MetroFoodTrip | MOA-Gimik-turned-Foodtrip at Papa John's

photo source: Papa John's FB page
It was one fine day when a friend called and invited me out. It was a Friday then; the sun is up, the sky is clear. No clouds to indicate that it would rain (didn't check the weather forecast though). And so I went to our meeting place, to DLSU, where we first met. As usual, I'm early. Our meet-up was supposed to be at around 2PM but knowing her, I left the house at past 2PM. I knew she'll be late, I'm sure of it! (laglagan itech, sorry Bipong...haha!)

As expected, she's late. I was already having my snacks at McDonald's near DLSU when she arrived. Since she was also hungry, she ordered something to eat too, before we go to La Salle, our first stop before going to MOA. We hurriedly finished our snacks and then went to La Salle to process her clearance and get her 4-month salary, from her teaching stint there last year. (Note: This isn't about the school's late processing of her salary; it was my friend's fault, she didn't submit all the required documentations. She's willing to write it off actually, I just urged her to get it so she can treat me afterwards, hehe!). She wasn't able to get her clearance though, we're late remember? :P

Batangas | Hiking Taal Volcano (with 60-year old and 4-year old in tow)

Binintiang Malaki of Taal Volcano
Binintiang Malaki - Taal Volcano in the postcards ;)
It was more than a decade ago when I first climbed Taal Volcano, during our visit to a friend who is from San Nicolas, one of the towns situated alongside the lakeshore of Taal. It was a memorable hike, not only because I was with friends, but also because we had some misadventures then. It was a spur of the moment adventure so I'm not prepared, most of us actually. I'm wearing a pair of sandals then, girly sandals that got torn along the way. And with no one to guide us, we climbed the old crater (at least, that's what we were told), not the one with the bluish-green lake. In short, we got lost. On our way back, the lake was a bit rough I thought we're going to sink. And to think we have no life vests! Ahh... young and adventurous, that's what we are then...hehe.

Batangas | Sublian Festival 2013

Batangas Sublian Festival 2013

I spent eight years of my life (my high school and college years) in Batangas but I haven't witnessed Sublian Festival in those times. Not even from my hometown where they said the sublian has originated. Last July 23 however, I decided to watch sublian for the first time. It was a solo trip. I went there on commute and witnessed the festival alone. Though Batangas City is where I studied college, this solo stint to the festival somehow gave me a strange felling. Yes, I can easily have small talks with the people there but the idea that I was there alone (after more than a decade) made me feel like a tourist.

Actually, there really are lots of changes in this city now; the establishments we used to go to, the lomi stalls we frequented before, were not there anymore. Except for my alma mater (though somehow different too because of its new name and higher tuition fees, no more "iskolar ng bayan" now, I guess) everything in this city looks and feels different. The streets are more crowded, lots of vendors are on the sidewalk, even the old commercial establishments are now more like bazaars, not with the same stature they used to hold. Sure, it's more progressive  now (same traffic though) but still, I miss the old city. Or maybe, I'm just missing my old friends, hehe.

Anyway, enough of flashbacks, back to the future now. Since I have no choice (solo nga eh) I just enjoyed the event. I busied myself taking photographs and walking around, observing the so many people that went there despite the rain. That's right, there were so many people along the route of the parade in spite of the pouring rain, especially in the plaza and in front of the city hall. The reason: they were looking forward to see the GMA Kapuso's float with the cast of My Husband's Lover.

Unfortunately, I didn't see them, neither the whole parade. Aside from being late (got stuck in traffic), the pouring rain prevented me from wandering the streets that long. I decided to go to the nearby church to pay respect and then just waited outside the church for the parade to pass. While waiting, I suddenly saw people rushing to the city hall (the church is just a few meters away from the city hall). They said the GMA float was already at the city hall and that the MHL casts were already making their speech. I joined them and went there too. Unfortunately this is the only photo I got: :(

this is the only photo I took of the MHL casts...
see the man in blue at the city hall's balcony? that's Vincent of MHL. 
Kapuso float without the kapuso stars ;(
the hunks! :P
super sireynas! :P 

Sublian Festival in Batangas City started in 1988 and is celebrated every 23rd of July ever since, in commemoration of the city's foundation day. Its goal is to instill the tradition of subli in the province. Subli is a worship dance in honor of the Holy Cross (the patron saint in the towns of Bauan and Agoncillo) and Sto. Niño (patron saint of Batangas City). Subli dance is traditionally performed with the accompaniment of a wooden drum and chanting praises (similar to the tune of traditional narrative of pasyon during Lenten season). Sublian Festival is celebrated not only in Batangas City but also in the towns of Bauan (where the subli tradition was said to originate) and Agoncillo. Though a worship dance, subli can also be construed as a courtship dance because of its steps and movements which resembles that of courtship. For more information about subli and its history, you may click here.

subli masters from Agoncillo, Batangas
subli competition - elementary level participants

Part of the Sublian Festival is the subli dance competition. It was participated by the students from the different schools in Batangas (province) as well as by members of the communities too. The program started with the presention the traditional subli as performed by the so-called subli masters from each of the three towns (Bauan (Sinala), Agoncillo and Batangas City (Talumpok)) where it came from, each of which has its unique way of dancing and performing subli. Below is a video I compiled from the short clips I got watching the competition. Pardon if the video and audio were not as synchronized as it should be, the original video clips have indiscernible audio that's why I edited it.

~ oo00oo ~

Realization: Traveling solo is not easy (despite the fact that I'm familiar with the place) - no one to tell your thoughts about the event/place (at that time), no one to chat with, no one to take your photos, and lastly, no one to share the expenses with...hehe! But hopefully, I can still do it in other places, places where I'm not that familiar. That's all for now peeps, happy weekend!