ancestral home in the heart of Badian and we stayed awhile and took lunch there.
Courses of shrimp tempura, calamares, boneless bangus, rice, squid in black soup and the famous native chicken of Dumanjug were offered on the dining table and I let myself do as I pleased and I find it hard to stand erect over my seat afterwards. And so were the others. Then native chicken gizzards and liver and those aromatic spices were added to the served menu and I couldn't say no to them and I bloated out of proportions that noon!

We left Badian, at last, but Joseph made a sudden U-turn for another of Ma'am Jonnette's ancestral home and we savored ice cream in two different flavors! This is a dessert, I think. Believe me, it could have been a great feast when I was a great glutton twenty years ago, but, this time, I raised a white flag and filled my glass in a whimper – just two servings! Not full. We call this in vernacular – hamabaw. My wife would have raised an eyebrow if she sees me in this unfamiliar situation!

Finally, finally, we left at two in the afternoon for Cebu. I took Patrick's place in the front seat beside Joseph. I felt drowsy but I fought it. The passing scene's too good to be missed and I glanced over my shoulder and I saw almost everyone doing a shuteye. By habit, I liked to have an open eye during my travels.
Reaching Naga, I saw a great dark bulge in the sky beyond and lightning flashed in the distance. It was an awful lot of lightning! At the South Road Properties were we passed by, the lightning or them thunder bolts grew in resonance and intensity! My gosh, with that condition, there'll gonna be a great flood in Metro Cebu! I couldn't see the outlines of the Babag Moutain Range either.

We reached in the vicinity of what used to be Kawit Island, the sky burst forth. Great traffic ensued at Plaza Independencia. We took a special detour at McArthur Boulevard, then a left turn to V. Sotto Street and I dropped off at the corner of G.L. Lavilles Street and walked the few hundred meters to my home.

I reached home drenched with rain. I tossed my chicharrones to my boys and it gave warmth to my home seeing them laughing and engage in long conversations. My ever-loving wife tossed me a towel and I finished my weekend in the bathroom. A nice and unforgettable weekend indeed.

Document done in OpenOffice 2.1 Writer.


Anonymous said...


This is Gladys Arañez and I’m one of the volunteers for Design Against The Elements. We are asking for your support to please help us spread our message in raising awareness re: Philippine Climate Adaptability Challenge. Please take time to visit the links below and please post comments and ratings. Below also is a message from our Executive Director, Illac Diaz.

Feel free to ask questions. You can reach me on my email:

Many, many thanks! :)

Climate change is real. Addressing climate change requires a mix of mitigation and adaptation. This requires more mitigation for industrialized countries and more adaptation for developing countries.
This can be translated into one simple scenario : While the industrialized world continues to send up tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere, whether or not we blur the amounts through carbon credits,
hopes are fading for those who will be receiving the sharp end of the Damocles sword; the developing world. The urgency is to realize that this is not going to stop at 350 ppm, or even double at 600 ppm, the Philippines has to realize that despite all the petitions and feel good campaigns of dreams for a climate stabilized world, real solutions need to be done. We have to get to the part where we learn
to start dealing with this. The country is located right beside the warmest parts of the ocean that is in the perfect storm of vulnerable coastlines, intense winds, and an observation of growing dumping of
large amounts of rain. We need to live in a world where climate will hit the poorest of the poor first, regardless of where they live, it will test our resiliency as a city, as a village, as a community, and
specially as a people. This song is dedicated to the awareness that dealing with one ONDOY is not the victory, but a climate of change will be the battle of this generation.

Illac Diaz
Executive Director
Design Against The Elements

PinoyApache said...

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