Driver turned the car key on; ignition started, pedaled onto the gas and hit the accelerator. We glanced back at the line of stores selling home made delicacies and homemade cleaning supplies; it was our last stop for eating, the next stop would be the occasional toilet stop.
We drove silently as my GF browse on her mobile phone. The sun started setting on the west with its last rays of the day magnificently spread across fields of flower. The lake along the road still basked in the sun and flashed back light wildly. She put her phone down as we accelerated up the hilly road. The hamper where we put chandelier and portable gas cylinder rocked against each other producing a clank.
“We forgot to buckle it up, I’ll get it.” She said kneeling on an upholstered seat and reached for the hamper. It took a while for her to transfer the hamper to car floor wedging the gap between seats, however I wanted her reaching for it forever as I enjoyed watching her and she caught me. The bumper crashed the hillside parapet knocking off rocks and rolled to the lake. She dove toward me while the driver quickly maneuvered the steering wheel backing away from the parapet. She found herself between me and the back seat and look into my eyes, mesmerized by the intensity of fire building up on me. This is the second time we got this close from the time we met. We heard rocks splashing onto the lake.
Tidying herself back to seat; she inhaled deeply and exhale was my only response. She thought I was extinguishing the fire that was building on me. “The fields take my breath away from this point; and the lake is sparkling; the air is filled with aromatic blossoms. This calls for a celebration.” She said reaching again for the food and Pepsi in can we bought from Lugaw stop. She knelt on her seat, head buried onto the back seats obviously flaunting her glutes. She handed me a sparkling flavored water and siopao from 7-11. We toast with an awkward clink and clank of metal against the glass. “Cheers for the breathtaking view of ” she said marveling the vast flower fields which was more beautiful even the sun set in.
We travel through the night and reached another stop after long hours of curling in a cramped space. The Eatery being one of the official stop for all travelers is famous for its lutong bahay. We decided to eat Bangus paksiw and beef stew with rice and gulped down Pepsi so we stay awake. The lady in full red lipstick served us and greet the driver and we took notice of the special attention she is giving to the driver and we heard them saying casual sweet nothings to each other; the driver’s mother interrupted “Why are you wearing lipstick in the middle of the night.” “This is to cover my pale face and I also wear concealer for my eyebags , you don’t like to be served by boring and zombie like waitress in the middle of the night, do you.?” She snapped back knowing that the mother she didn’t know only wanted to shed light on the hocus pocus going on entertaining drivers and travelers after midnight. The other passenger sensing the tension commented on the wall with all the pictures of celebrities who dropped by their eatery with scribbled messages on it and we read through boring messages (like someone was here) just to cut the tension and divert their attention, the waitress joined in and jovially told us of her encounter with famous celebs. She’s in every picture so she can’t miss to regale us with such enthusiasm in the middle of the night. She told us of the famous Pantabangan bridge and we decided to also check it out few kilometers drive away.
Seventh Wonder City
The cobblestone streets withstood thousand years of past warriors’s trampling feet as they fought defending and claiming victor for the sovereign. Human posed grave threats of destruction to their own creation that was once a great structure only human industry can build and catapulted him above all other living.
Vast and rich territories which was the cradle of human civilization, ethereal palaces and temples which mankind held as tangible evidence of his capacities and secured him place on a pedestal as a superb being. Man, unlike the divine has its limits existing with strengths and weaknesses. Rising into glory was never eternal and would later fall into dust of rubbles. Ruins of the past served as a mirror to the undeniable human error. Colossal rubbles surreally pictured human foundation to be weak. Massive stone structures and sometimes enduring metals depicting man’s heroism or triumph against the unspeakable odds. However, to the eye of the divine, it was an over rated perception about man that hindered him of accepting his fault and the divine rather saw it as a man’s monumental structure of his defeat, despair and his inevitable downfall.
Countless tragedies held men liable which the divine judged human to naturally err but more threatening is beyond man’s control. Elements could be monster curses if not a blessing sweeping structures and mankind without distinction.However, this ancient 7th wonder city of Vigan in The Philippines survived Forces of Nature.
Let’s take a break from heavy drama and while we’re switching gear, you can enjoy my picture along Calle Crisologo.
Apologies for the quick tour…..I’m in a hurry for the fun part…….Let’s get to it, shall we?
Come nightfall, it’s another story.
We strolled the wet cobblestone street reflecting the colored flood of lights dancing in sync to the orchestra playing on the stage of the plaza. There were dancing fountains too……
The celebration on the other side of the road was so contagious as if the joy and laughter carried by the air to our spot unmistakably put us in the mood for merrymaking.
To this point we’re done strolling the small patch of an ancient city and that they decided to venture out the rest of the city but I decided to head back to the hotel. So, what follows were the accounts I gathered from them the next morning.
They passed a pub with dizzying neon lights of pink, green, and yellow that they could hardly made out those words because it blinked in sync with the dancing neon lighted nude girl’s signage ( it doesn’t need a genius to know what’s the place for it’s a universal language for fun house ) Curiously, they stopped as the whole signage froze momentarily but still no clue of what it says. A group of men approached heading their way to the pub.
“ Guys, these belly dancers worth the trip” they overheard one saying.
”Better be good than where we supposed to go.”
“Are we even sure we’re in the right place?”
Everyone laughed horribly to the point of vomiting. They’re giving off pungent smell of liquor strong enough as air wafted through my friends. The horrible laugh continued that somehow passed the thick wooden door that women inside got the message and opened it wide for the guests. The laughing ceased at the sight of a belly dancer in her colorful flowing silk skirt studded with faux jewel. The hooting among men were drown by the equally noisy inside of the pub as the beautiful woman undo her shawl holding it up high with her right hand exposing the brassiere clad top and the navel pierced belly. She snapped her fingers seductively and the other girls came out from behind the veil and joined the arguably the most beautiful woman who first to appear.
My youngest friend, barely 15 but could passed as 18 was so convinced they were about to watch a Musical. Aladdin maybe. LOL.
“Welcome To Belly Dancers Club” girls announced in flirty unison.
“ I told you guys, here we can find jewels.”
“ I’ll have my sparkling diamonds then” Said the other referring to a girl wearing a faux diamond ring attached to another faux diamond studded bracelet by a chain. He gestured toward the girl as she raised her bejeweled hand for him to kiss and my friend obviously coveted more than a kiss.
“Are those real diamonds?” Asked our virgin friend and the group broke out into laughing hilariously.
“ I found the treasure but not entirely” Said the other looking dead to the woman’s face lurking beneath a veil; he’ s mesmerized by the fiery look on her uncovered eyes.
“What? You still doubt we’re in the right place?”
“I wore the same bewilderment back then. Perhaps we can unveil the mystery Miss?” Said my friend as if he hadn’t seen a face before and he motioned ready to undo the mask. The most beautiful woman as she was widely known was quick to bar the intruder of the coveted treasure.
“Nah, mystery is not up for grabs.” She said backing off and wiggled her finger that further prohibits the insisting friend.
“Well, enlighten us then by undoing the mask of mysticism”
“If she’ll open up you’ll crave for more” Said the approaching matron. “Better be left obscure and stay unknown, I regretted it coming out abandoning my veil and brightened up those cold nights of men, clearing them of cloudy thoughts, it was satisfying at first but worked only for a while. Look what happened, no mystery was left to explore that you now totally ignore me. See the magic of it now? Besides she’s strictly a showgirl only. Now boys go inside with me or at least pretend I’m an indecipherable hieroglyphs that those archaeologists trying to break. With that thought, it made me feel like a mind boggling puzzle men sought to understand, cause they find beauty in things incomprehensible, dedicating a lifetime to solve. Make me feel more beautiful.” She said tugging the other by the lapel.
“Certainly, boys help me rescue this beautiful relic, she will surely brighten our path.”
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