“Now what was tiring had disappeared and only the beauty remained“, says one line from the book I am currently reading and I couldn’t agree more. When we recall something, there’s a tendency that it’s better than what actually happened because we are more fond of remembering the good parts. Quoting again from the same book, “In the sunset of dissolution, everything is illuminated by the aura of nostalgia, even the guillotine.”
This is about our spontaneous (spontaneous as in, “Let’s go? Let’s Go!”. In Tagalog, “tara? tara!”) trip to Los Banos on Valentines Day. It was fun but it wasn’t all fun.
I called a friend who studied in UP and asked him how long it would take us to reach the place (I’ve been there before but remembering the travel time is too much for me, I just sleep on the bus). 90 minutes. 2 hours tops. He said. Lo and behold we arrived after four hours, starving and cold.
Naturally our first stop was the recommended restaurant by my friend, Bonitos, near the THIRD AND NOT THE SECOND 711 you see upon riding the Jeepney.
The place was full because yeah, it’s Valentines Day and of course the waitress sadly informed us that they were accepting only those with reservations and obviously, we didn’t have one. Maybe it was the sad puppy looks on our eyes though that pulled a string in her heart because after some persuasion, she gave us a table!
When we saw the menu, we had second thoughts because the prices were kinda steep but we were too tired, hungry and cold to look for another place. According to a waiter, their serving is good for 2 to 3 persons, sometimes even 3 to 4. After he left, we looked at each other and said sarcastically telepathically “Yeah right” with knowing smirks on our faces. Who was he kidding? 95% of the time when the menu says it’s good for 2 to 3, it actually isn’t enough to even feed one (maybe that’s the gluttonous part of me talking but my companions shared the sentiment).
In the end we ordered ribs, calamari and ravioli lasagna (then Emman texted I should try Rosemary chicken! too late). THANK GOD WE WERE WRONG. THIS IS THE 5%. The servings were huge so the prices were in fact, affordable. The ribs tasted like lamb according to Dianne and then she went on making her “omo” sounds meaning it was delicious. The calamari was okay but the large serving made it extra special. The ravioli lasagna was great though I have a problem with the pasta not being al dente. It was overcooked, I think, bordering on gross but the sauce compensated for it big time. Do you know what the best part was? Rice was only 15 pesos (I know it’s expensive compared with IRRI’s but still).
For me, it is not advisable to eat at Bonitos when there’s only two of you even if the place’s market are lovers because ordering only one dish feels like something is missing while ordering two is too much you won’t be able to finish them. Better go there with a group of friends. Unless they have combo meals. In which case I have all the more reason to go back aside from the rosemary chicken, the desserts and the subzero beer. I will go back to elbi for Bonitos alone (even if we saw not one but two strands of hair in the lasagna after finishing more than three quarters, we’re not a choosy bunch).
When we arrived at the UP Feb fair, it was past 10 pm and most booths were already closed. Good thing this one booth where you pay 10 pesos to guess correctly as much Manga/Anime as you can in one minute was open to entertain our Otaku friends. If you get 15 answers correctly, you win 50 pesos. Dai got two, Maiki got three and it bruised their egos. Now bebe wants to read even more Manga.
The only thing left to do was watch the bands perform. Compared with other fairs, the bands were relatively unknown with Mayonnaise being the main attraction. Honestly speaking, we got bored at some point but I remember laughing, singing along to what little lyrics I know, fishing (as in looking for cute guys on stage HAHA) and being introduced to Franco’s Better Days and Urbandub’s Soul Searching (I know, shame on me). Sometimes it’s not so much about the who but your attitude.
After the fair we had a tiny problem. We didn’t have a place to spend the night (or morning) and according to someone, there’s no bus bound to Manila till 5 AM. It was only 3. So we roamed around College searching for a place to eat or drink or sleep or any combination. Nada. So we spent the wee hours eating rice porridge and tokwa’t baboy.
Mel wanted to tour around UP Los Banos and since there was no one else, she settled for me as a tour guide. After which, I managed to confuse them by interchanging the names of buildings and bridges as well as tire everyone out by taking the long routes. Before exhausting ourselves further by going to the upper campus (I wasn’t even sure where it was we were going in circles but I couldn’t let my guard down. Mehehe), we gave up and decided to head back to Manila.
In the morning the four of us were at the end of our wits. With no sleep, tired feet and an almost painful longing for our beds, I still managed to worsen the situation by making us walk very faaaaaaaaar when we could’ve ridden a Jeepney (misunderstanding, okay?). There was tension in the air, “Alam mo ba talaga?“, “Eh di sana..” and the like.
The moment we rode the bus with our semi-pissed-off-more-like-tired faces, we settled on our seats without saying a word. While waiting for the conductor to hand me our tickets, I thought to myself: I am never doing this again especially with people who get irritated when they lack sleep because we’re like time bombs which could go off any second.
In Manila we parted ways saying half-hearted goodbyes.
Now that we have gotten our good
night’s morning’s sleep, forget the I-am-never-doing-this-again part. I am TOTALLY doing this again with the same people because they’re awesome. Special shout out to Mel who came all the way from Olonggapo! One of the most memorable Valentines ever.
Again with the quote, “Now what was tiring had disappeared and only the beauty remained“. And it WILL remain. Thank you Dai, Maiki and Mel! :]