Erenas here I come! I’ve always wanted to travel to my hometown. One sufficient reason is nostalgia and the other just a sheer urge to free myself from immobility. It has been 6 years since I last visited the place where I spent most of my youthful days. A place and time packed with wonderful and unforgettable events, and punctuated with memories of places and faces in this barrio. It was my friend’s (Albert) insistence that made me decide to come home. This was the third time in a row for his bid for me to attend the annual fiesta celebrations. I obliged. Looking back at this place before and comparing to what I saw today, there were some things that has change indeed, except for this one thing, the old house where me and my family used to live. It was built in 1965 right at the center of the neighborhood, and is still standing for more than 40 years now. See pic below.
I lived here in this old house until early 80’s
What is so amazing about vacationing in Erenas is that it has provided me shelter or a form of relief from a very demanding and busy life in Manila (800 kilometers North). And so I figured, this is going to be the great escape. It wasn’t. At least not as much as I thought it would be. My clients still gets me tailed. Away from Manila’s cosmopolitan scene and yet this place has all the bearing of urban technology accessible on the fly. Cable TV network is available and mobile phones are a familiar sight. It’s like saying “If you don’t have it, you don’t have a life at all”. It’s a natural thing. Young and old folks alike enjoys every bit of new technologies.
Manila to Matnog (tip of Luzon) = 13 hours via land; 2 hours via air
Distance = 800 kilometers
Matnog to Allen = 1.5 hours via Ferry boat
Air = PAL, Cebu Pacific via Catarman or Calbayog
Fare = P1400-P3000
Land = Silver Star, Philtranco
Fare = P600 -P1200
One just need to have a laptop and a usb gadget for wireless Internet connections and, voila!, you’re in touch with the cyberworld in seconds. Some 2 years ago you don’t have this kind of convenience in this part of the world. Good thing I brought along my 10″ screen ASUS Eee PC 1000H mini laptop. I can easily send to Flickr.com all the pics I shoot on every piece of landscape and people I meet. (My Flickr Photo Stream is at the right side bar, Click thumbnails to browse more pics.)
Beautiful orchid on the road
I passed by this well on the way to the cemetery when I visited both of my grandparents tomb. The water is so crystal clear and the place tranquil, you can only hear the birds tweeting, and the humming buzz of the honeybees.
The Well of Tranquility
The only dreadful thing is, we can’t get to really explore the beach and swim because of the bad weather condition. It was said, that during fiesta, it’s pretty much a default scenario of sort to see the rains coming. It usually happens on first quarter of every year. So together with Hazel, my niece and her husband Gilfred, we then went to Karawisan and content ourselves strolling by the shore. We had fun scouring the area for the local “pangti-on” (sea shells, oysters, etc.)
Low tide at Karawisan towards the cemetery
Another thing also that’s really pissed me off other than the weather is the rough road going to Calbayog City, about 80km south. Maharlika Highway as it was called wasn’t that impressive anymore. This national road had been damaged and the concrete pavement either had been washed away or completely ruined by continued use of buses and trucks traveling along this route from Manila down to the south as far as Mindanao. I didn’t see any maintenance operation on the road and noticed this when I went to Calbayog to visit my uncle and my high school friends there. People’s need for mobility has to be addressed. The local officials has not acted on this and it seems no aid is underway from the national government.
My mind tells me to stay some more days but some guys and the work load are waiting in Manila. I was booked on a PAL flight from Catarman (80km North of Erenas) to Manila. We touched down and arrived in Pasay and see for the first time the newly opened NAIA Terminal 3.
About to touch down at NAIA Terminal 3