There is no summer without the beach!
This year, as part of our 23rd wedding anniversary and birthday celebration of my wife, we all went up north to a town called Bangui, some thirty minutes away from Pagudpud. It is where the clouds and the sea meet, where the winds break ceaselessly for hours making waves upon waves rush to shore to get some sand perhaps to transform it into salt and the night as silent as can be where one can hear an ant sigh if one really tried very hard. But not during those four days and three nights we have been around. We played and partied all night long that had we been doing these in Manila, the neighbors would have been throwing stones at our roof already.
We left at 10:00 pm and arrived there at 6 am ever thankful that the Yamaha guitar which I had to buy for Uncle Faer was still scratchless as the day I bought it for him. Surprisingly, it was not an uncomfortable ten-hour trip that I dreaded would happen as I am not fond of very long trips.
The stop overs were just right when I needed them and besides, the bus had its own toilet (just to pee, thank you). There was enough leg room and the chairs were comfortable enough. We saw Uncle Peping who hurriedly met us as we alighted from the bus. He is an 87 year old farmer who commands his carabao in english, much to the delight of the kids.
We were immediately treated to a festive breakfast at Doc Rolly's house hosted by his lovely wife, Mimi, while at the other house, Uncle Faer's alalays were already preparing for lunch. Uncle Faer is the youngest of the brood in my mother-in-law's family. He is a retired navy who retired at the age of 44 and worked for the US Post Office where he also retired. He is a no nonsense guy who knows what he wants and has to have it at all costs. He just lost his wife this year which prompted his family to come over and bury her remains here as she wished. As the children are now working, they have all returned to the States while their dad chose to remain here being attended to by a number of alalays who cook, clean and run errands for him.
After lunch, the kids took off for the windmills, the latest addition to the town's otherwise plain topography. I failed to go with them as I was having a chat with our very gracious host, playing for him some kundimans that I can still play with my guitar. Bringing my guitar pieces was a good move after all, in spite of the bulk.
The following day, we rented a mini bus to take us farther north near the border of Cagayan. We crossed the Patapat bridge and went to Agua Grande just for some photo ops as the kids were not interested in swimming there. Then we headed off to Saud Beach Resort where the kids opted to stay overnight.
The following day, we just bummed around playing poker. The boys opted to go out with their cousin EJ to experience whatever is happening at the town as they celebrated the town's fiesta. We had a wonderful time!