Sunday, June 10


Balay Champaca, Lazi Convent (Siquijor), Dumaguete-bound Fastcraft
 Grand Regal Hotel (Davao), Philline's (Cagayan de Oro),La Gracia (Bukidnon)
 Kule office, Ormoc-bound bus, Dumaguete-bound bus
 Los Ba├▒os, Manila-bound Super Ferry, Hotel Henrico (Baguio)

Tuesday, June 5


The parking lot is now paved, I told him. It was raining in Sison. We were in Baguio over the weekend, and the Pangasinan town was the first stop on the trip back to Manila. He nodded. The last time we were there, the summer of 2009, we were on our way to Pagudpud. There are things that have obviously changed over the years.

Sison will always be special to me. You see a story of mine has a scene set in that exact roadside restaurant. Romantic exaggerations aside, I had long imagined returning to the place to find Carolina and Reynaldo still there, sipping instant noodles and getting to know each other. I have reread and revised that story a thousand times. To me, it is reality.

There is something happy-sad about rest stops. In another recent trip, after the bus had slowed down in a small roadside lot in Gumaca, Quezon, I joked to the same person, wouldn't it be nice to do your thesis in a place like Gumaca? There had been three more stops in that trip, but 30 hours on a bus is not good for the brain; my mind, after the first 12 hours, had shut off protectively, and I no longer remember the rest.

I have been on the road (or water or air) for around three-quarters of May. In a restaurant near Burnham Park, a lady took our orders then asked the counter, "Naa pang bibingka?" Uttered in Ilocano country, the shouted Visayan sentence absolutely dazzled me. And so apart from a realization about the deplorable state of transportation infrastructure in the country, I also learned, maybe even embraced, for possible dalliance in the future, a thing or two about beautiful transience.