Friday, February 03, 2012

Travel Nostalgia: From Bulacan to Manila then on to Batanes (Part 1)

In traveling we experience a lot of new things, most of which are very memorable. come and join me as I travel back in time and with the help of words retell a memorable journey from historical Bulacan to the northern crown jewel of the Philippines - Batanes.

It was a fine April evening in 2010 when I stepped out of our front door. A warm breeze was at play brought by the mighty river that passes by our backyard. Nervous and excited, a prayer uttered before I heaved a blue sports bag and a sturdy back back down the steps of our porch and across our yard. Nearly at the entrance of our compound I looked back and savored the familiar view of home. It will be nearly three weeks before I see this sight in my beloved province of Bulacan. 

A tricycle stopped a few minutes after I reached the asphalted community road. the ride was fast and a bargain at Php 13 at one way. I reached the national road with ease, checking my old wristwatch showed that I am on time. I do have a rendezvous at Manila at 9 o'clock in the evening. I waited for a while, luckily a unit of Victory Liner came. The evening is young, with lights illuminating various structures by the road, choosing a seat by the window is a sure treat.

The bus made its way southward. I got a glimpse of the Provincial Capitol of Bulacan which looks more stunning at night and the tree-covered park adjacent to it located at Malolos City. I wish i also got to see a night view of the historic Barasoain Church that evening but its not along the way. A couple of minutes the bus made a stop and  hawkers came in selling various ready to eat treats, some of which you can only sample while in Bulacan. The most famous example is the Malolos Ensaymada, a sumptuous snack aboard a bus for only Php 20 each!

The bus entered the North Luzon Express way (NLEX) nearly half an hour after I boarded the bus. Travel alon the NLEX is fast and smooth, it is said that it is comparable to the ones in abroad. In the blur caused by speed I got to see various model of cars, provincial  buses that I tried to guess to where they are going, colorful lighted billboards, and large gleaming stop overs along the way.

The NLEX is connected smoothly with EDSA. Before I knew it the bus was circling its way around the rotunda graced by the mighty scuplture depicting Andres Bonifacio. From the bus window I saw the said monument made by National Artist Guillermo Tolentino, flood lights bathing it with a dramatic glow. When you see that mighty landmark you are 100% sure that you are now in "Monumento" in Caloocan City.

To be continued....