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Wednesday, December 01, 2004

And I thought the world was sleeping quietly

Our trip to Subic with friends was, as usual, very happy. It would have
been a perfect getaway from a world of constant work, a respite from the
daily hustle and bustle if not for the horrendous trip back home last Monday night.

Anyway, allow me to recount my happy memories first. We started our trip to Subic by meeting everyone at the Petron gasoline station at Tabang at 3:00 am. We left the place at 4 am and since I was not driving my own car, (I wouldn't trust my old lite ace with my family on board on a long trip like that) we had to go slow. Fortunately,
my friends understand my predicament and the guy at the helm, Dante, with Grace, Ricky and Tetay, drove at a fastest speed of around 60 kph. (These guys normally drive at an average of 120 kph). No one complained except that we were all falling asleep. I almost did at one time. So we had to stop again to take a breather.

When we arrived at Subic at around 6, we had to go on a tour first as our scheduled check in time was at 12:00 pm. We went to the beach but since it was to open at 8 we decided to roll again. We saw some monkeys on the way and much to the enjoyment of my youngest son, Coby who was seated beside me, the alpha male would constantly prove his dominance over the brood by, what else, making love to his concubines.

After that, we went to Zoobic but decided it was too expensive so we had to settle communing with the butterflies. We ate our breakfast outside the butterfly exhibit. Then we went to an adventure ride where everybody tried out the fantastic slide at Jest camp. This is where you are placed in a harness and get to ride the cables all the way down from a hundred foot drop till the bottom at three stages. The slide was fantastic but what I didn't like was the fact that I had to cross a monkey bridge twice. MAybe I should explain that I have fear of heights. So, you see, crossing a monkey bridge swaying all the way from left to right is not my idea of fun! Not to mention that my kids plus my friends and theirs are all laughing at me while I am moments away from fainting and throwing my guts out crossing the damn bridge.

Next stop was the hotel! We stayed at the Palm wing of the Legenda Suites. Excellent room size for the group. We rented out two suites. A suite is composed of a living room with a sofa bed and a couch, dining table, a kitchen, two huge rooms with a two kingsize beds and two single ones, bathroom and toilet. As I have stopped smoking, I decided to sleep as soon as I can while the women prepared food and the guys drank booze. Woke up at around 6 and together with the wife and Joven, took the kids to the go kart so they can try it out. (Actually this is one of the few things my boys were looking forward to) Slept again and woke up at around 11. Most of the women were already sleepy, Grace was already tipsy, Jenny was asleep on the couch, while the guys were still at it... and the kids? Oh they're all bunched up at the other room, probably playing cards. Gave them enough cash. HAHAHA

The following day was just bumming around some more, tour and yes, shopping. At this time, we knew it was raining hard in Manila but who could've known the extent of that downpour? We had fine weather at Subic the whole time.

The way home would have been a breeze had it not been raining. Then it happened! We were caught up in a terrible traffic jam from San Fernando exit all the way to San Simoun...TWO LONG FREAKING HOURS!!! We managed to stop at Petron (again!) for dinner and it was pouring!!! We left the place at around 10 pm. And guess what? At VAlenzuela, we were met again by traffic. Another two long hours until we could get through. All this time, I was thinking of my bed, thinking I should be sleeping by now, with the steady patter of the rain on the roof, the chilly air, my wife beside me, my children with their own peaceful dream. I suppose that was what was happening in every household.

Then I realized, we were lucky! Hundreds lost their lives in a flash flood in Real, Infanta, and most of the eastern part of Luzon. Typhoon Winnie had lashed out her anger and we were lucky we did not get stranded on the road like the bus that did in Gapan road. Just thinking about it makes me shiver!

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Blogger ting-aling said...

Precious days like the ones you had are hard to come by these days. Did you get a chance to see the Bat Kingdom? Buhay pa ang Subic Yacht Club? We were there I think 3 years ago.

'didn't realize bumabagyo pa rin diyan..

Talagang nakaka-asar na ang ating mga expressways ano Tito Rolly? May bagyo man o wala, traffic pa rin. Maalala ko noong bata ako, we can travel to Manila in 6 hours. Ngayon, 10 hours na dala ng traffic sa Pangasinan, San Fernando Pampanga, tapos sa Valenzuela nga. Noong huling uwi ko, grabe na rin ang EDSA.

1:06 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

tingaling Yes, good times are hard to come by these days since the kids are growing up and starting to have their own interests. Buti na lang at barkada na rin nila ang mga anak ng mga barkada naming mag-asawa. Kaya lang medyo bata pa karamihan sa mga anak ng barkada namin. Like si Kraiganne, masyadon ng matanda for them, masyado namang bata para sa grupo namin. Minsan ayaw na nyang sumama sa mga lakad namin. Hay buhay!!

3:53 AM  
Blogger Ate Sienna said...

I've been reading about the news of the typhoon since I've heard about it. Nakakapanlumo. I've read somewhere that had not our forest been denuded the landslides wouldn't be happening.

But isn't this the same thing that happened in Ormoc a few years ago? Sabi din nila that tragedy was also because of the deforestation. Pero it seems like the gov't hasn't learned a bit from it. We're still allowing illegal to kill all our trees. All because of the selfish motives of some.

Tsk, tsk, tsk...

10:06 AM  
Blogger pepsi said...

hi sir. monkey bridges are scary if you're heavy, coz you're in danger of making the lines snap. lol.

i love monkey bridges. :P

speaking of subic, you were with us earlier this year in the father and son, right?

10:23 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Ate Sienna Nakapanlulumo is an understatement. Nakakabwisit is more like it. After having 8000 people lose their lives out of illegal logging, one is suppose to think we've learned our lesson. But no, corruption still prevails and the greedy, stupid people getting rich out of this irresponsible enterprise are going scot free.

Pepsi I don't think we were able to go to the Father and Son camp last year. i was busy with something much to the disappointment of my youngest son. But we've been on a Father and Son Camp at Subic several years back. This was the time when the Americans just left the base and the installation wasn't opened to the public yet.

10:42 AM  
Blogger bayibhyap said...

You should try fishing at Subic. Lapu lapu is plenty there. The view from the Peak (hotel in the vicinity) is excellent, especially at night. The Yacht Club is another good destination. Did you go shopping at the duty-free shops?

There are some excellent eateries at Olongapo too, not to mention San Fernando.

2:31 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Bayi Now that you mentioned fishing, I realized i haven't done that in Subic. i have been there a couple of times, when the Americans were here and just after they left. My feeling is that it's kind of deteriorating. YEs, the facilities are still there but somehow the luster is fading away. I think...

Yes, gone shopping but left that to the wife. First of all, she has the cash, second of all, i don't have the patience or the stamina for that.

6:20 PM  
Blogger JMom said...

It is so great when you have friends that you can spend time with, and share vacations. My barkada is now spread all over the US and PI. You are lucky indeed.

I have been following the damage from the hurricanes too, in the news and in blogs. I hope people start thinking about their futures and the environment before they go for the next fast buck. I feel great sadness for the people who suffered, I bet the people who are responsible for deforesting the mountains are not even affected.

11:38 PM  
Blogger Dr. Emer said...

I'm glad you finally had a much-deserved vacation with family and friends, Tito Rolly, ruined only by the long traffic wait on the way home. It seems parte na ng buhay natin dito sa manila yang traffic. Let me guess, wala na ding traffic aide or police to help loosen up that problem, right? There's always no policeman when you need one.

1:29 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

JMom Yes, were lucky indeed. there are several good things when you travel in a group. Everything is shared. From food to the taking care of children.

Yes, right now, I think heads should be rolling as to who to blame for the mess but as usual, we know the core of the problem but I have yet to hear a single name to be blamed..

Doc Emer Wala talagang police sa highway eversince. Buti pa sa Southexpress meron...kaya lang nawawala rin pag sobra nang higpit ang traffic. :-)

5:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi tito rolly, ocean adventure lang napuntahan ko sa subic. kulang din kasi kami sa time.

on the typhoon that swept hundreds of families homeless and even worse, a number have died as a result - i agree with you, we are all very lucky. i thank God we are all spared from the wrath of the storm.

9:37 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Mari Yah, dapat dun din ang unang punta namin kaya lang napaka aga pa nga ng dumating kami don. Saka ang gusto ng mga anak ko, jetski at paragliding. Pumayag naman ako...

na manood sila. Ang mahal kaya... e apat sila, Siyempre dapat walang lamangan no.

Oo nga, swerte pa pala ko nung lagay na yun. hay buhay.

1:30 PM  
Blogger bayibhyap said...

I was driving from Olongapo to San Fernando one Sunday to patronise a restaurant where I had heard wonderful stories about the cook. I lost my way and ended up in a small town with flood waters threatening to turn my Toyota into a boat! Yes, it was around November then but I have forgotten which year it was. What an adventure! :)

4:23 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Bayi It could've been worse. If it had been lahar, then that would have been a real problem.

12:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, Its great that you had a blast with your family. I remember the times I went to Subic with my Family, we too had a great time. Although our intenerary was not quite as long as yours.
As for the typhoon . . .
I thought of two day class supension due to the Typhoon Yoyong as a nice break from school, a chance for me to work on my physics project proposal, time for me to organize my christmas list and balance my allowance and my expenses, lounging around,eating cookies, snuggling up with a pillow reading a good book, you know the usual. At first it was that way, then I saw on the news what was really happening outside the safe walls of my home. I was enjoying this little "break" but at what expense? The suffering of others? I can't even begin to imagine how difficult it is to wake up one morning and realize that you have leave your home and the little that you have which you worked so hard to earn, how difficult to brave the strong rain and winds with nothing but the shirt on your back, to have no choice but to live in a cramp evacuation center sleeping on the cold floor, not having any decent food to eat. How excruciatungly painful is it to see the very little that you have get washed away in the flood. I don't think I could bear having everything in my life suddenly taken away from me, to literally be stripped of everything. The worst would probably be to be separated from your loved ones or to see your loved ones get burried alive. Even if I went to a million outreach programs, I would never be able to know what its REALLY like. When I think about how incredibly selfish I am, how I only see how it affects me, I even complain about tiny everyday trivial things when in reality its nothing compared to so many unfortunate individuals, it really makes me feel like shit. Somehow I got caught up with everyday hassles and forgot how incredibly blessed I really am.

1:31 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Samantha We always have a good time everytime we go to Subic. And always, we are pissed off by the traffic situation on the way back.

Anyway, I'm glad that you are aware of the situation re the flooding. My generation and the generation before mine have failed in keeping and maintaining the ecosystem and the forest we so badly need. You guys are the next leaders of this land. Make sure you don't repeat what we have done.

1:18 PM  
Blogger sophie's fair said...

hi there, this is sophie from http://bradstreetgirl.blogspot.com, i came across your blog and thought of emailing u but i dont believe u posted your email addy (if i didnt just overlook it). anyhoo, i'm glad that u had a fabulous vacation but am saddened by many lost lives. i pray that God would give each person who has lost a loved one/possession the strength to carry on. my heart goes out to them.

4:04 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Sophie Hello, welcome to my blog. Yes, it's quite sad but that's how life is. C'est la vie. You can email me at rollydelossantos@gmail.com. Thanks for the visit and commenting.

4:54 PM  
Blogger BatJay said...

AYOS sir. reading this entry talagang masarap ang bakasyon nyo sa subic. buti ginawa ninyo yon dahil bugbog ka sa trabaho at sa pagpunta't parito sa school. you really need the break. iba rin talaga pag complete family outing with your close friends - i know how helpful to the soul those get togethers can be.

may fear ka pala sa heights. there are a couple of places i could take you. hehehe... the latest place we visited that's good for you is the sky tower in auckland where the elevators have glass floors so you can see the ground below while going up the highest structure in the southern hemisphere. hehehe.

12:13 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Batjay Oo nga, it was a truly welcome respite from work.

Hmmm, sige dalhin mo ko sa Auckland. Basta ikaw ba sagot sa pamasahe e. heehe Ako na magdadala ng supot para mag-blow man ako, di madumi.

12:42 AM  
Blogger Sassy Lawyer said...

A few years ago, I was in Baguio for a corporate planning seminar. Sumunod ang husband ko and kids but stayed at another hotel. Instead of taking the shuttle pabalik sa Manila, I joined my family. Pag uwi namin, na-stuck kami sa Tarlac. We couldn't understand why traffic wasn't moving since there was only a slight drizzle. We arrived at Tarlac at 4.00 p.m., nakalabas kami at 10.00. We didn't know that it rained hours earlier, flooding the streets. Talagang di gumagalaw ang mga sasakyan. Buti na lang, we had food in the car. At buti na lang din, no one needed to go to the bathroom. At 10.30 p.m. we reached Tarlac City. From there, ok na.

If you think two hours was long... hay, naku....

8:39 PM  
Blogger bayibhyap said...

As I recall, it was Richard Gordon who took over the administration of Subic when the Americans left. He started a volunteerism project where the local residents donated some of their time on the upkeep of the place. In return, they were given a certificate and a preference whenever there were jobs available in the free trade zone. The place started fading away after he left. I think there was a Nike factory there at one time but it closed too. Clark Airbase was developed later and provided some competition to Subic.

But sitting along the pier with a fishing rod on a lazy afternoon and with a good book and a drink was my idea of pleasure (and I don't even fish!). I paid about 50 pesos (yes, there was a charge) for the privilege.

Your post has brought back some memories of good old times there. Thanks for this unexpected trip down memory lane.

8:58 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Sassy You were stuck for 6 hours in Tarlac? Ang hirap non! Buti na nga lang walang nangailangan ng bathroom. Hassle yun. Anyway, have you noticed that when you go up north these days, there are pockets of traffic areas you have to encounter? Especially during summer. Bwisit lumabas ng Maynila.

Bayi Yes, you're right. Dick Gordon was the one who had all those bright ideas for Subic and I believe he did a good job. Yes, I believe ou have to pay for fishing privileges, and you have to return the fish if it did not meet a certain length.

I'm sure you know that Gordon now heads the Department of Tourism... or maybe you know even better if he doesn't belong to that agency anymore.

4:10 AM  
Blogger bayibhyap said...

I have met Dick Gordon before. Yes, I know he heads the Tourism portforlio. And I believe he is preparing for a possible attempt as a President or V-President candidate in the next Presidential elections. He is an approachable man. And his family has been representing the Olongapo area for some time now.

10:27 AM  
Blogger Jules said...

good thing you came home safe and sound. good thing the road to manila was not flooded unlike the ones in quezon and aurora. when will these tragedies stop only God knows. ***sigh

11:57 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Bayi It's nice when you're told you are right once in a while. Thanks. hehe

Julsitos It will stop if and when we ever learn our lesson. Seems like its a long time coming. :-(

3:53 AM  
Blogger ajay said...

Tito..Legenda is nice, in fact I think it's the best hotel in Subic? I still have to try Zoobic, the go-kart and your adventurous jump over the bridge. TRaffic going back can be a real dampener sometimes..regards

4:18 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Ajay What do you mean sometimes? The traffic situation is always a dampener for me. That is the only reason why i hate long trips!

4:35 AM  
Blogger watson said...

Hello Tito Rolly! We had a company outing in Subic way back when. Antagal na! But we also saw monkeys and we were given a quick lecture on jungle survival. And then we visited places where tanks and ammunitions were kept.

It's a surprise to know though that the weather was fine in Subic. I heard the storm covered much of the Philippines! Exaggerated news ata yung narinig ko.

7:29 PM  

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