Witt's Twaddle

2009 All Saints’ Day Road Trip

Posted in Trips by Witt on November 2, 2009

The family was supposed to stay home this All Saints’ Day due to the recent weather condition, mom’s runny nose and the car issue.

First issue, weather. The sun shined brightly that Sunday morning. Sky was high and blue. Typhoon Santi was long gone. After ravaging the Southern Tagalog region, she left with at least 14 dead and millions worth of damages. At least she was quick. Like what I tweeted a couple of days ago, “#Santi is like most men. They come in quick, do their thing & leave without saying goodbye. Most times, they don’t even remember your name!” – @witt24, 6:48pm October 31st.

Second issue, mom’s runny nose. For starters, she was scared not to visit her parents and in-laws. Terrified, actually. The night before, she had a dream. It was so vivid that she can see all the characters in it very clearly. Her story: “You (that’s me) were with me and Nanay Bireng (her mom) and we saw Lola Choleng (her mom-in-law) across the road. You (me again) ran up to her and everybody was happy and smiling.” A simple dream undeniably forced my sick mom to go visit everybody.

Third issue, the car. Our 12 year old Honda City was in the shop, having a badly needed paint job. She was starting to look like an old lady with bad patches of grey hair. My brother Jeng was keen on having the car refurbished. He even put up the money for it! Good son, good brother! Anyway, I was the one who frequently use the car to work in Calamba and since my timely new assignment to our Central Office in Makati (a place where I cannot afford to take the car regularly to) led to the “checking-in” of the car in the body shop. After more than a month or so in the shop, too many pending jobs there at Precision Spray but excellent paint job though so it was sort of worth it, it was released on the 31st of October. Just in time for the Day of the Dead.

All was set. Weather’s fine. Mom’s nose still running, still cracking stupid jokes. Car was semi-okay, having some trouble with idling and the fumes of the new paint still lingers inside. We headed out at around 8:30am. First stop, Cavinti. Mom’s hometown. A small community atop a mountain in Laguna. We passed through Pagsanjan and we saw this:

Back to normal?

AFP Rescue Team helps clean debris along Pagsanjan National Road

Mud everywhere!

An old house scavenging what's left

Swept Away

A pick-up truck swept by Santi's flash floods


Metal road railings uprooted by flash floods and strong winds


Jollibee-Pagsanjan not spared by Santi's wrath

All photos taken while in a moving vehicle by Tinay.

Good thing, local chief executive Mayor E.R. Ejercito was on top of things. He was definitely hands-on. He was out there directing clean-up drives with the help of the armed forces, the police and local volunteers. Assisting in traffic management and abating the residents and visitors of his town that everything’s gonna be alright. The boatmen were also back at work, flagging-down would be customers. The famous rapids was murky brown though, I don’t think anyone would like to shoot it that day. In the latest report, one death was recorded in Pagsanjan.

The zig-zag climb to Cavinti was a breeze. Normally, we are accompanied by a number of other vehicles racing towards the towns of Luisiana, Lucban and Cavinti. But this time, we found ourselves alone for most of the zig-zag. Maybe people decided to stay home this time in view of the events that occurred. Some fallen trees along the way, most of them were cut and placed on the sides of the road.

Welcome to Cavinti

Welcome to Cavinti

At our ancestral house, we ate dinuguan and pritong tilapia prepared by my uncle, lazy but a superb cook, before leaving for the cemetery. The cemetery in Cavinti is on top of a hill. Very perilous during rainy days. Muddy slippery slopes, next thing you know your left foot is in an open grave. It was hot as hell that afternoon. We stayed for a few minutes, said our hellos and goodbyes, and left.

Next stop, San Pablo. It’s been a while since the last time I was in San Pablo, the Coconut Festival in January, I think. My two passengers were asleep as I traverse back via Calauan. I wanted to pass through Liliw, Nagcarlan and Rizal but mom and Tinay said we do not know what happened in those roads in the past 48 hours, we might get stuck. So we took the high road, uphill road of Calauan to San Pablo. My dad was anxiously waiting for us to get there, he was there first. We let him take the bus at Turbina for the reason that he wants quality bonding time with his two celibate (unmarried) sisters. This trip is on a time constraint by the way, hence the swift visit to the cemetery. I had little to eat back in Cavinti so I ate some more when we got to the house in San Pablo. My tita cooked chopsuey, fried chicken and menudo. I was expecting paayap which was the usual there, nevertheless, everything was yummy. After the banana I had, I decided to stay home and not join them to the cemetery. I was up at 2am that day and a short nap was what I’m yearning for. Slept on the all too familiar couch, where I rested a number of times before. At around 515pm, after a few chit-chat, we left San Pablo for home.

The trip home was fairly smoother via Alaminos and Sto. Tomas. All roads are go. No slow traffic whatsoever. We were home by 630pm. A total of 175 kilometers registered on my trip odometer, Pacita-Cavinti-San Pablo-Pacita.

11:46am, 2 November 2009.

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2 Responses

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  1. Abbie said, on November 2, 2009 at 4:51 am

    Wow! Congratulations on your first post! 🙂 Very detailed yet precise.

    I love travel posts and journals! Keep this up!

    I am craving for Dinuguan, no thanks to you!

  2. Sherwin said, on November 2, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Thanks, H! I’ll try my best to keep this up.

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