it was a moment's decision to go with sonny to visit kuya cris in piniyalan. the plan (or its semblance) floated while having a pizza libre from giovanni at picobello. and faster than a speeding bullet, we were checking our supplies for the night (that would be 750ml of gilbey's gin, jamaica island lime, 3 cans of hot and spicy tuna and one package of crakers - for the pulutan, and of course water, flashlight and malong) at the bus station half an hour after deciding to go.
the stars greeted us upon alighting from the bus on a dark part of the buda road. i said that this is going to be a wonderful night. the crisp air gently touching my nape and the prospect of another adventure lay in front of me.
sonny said that the walk to the farm would only take us 15 mins or so. we missed the estimated time by a good five minutes. but damn, that was one heavy hike. with only the light of sonny's flashlight, my cell phone and the stars, we made our way through inclines (bajada ug subida gihapon) that challenged my knees and my tribu sandals. the silent song of the night, only interrupted by the rustle of the leaves and our hurried footsteps. i thought my lungs would burst when we reached kuya cris' place.
but our baon awaits. thus, after a few pleasantries and slipping into the more comfortable malong, we began the ritual. kuya cris telling his story, me listening and sonny as the gunner. we heard stories of years gone by, my mind flashed back when tita babes used to tell stories at the veranda of our house in panggasinan when we go up to visit. stories told of long ago but as if happening only yesterday. stories of valiant defiance to norms just so that the flag of truth could be waved up and high.
with the dancing light of three gaseras, the cold floor, and the snores of kuya cris' housemates, we went from gin to tuba. pure tuba that is, without the red coloring that gives its awful smell. first time i really liked drinking it. sweetness and aroma of wine almost vinegar tingled the senses and made the conversations more interesting.
after downing all the alcohol in the house, i made my way to my assigned bunk. right before falling asleep, i breathed a sigh of thanks to be there at that point in time. somehow, all the inconveniences and all the frustrations in the past few days before this trip have become beautiful teasers of how good life can be.