I'm finally back from a trip to Galera with Rocky and our "anak" Nico. It was my first trip ever to Puerto Galera, after years of hearing people talk about how fantastic things are over there. With so much fun stuff having happened while we were there, I am still struggling to find a way to compose an entry that would capture the excitement and fun we experienced.
Day one began with a long trip to the beach itself. It was Wheelie Day and in many ways, the idea that Wheelie Day would mark this day felt more special for me. I guess Jayson was sort of giving us a "go for it" message. Rocky and I decided it was best we got haircuts and a light breakfast before taking the cab ride to the bus terminal. Nico was waiting for us when we arrived, and in many ways, the trip being just us felt somehow special since for the longest time we have referred to Nico as our "anak" and this being a trip for his birthday kinda made it feel even more special. The bus ride was a long one. While zipping down south super highway was a breeze, things went much slower and trying when the bus entered Laguna and crept its way to the Batangas Pier. The rain suddenly came down hard at one point, making me worried if the beach trip was going to be marred by rain.
I should have realized by now I shouldn't really worry.
In my life with Rocky, everything happens for a reason.
The rain gave Nico enough time to get a good nap before we arrived at the pier. Once there, the three of us made our way to the waiting ferry that was to take us to the beach itself. After hearing about the horror stories of having to wait nearly an hour for other passengers to show up, we got on board and found the crew already prepping to cast off. The ride itself was great save for the annoying foreigners who seemed to think they had a right to throw their garbage overboard (and I won't even hold against them the fact they were laughing at how Rocky and I were obviously a gay couple. Lack of gender sensitivity is their loss. Being litterbugs just shows they have no respect for the Philippines). We docked at another port and had to take a shuttle to the beach.
The beach was beautiful. The white sands and the nice smooth stones gave the whole place a wonderful allure which of course had me thinking of Lost (too often!) It wasn't long before the three of us settled at a nearby restaurant for some coffee, before moving to the ever popular Hiyas for a taste of the Mindoro 5ling and the famous Peter's Kebabs. The sun was already setting before we finished the pitcher. Night could only bring more fun. Fire dancers. Campy gay lipsynching drag queens. Dried pusit. More drinking. More dancing. At one point, I was starting to think it was getting way too late and discovered it hadn't even hit midnight yet!
I woke up to the second day already hungry and anxious to experience the beach more. Rocky was still fast asleep and Nico clearly was knocked out. Still, being in air conditioned room with Rocky sleeping very comfortably in my arms, I decided to just wait it out and let him nuzzle deeper against my warm skin. It was only when Nico finally cried out from a dream that I left the bed to check on him if everything was okay. He had crept into the room in a few minutes after we had headed for bed earlier that night and there was sand all over his bed! We tidied up and headed out for another beautiful day at the beach. Coffee and porkchops then lead to banana choc shakes before leading to a few fruity cocktails and a massage. The massage was a godsend. I've been having this aching pain in my left buttock for the last few days (a pain I suspect that grew from the long hours of driving through traffic and the daily grind of working at the laptop). After the massage, there was some rain, more alcohol, new friends, eventually followed by swimming, yummy fish and pusit, more alcohol, and mangoes, videoke singing, henna tattoos and chicken cordon bleu.
The tattoos were one of my favorite moments at Galera! While looking for a suitable design, I was at first looking for a nice phrase to have written on my skin with Alibata. But for some reason, they only had the original alibata characters and none of the extended consonants on the list. I couldn't make the phrase I wanted. I overheard Rocky ask for a dragon design with tribal touches to be placed on his right arm and that moment I realized I knew what I should get. Asking the same henna artist (his friends were calling him Wolverine) to design mine, I asked for a Tiger design to adorn my left arm, so that our tattoos would work as a pair: A crouching Tiger, and a hidden Dragon.
Night soon came and to our surprise, all there of us were already feeling a tad tired. Ana, a friend of Nico's who joined us had already retired to the room earlier and we decided to call it a night earlier than usual. Sleep came quickly, having spent the day happy and satisfied on all fronts.
The third day started with Rocky and I finally waking up in the wee hours to find Nico and Ana still out. They had headed out in the much earlier hours of the morning to drink and were not done. Rocky and I joined them at the beach front and had a hearty breakfast (yes we again chose the same thing. darned wavelength!) followed by a nice morning enjoying the sand. While Nico napped on the sarong I brought and laid out on the sand, Rocky and I indulged with our inner children and made sandcastles. A dog happened to like one of mine and marked it as its own, while all these tiny crabs tried to escape our notice and crawl away. Nico retired to the room to catch up on some sleep while Rocky and I decided go around and look for possible pasalubongs after one last necessary trip: a visit to the ever infamous "Cave" of Galera. The long walk was a delight, with the water chasing after our toes and the sun shining in the clear blue sky. I only spotted two used condom wrappers though, which suggested either most couples decided to indulge in the privacy of their own rooms, or fewer people used protection now. (Tee hee!) We headed back to Hiyas and grabbed a few drinks. Fake bacon chips. Free rhum. Beach mice. Lots of meh people. Alejandro. Alejandro. Alejandro. Weird crazy guy with toy gun. And the sudden surge of beach urchins who seemed to be up to some mischief. It wasn't until we headed back to the room that I realized what that mischief was: someone had stolen my gray bench sando.
We returned to the room to wake the two sleepy heads and reminded them that we needed to make preparations for heading home. Quick showers were followed by bill settling and soon I found myself craving for something to eat. Alas, there wouldn't be time for that so we boarded the ferry and once again I found myself hoping that dolphins would be kind enough to make an appearance on our trip home. Sadly, no dolphins came.
The long bus ride was pretty uneventful save for Rocky admittedly getting hooked on my iphone's tower defense game, us both groaning to a movie called Mr. Bones 2, and making fun of a stupidly horrible testosterone action flick about another prisoner who becomes part of a secret fighting thing. I busied myself reading Dune while Rocky learned to master which towers worked best against which enemies. The ride eventually dropped us off at Santolan and we decided to grab some sausages at Treffpunkt and make our way home.
There were plans of heading out later in the evening to join Nico and our friends for the birthday bash at O bar, but sadly I was just too tired to wake up and found myself knocked out til the coming of Monday's morning.
That, however, remains to be one long deserved vacation weekend. After working practically non-stop for years at the family business, I had longed for a chance to stop working for a bit and just enjoy a few days off. I guess it is just a plain and simple fact that ever since Rocky has become a part of my life, things just really do fall into place.
Some things are just meant to be.