Sunday, September 12, 2010

Rural Life at Rosario, Batangas

* Trailer Pransis trying to be funny inside a jeep en route to Rosario

* a newfound friend, Kuya Joel, who we accompanied for his dental clinic visit

* the church at Barangay Alupay

A short vacation will always be a welcome opportunity to anyone. More than just an escape, a retreat (read: rest and relaxation) is what I conceive of vacations.

Thus a recent return to Rosario, Batangas to share time with some intimates proved to be yet another ‘opening up’ experience. I daresay that the passage of time is always lost
in the still air of that particular village I went to. The environ is thick with the scent of a mixture of fresh and dying leaves of plants and trees together with the smell typical of farmlands. You might also just want to lay down on a duyan placed under a convenient shade. And lose yourself as you think of virtually nothing and do nothing except to gape up the cloudless sky. Finally, one can forgive the ever sultry surroundings.

Dusk fills you with rich imaginings as darkness falls into the
plantations and the tall coconut trees. You are out of place without Gin running through your veins; lives will come and go in this place but barikan (drinking sessions) will stay.

* one of the often mentioned eatery – Ka Loring Eatery; serves a famous and delicious lomi, so they say

* the super duper special lomi; one waitress was particularly amiable as she exchanged more-than-just-simple greetings, hehe

* a view of a grassland; in the background, one of the many mountains scattered in the province of Batangas

* a rural road but a concrete one; yes, concrete finally after many delays in this road construction project

There was something intimate in seeing one particular family in my visit, with all those children gathering around their mother for supper, the supper being offered willingly to us ‘barikeños’. A radio can be heard from inside the house. Outside, we share lives and stories through a small shot glass as if it was our mouthpiece.

At a celebration, everything is communal: cigarettes, matches, alcohol, pulutan, water, microphone (for the videoke), stories, tales, bragging, even spit and breath. This merrymaking is their absolute life, for this brings them joy after the hard work during the day. Work in morning, alcohol in the evening. It would be an insult to lay judgment to them for between a city life and a rural life there are many differences. They have derived meaning for their lives in their decidedly simple living.

As days passed by, I got to realize more and more than I am yet to know many things – about the leaves of madre cacao, about the delicious food lying just beneath the streams, about rural beliefs and myths, about moving through the dark, and many other things. Setting aside the pressure that I am definitely in need of work and money, living in that place richly surrounded by greeneries is far better than the indifferent steel and concrete buildings in the city. After all, we all trace our roots to nature – the grounds, the flora, and the fauna. Although we shall be perpetually bound by ‘metropolitan’ activities, it is always good to go back and reconnect with our own family: nature.

Post-note: See an earlier entry about Rosario, Batangas here.

[How to go to Rosario, Batangas: 1) From Manila: board a bus bound for Lucena, Quezon and drop off at ‘Sambat ng Candelaria’ (in Quezon). Then you have to wait for the classic Supreme Buses bound for Batangas and board one. You will pass by the town of Rosario along the way. 2) From Batangas area: you will have to reach Lipa City first. From there, either at Robinsons Lipa or at the town proper, you will have to ride a jeep bound for San Juan, Batangas. You will pass by the town of Rosario along the way.]


  1. Man, I'm envious with this trip. so many places to see in Batangas. I have not toured the whole province yet, but certainly would love to travel around Batangas.

  2. There are many things to be seen yet in Batangas - a beautiful and historical province. :)

  3. Really? I've never been in Batangas. Can you post some pictures for me to see? Thanks for sharing.