June 20, 2008

Road trips

BACK in the ’70s as I was growing up, I remember taking a lot of road trips with my family. Despite the energy crunch then, we would still go up to enjoy the chilly weather in Baguio City, travel to Dau, Pampanga, to buy PX goods, motor down to Tagaytay to enjoy the cool breeze and the fabulous view of Taal Volcano, or to Cavite and Batangas to swim in their once-clean beaches.

When I started working the agricultural beat in the late ’80s, there were also frequent land trips to as far as Ilocos Norte or down south to Quezon, as I tagged along with whoever was the Cabinet secretary then on his visits for chats with farmers and local officials, or check out whatever was the agency’s pet projects.

Land trips can be exhausting, especially if you ride the bus, and during my time it took almost 11 hours just to travel from the Quezon City bus terminal to Laoag. In between, there were only two bathroom breaks. (Of course, these days, most major provincial bus lines have restrooms onboard, and DVD players to keep passengers entertained.)

In the last couple of weeks, my friends and I have been going on road trips to the north and south of Manila, just near enough not to bust the gas budget or get enervated because of the slow-moving traffic. The trips have been a way for us to bond and, at the same time, marvel at what’s left of the remaining beauty of the Luzon countryside. (Click here for the rest.)

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