400 kilometers later

(Bolinao: Day 1)

On Thursday, we were informed of our reservation confirmation by a representative of Puerto Del Sol resort in Bolinao. She said over the phone that although the whole Bolinao is still out of power after the place was ravaged by typhoon Emong, they have power up using a power generator. Damn, that call was short of just saying, “Would you like to cancel your reservation for a later time instead, sir?” It was a dilemma, but with the pressing busy schedule at school and thinking that there won’t be any next time because rainy season is just around the corner, come June, my wife and I decided to push through despite the short notice.


May 16, Saturday. Just barely getting sleep after I crammed in finishing an assignment (which I regret having started it late, because I later find it interesting writing my own life book), I woke up with good weather beaconing outside. “It’s still summer, at least…nice sign”, I told myself trying to perk up my still sleepy self. By half past nine, we were on our way to an anticipated long drive.

Needless, to say, we got stuck several times in traffic, thanks (but no thanks) to the government’s infrastructure projects which I can’t help but wonder if there’s really a relationship between the timing of its execution and the coming election. By around noontime, and just having the packed sandwiches for lunch, we entered NLEX. My wife and I switched place, with her taking the wheel at the first Petron gas station in NLEX. She was behind the wheel until SCTEX’s Tarlac exit.

 

Wifey driving like Schumi in a Honda. See the G-force on the bobhead. Hahaha.

Wifey driving like Schumi in a Honda. See the G-force on the bobhead. Hahaha.

 

 

 

Rejoicing at the sight of a WiFi symbol at the first Petron station coming from SCTEX Tarlac exit.

Rejoicing at the sight of a WiFi symbol at the first Petron station coming from SCTEX Tarlac exit.

The perfect model for the Fat-Fat resto.

The perfect model for the Fat-Fat resto.

 

 

That exit, we soon learned, isn’t a good choice. We passed by two-way roads and had to deal with slow moving tricycles, road improvement projects (once again, take note), and reckless drivers. The worse was when we got stuck in Rosales where a newly opened SM mall was jam-packed with cars and people coming in to watch a couple of guest celebrities (whom I’ve never heard of). By around 5pm we were somewhere in Urdaneta, clueless of still how far we had to go. The worst came when we realized that we have a hundred kilometers more to go and that dusk is already setting in.

It was already dark when we passed by Dagupan and Lingayen and the lack of road signs (with me mouthing some remarks that its mayors will love not to hear) forced us to stop every now and then to ask for directions. Good thing most of the locals are quick to help. By around 8am I was navigating the dark, twisting and uphill roads going to Bolinao proper. Sooner, we saw what the resort personel was talking about.

Bolinao was indeed damaged. Like one bad nightmare, we saw what our car’s headlight can illuminate over the almost complete darkness. The electrical concrete poles are toppled; some are still leaning dangerously with only its electrical wires holding it from completely falling on the road. Large trees were uprooted; twigs, trunks and leaves littered on the middle of the road (and the need to weave in and out of these obstacles making the driving like one rally car race). And on the roadside are people trying to kill time outside of their houses probably since their favorite telenovelas and other TV programs aren’t available. I just can imagine what else we’d see had it been daytime. It may indeed take a long while before they can get this town back to normal.

400 kilometers and a mouthful of questions later, we finally arrived at Puerto Del Sol so glad that we got there safe and sound despite the unsafe road conditions. We checked in just a couple more minutes before ten with the three of us feeling like astronauts enclosed in a small space capsule for almost 12 hours; yet of course I with me feeling lucky and thankful, and partly guilty that while we’re about to spend a good night sleep in an air-conditioned room, the rest of the people around Bolinao are suffering from the lack of power supply, and worse may not even have homes to spend another night since the destructive typhoon.

Tomorrow, we’ll know how badly the beach resort is affected.

***

The last time my wife drove was already more than a year ago (it was also during a vacation), but thanks to the good road of the expressway plus the fact that it is a Traffic Discipline Zone or TDZ (why can’t we have a TDZ anywhere?), she just stayed confidently most of the time on the slow lane while trying to keep up the 80-100 kph speed limit.

Of course, most of the time I was a backseat driver (with our baby boy wondering why mommy’s driving the car.hahaha), or more like a coach because as much as I’d like to believe that in this expressway most drivers follow the rules, there are just some who seem to have utter disregard of their’s and other’s safety – these are drivers who would change lanes without signaling their intent, and overtake as if under the influence of drugs (or most likely, they are?). Some people just belong behind bars rather than behind the wheel, huh?

 

Next: Day 2

 

Mood: 5/10 Honks!

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