Got to spend time with the family. Had the chance to go around the hometown. Had time to spend with high school friends. And as always, there’s that checklist of what I should be able to do during that one week.
Local gossip updates. This is basically the bonding session with the aunts. Pregnancy. Marriage. Work. And then there comes the inquiry about my graduation :-S
Talks with Pa. This is basically a test on how I have developed as a communicator and I’m pleased to note that there has been progress 😀 It may be about rodents and my moments of stupidity but hey, it worked. We can now develop a topic in our chat. There’s significantly less struggle with the conversations. Also, there’s better understanding of the non verbal cues.
Tasks of endearment. For some reason, the sewing machine won’t work properly when the aunt attempts to use it. So every time I’m home , there’s a few pieces that need cutting and sewing.
There’s also photos to be taken and documents to be encoded. There are files to be deleted and softwares to be updated. No complaints here.
Alcohol sessions. There’s this practice of having bakasyonista friends host (aka finance) these sessions. I don’t remember when it started but we’re stuck with it. I’m stuck with it. These sessions provide the opportunity to check on my alcohol tolerance. For the most recent session, I’m proud to have left the session with no embarrassing scenes. It was nice to catch up with the batch mates.
Pahilada. Pahilada, the massage, is a must experience every time I get to go home. It’s an hour session of body massage that leaves you incapable of doing anything but sleep for the rest of the day. It’s best schedule in the late afternoon or in the evening when you’ve completed the day’s task. Every town in the Philippines have they own hilot. As the locals especially the elders to recommend someone they know. Usually, a family maintains good relations with the local hilot. In our case, we dearly treasure a husband and wife team, the husband dealing with male clients and few cases where a higher-pressure massage is needed. The wife takes care of us female clients with the usual update on the local gossip.
The morning jog. As with other smaller towns in the country, our local officials are obsessed with road construction – which is great. With little traffic, one can enjoy a relaxing (yes, there is such a thing) jog. You won’t have to worry about injuries from slippery parts or cracks on the road. There’s not much smoke from vehicles passing by and there’s no pedestrians to block your path. There are trade offs, of course. You’d need to deal with curious onlookers as the sight of someone submitting themselves to this self torture is not usual in these parts.
The best part the day would be early in the morning so there’d be less people spending time outside their homes in small groups at the side of the road. It’s a must to jog in the morning with natural lighting because although our roads are all concrete, they aren’t exactly well-lit.
If you take the morning jog, the exercise doubles as a sight seeing activity. There’s a Mt. Mayon in your view. Rice fields, green or gold depending on the season. There are mountains and bridge and rivers and creeks and farther you’d see the sea and the islands of our town. It’s a great view.
There’s the fresh cold morning air that you’d be taking in a lot of because you’d be dealing with an inclined route most of the time.
I took the jog the day after I had the massage, which happened to be the same day I was to take that 12-hour bus back to Laguna. A bad idea, I know. The rains in the previous mornings prevented me from taking the jog earlier. Muscle pains. It took a day to recover from it.
The long bus rides are always worth the trip home. Although next year, I should really try the train or the plane.