August 19 marked the 133rd birth anniversary of Commonwealth president Manuel Quezon. Our J 112 (Reporting for the Environment) class with Ma’am Khrysta Rara took advantage of the holiday (Quezon City Day, woot) and joined her J 195 (Travel Writing) class on a day trip to Tarlac. The itinerary was as follows:
6:00 a.m. > Departure from Plaridel Hall
9:00 a.m. > Arrival at the Animal Kingdom Foundation in Capas, Tarlac
11:30 a.m. > Lunch
1:00 p.m. > Visit to Capas National Shrine and Capas Death March Marker
2:00-2:30 p.m. > Return to Manila
Siyempre yung mga venues lang ang tumama diyan; wiz ang pagsunod sa schedule dahil past 7 na kami nakaalis ng Maskom. And though one won’t find “Start and end the field trip on time” on this list, what did transpire happily made up for it.
1. Forget to bring a waiver
Because college spells I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-C-E like that.
2. Spend a whole morning with bitches…
…and boy-dogs at the Animal Kingdom Foundation, a rescue and rehabilitation shelter primarily for canines victimized by dog meat dealers.
3. (Word)play with Dik, my batchmate
Lalo na nung natuluan at nabasa siya dahil sa tubig ni Cess.
4. Explore different sleeping positions
Four companions and I found ourselves hard-pressed for some space and shuteye in the backseat of the moving van. A little flexibility, Bonamine and music blaring from someone’s phone went a long way. Also, there’s something strangely rhythmic about the sound of my seatmate’s head tapping the backdoor window in his sleep.
5. Crossing a bridge and never quite getting there at the Capas National Shrine
Some of us juniors and seniors gamely crossed a hanging bridge made of metal mesh, only to retreat after shrine authorities hollered that the other side was a no-entry zone. Oops.
6. LOL-ing in the deep over a menu
It was 3 p.m. when we arrived at the Isdaan floating resto-village in Gerona, Tarlac for “lunch.” Whether we were light-headed from hunger or just plain sabaw, Charry, Mark and I were highly amused by the menu. Mark initially read “plaplitos” as “platypus”, and we laughed over the linguistic idiosyncrasies of the creatively termed “MH20” (mineral water), “Chicken na Ginataan with the Magic dahon flavor“ and the difference between “Kanin – Bagong Saing sa Kaldero” vs. “Kanin – 1 cup” (Mark: So ano ‘tong one cup, bahaw?). Then we started turning the dish names into, ehrm, movie titles: Tostado sa Gata, Lut0 sa Buho, Sawsawan Mo ng Toyo ang Ulam Ko, and Pinaputok sa Dahon, among others.
7. Finish a bilao of fried seafood
Me to tablemates: (draws breath) “Kaya natin ‘to, guys! FOCUS.”
8. Improve my aim with the Tacsiyapo Wall
“Tacsiyapo” is the Pampagueño equivalent of the frustration-induced expression “bwiset.” The Tacsiyapo Wall is a three-part concrete stretch with labels for “targets” or various offenders, including exes, in-laws, bosses, vices, diseases and thieves. Visitors can choose from an array of breakables (cups, saucers and plates from P15-P35, even wall clocks and vases for as much as P500) to hurl at the target/s of their choice. 4 cups, 2 saucers and 1 plate hurled at strategic portions of the Isdaan’s Tacsiyapo Wall did the trick for me. To “Daughter-in-law,” “Intrigera/Tsismosa,” “Taksil,” and my other targets — intentional or otherwise — TACSIYAPO!
9. Party to Katy Perry tracks at the Shell of Asia restroom
Hundreds of people pass by expressway stopovers on any given day. That’s why it’s of paramount importance for their facilities to adhere to the highest standards of cleanliness. The management at NLEX Shell of Asia went the extra mile and ensured that the sound system covered most of the compound — even the restrooms. And because anonymity is practically guaranteed in stopovers, the time I spent at the sink while waiting for my companions to finish their business became a brief interlude to let loose my party-dance skills (or lack thereof).
10. SINGING MY HEART OUT WITH BATCH MATES
Every road trip ends in one of three ways: either everyone’s slumped in their seats and getting some sleep, making a ruckus by singing and chatting, or a combination of both. We bellowed OPM classics by the likes of Ara Mina (??) and Sugarfree (!!), songs from boy bands, girl bands and sexually-ambiguous singers like John Mayer and Jason Mraz (a little bird called Google Search reports that both could be bi) to the point of hoarseness, and messed up some lyrics along the way:
(singing “Someday We’ll Know” by Mandy Moore and Jonathan Foreman)
Dik: Someday we’ll know, if Samson loved the mountains.
(singing “All Out of Love” by Air Supply)
Unidentified batch mate: I wish I could scary your smile in my heart.
(singing “Dancing Queen” by Abba)
Backseat people: Ooooh, see that girl, watch that scene~
Me: Ganun, so panuorin ang eksena?
Mark: Hindi, hugasan ang kasalanan.
Charry “Reyna ng Tacsiyapo at ng Pag-second Voice” Espino: (lightbulb moment for a new movie title) Hugasan Mo Ang Kasalanan Ko!
Keeping my fingers crossed for another joint field trip! HIHI.