Sunday, April 13, 2008

Off to Caliraya

We left Manila at about 930 am. We squished ourselves inside the Everest and the red E150. With Rondic following tonight, it was quite spacious, hehehe. I was comfy in the van, along with all the girls. Japa, Doods and the boys were all in the Everest.

And let me tell you, that van was pure NOISE. The girls were talking NONSTOP!!! Holy Moly! It was a good thing I barely got enough sleep last night (watching Las Vegas, hehehe), so I nodded off a few times during the whole 2 hour something trip.

It was getting close to lunch and we passed some restaurants, some ok looking and some uhhmmm......where you would never think of going in, hehehe. How could I tell? Usually the nicer restaurants had some custom-made digital signage as opposed to the handmade signs of the seedier places. :)

Japa was ahead by about 2 minutes and spotted this:

He turned in, texted us and that was that. I'm pretty sure the sign translates to "eating with your hands by the fishpond" in English, hehehe. The place wasn't too bad, actually. There were some nipa huts that served as dining places and they were on top of the fishpond, floating! It was very different, that's for sure.

The food? Umm....Filipino of course. So nothing great for me, although I must admit the curried fish and the garlic rice were pretty good. Everyone else feasted on liempo, barbecue chicken and pork sinigang.

We were a mere 30 kilometers away from Caliraya when Japa phoned to tell us that our back tire seemed flat. Uh oh. Nooooot good! We pull into a gasoline station and true enough, there was a gaping hole in the tire!!! Ugh! The gasoline station didn't have a vulcanizing machine, so we stayed in the small Select store for about an hour while Bong went looking for another gasoline station. However, when the service station guys took the spare tire out, it was only to find that it, too, was flat!!! Luckily, there was only a small hole and it would be enough to take us to Caliraya. Bong would have to go back either today or tomorrow morning to buy a replacement. Sigh!

We finally get to the Caliraya Recreation Center parking lot. Turns out we had to cross the huge man-made lake to get to the island via a ferry boat. Or was it an outrigger boat? Anyhoo, it was barely a 5-minute ride and we were on the island. The accommodations weren't very nice, but they were ummm......serviceable, hehehe. The kids were billeted at the dormitory type house that would sleep 10-15 people. The adults were in the hotel. The room had a queen sized bed with a bunk bed in the corner. Since it seemed cooler in the hotel, we let the kids sleep on the bunk beds with us and the yayas and the drivers had the dorm-house.

As soon as the kids saw the swimming pools, they were talking nonstop about going swimming. This, from kids who train every single weekday! Hahahahaha! You would think they'd be sick and tired of swimming, but nope! They were in that pool as soon as we said "ok, let's go swimming" and they quickly changed into their swim suits.

Here's the view from the terrace by our room:

After a couple of hours, it was dinner and bedtime. :) Tomorrow the rest of the employees will be coming and we expect to be very very tired at the end of the day!


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