Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Pierre and Apol's Amazing Race: Zambales Leg

"Tiring," is really the first thing we say to friends and neighbors who ask us about our trip, one of the reasons being that, in my excitement to see friends, I ended up dragging Pierre almost everywhere.

With my two nieces in tow, we took the Victory Liner bus running from Cubao to San Antonio, Zambales. Before the driver took off, we bought dozens of boiled quail eggs from a fortyish woman with an infectious grin and who wanted to know: Did Pierre have any brothers, because she was looking to go out on dates, preferably with a handsome foreigner. The man selling cold drinks from a red pail squawked, not cruelly, "Nakupo, kahit ako, tatanggihan kita ano!" ("Ohmygosh, even I would say no to you!") Everybody laughed, loudest of all being the woman on the hunt.

After the excitement had died down and the quail eggs had been demolished, we all sat back to enjoy the passing scenery.
Destination: The home of artists Plet Bolipata and Elmer Borlongan, who like me had also quit Mandaluyong (we were neighbors, sort of) and moved to the country. They had made themselves a blue-colored home, built in classic Plet style, which is to say eclectic and vibrant and just on the edge of crazy.
Pierre tripped out at Plet being the oldest yet the most petite:
(Plet, 40+, Drea, 11, Erika, 17, and me, 30+)

The most wonderful hosts in the world took us to the beaches.

At San Miguel, they told us we couldn't swim, because the spirits guarding the place--one of them a mermaid who made regular appearances in human form in and around the village--drowned strangers who dared swim its waters. Walking on the beach, Pierre attracted a horde of kids, who rarely saw Westerners. We headed home at sunset before the mermaid could come check out what all the fuss was about.

At another beach, one whose spirit guardians were presumably more tolerant of visitors, the girls learned to surf.
(That's Erika on the left and Drea on the right.
They both managed to stand up on their boards on just the second try!)

I was so scared of the mermaid riding a jeepney over to play on us her evil tricks that I played lifeguard and watched my nieces the entire afternoon.

Pierre had been missing Filipino-style barbecue for years, so every sundown he'd walk over to one of the village's two street vendors and buy sticks of pork barbecue, pork ears, and isaw (pig's intestines). We mostly left the isaw for Emong and Pierre. At one point I sniffed the wrinkly innards, detected a faint odor of feces, and warned Emong. He told me, "That is what it's supposed to smell like!"

On the way home, suddenly Pierre began being typically French and complaining. He didn't like riding buses, he whined, his butt was beginning to ache. I silenced him with a curt "Not as much as hers." Then I pointed out the window:


Soy said...

I would love to be in her seat, even if it would certainly hurt my bum, just so I could eat those barbecued innards! :)

The Disparate Housewife said...

I was in my car with Peanut, on the way to drop by Apartment 1B to say hi to you during that lunch, then Peanut had to feed, we went to my mom's house, and ayon, di na kami nakaalis. I'm so sorry I missed you during your visit! :(

Yung nakakainis nga, after you'd left, my milk came in and I'm now okay to sneak off for a few hours...

Anyway, I loove that photo of you watching over the girls, dalagang-dalaga ; )

La Pomme said...

I did discover that I like the pig ears, SOY. Makunat-kunat siya :)

Hey, IANNE, yes, sayang :( I was also waiting for you during the merienda at Jack's. I should have just gone to see you, ano?

ipsy said...

kumakain ang asawa mo ng isaw?????

La Pomme said...

Yeah sure, Itsy. Why the multiple question marks????? :)

haze said...

Terribly missing isaw ! I can't imagine you can do this Apol ! Tingin ko talaga sa yo Conyo ka !

La Pomme said...

Hahaha, HAZE! I used to eat chicken isaw and fishballs and all that stuff in university; I ended up with hepatitis. So I am not even going to try pork isaw! Dedma na kung mukha akong konyo.

undomesticgodess said...

bonjour! just dropped by to say that i knew about ur blog in cosmopolitan and realizing u have a french husband i checked out ur was so nice to read ur blogs,i can relate to some attitudes of the french people.i have a french bf and he's also a typical french who complains but he doesnt want to eat yet our street foods so im happy for ur husband!=) anyway, i mentioned to him that i read ur blogs and he asked how long it took for u to get married...if u have to wait for some months to arrange the papers?hope u could help.salamat!=) bonne journee!

La Pomme said...

Hi, UNDOMESTIC. How long it took for us to get married? Years of thinking about it :) But if you're interested to know about the paperwork involved, it's really best if you go to the prefecture of where you want to hold the ceremony. They'll best be able to help you.