My wife, Josie, spent several of her teenage years living at an aunt’s house in the municipality of Lemery. It’s a few kilometers from the downtown area.
The elevation in Batangas is a lot higher than here in Olongapo City, most of which is at sea level. It was just as hot and humid there as it was here. It’s surprising because it isn’t far from Tagaytay, which is a lot cooler. May 31 was the 10th anniversary of my last trip to Batangas. I don’t remember it being as miserable. I couldn’t stop perspiring and the aunt’s house doesn’t have good air circulation. Of course, I was hung over from the night before (the early morning of the same day), which couldn’t have helped matters.
We were supposed to go there for the annual fiesta. Like the same day in 2006, the only thing I saw was a marching band parading past the house.
The real reason for the trip was so Josie could see a couple of her high school friends, which she hadn’t seen for more than three decades. Visiting with her cousins was a given.
Speaking of cousins, I drank with Hector and Henry the night we arrived. The youngest brother didn’t show up until yesterday. I don’t know how to spell his name, but it’s pronounced Hervy (could be Herbie, but I don’t care to ask). Henry, the oldest brother, bought the drinks. He’s an OFW (overseas Filipino worker) sort of on vacation from Dubai, UAE. His wife, Weng, is an OFW as well but she didn’t return with him.
I think I slept for two to three hours. I got a chance to sleep for another couple of hours just before we left. I don’t want to play the drinking game anymore. I never get enough sleep when I do.
One of my relatives (a bilas we call “Bong”) drove an Isuzu truck. The back part is like a jeepney, with a bench on each side. It was barely big enough to hold the people who came from here and somehow, they managed to squeeze in relatives we picked up along the way.
I don’t want to say much about it, but it won’t happen that way ever again. If for some reason it does, I’ll be staying home.
Before we left Batangas, tons of people pictures were taken. The below picture is just one of them and I’m almost smack-dab in the center, with Hector and Henry to my left, behind Josie. I can’t name all the people in that picture and frankly, I don’t want to. Every name I don’t know is one less piece of information my tired brain has to remember.
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