>It doesn’t have the finest beach around. The sands aint pristine white. The water aint no turquoise. It doesn’t have the best tennis court either. The single hard court they got aint no rubberized. In fact, the surface is too rough for tennis. A newly opened canister of Slazengers will be as bald as Agassi’s head just before you hit your third game. And surely its no way friendly to your sneakers soles too.
It aint got the trendiest club.
It aint got the coolest climate.
It aint got the most festive fiesta.
Its too dull, too small, too unhip for a city’s clamor. Yet it’s too busy and blatant for a peaceful, small far-flung town. It is as ordinary as your typical next door, averaged-sized town could get…
Yet I always get grandest time everytime I set foot on this little spot on the southern part of ilocandia
It was Saturday morning,im stark naked.. tucked under the sheets. I can hear the alarm but the aftertaste of the last night’s drinking spree is still in full effectbgiving my head a spin. It made getting up on two feet and standing up a struggle, ergo walking.
After an hour, just before 7. Armed with a bottle of spf70, boardshort and racket we left the house. Me and Amiel are meeting up with Kim in the bus terminal. It is the day were braving Ilocos. Long-planned. Much-awaited.
The sun, lowly posted on the eastern horizon, rising on the cloudless blue sky gave us a hint already of a sunny, dandy day thats coming. And as the engine of the iron horse roared, we climbed up into the bus and settled onto our seats. Then off we go. It wasn’t that long of a trip.
After a couple of bus stops, fitful snoozes and cracked jokes(that our sweet 16 old pal here is turning MILF..MOTHER, I Lurv to F**, how he developed his penchant for older women..or vice versa). It was a little over 3 when we reached Candon
Wa alighted the bus and tatang was already waiting by the gate flashing his pearly whites. No better way to welcome bwisitas i guess..=) (tatang is the father of kims wife)
We didnt have the luxury of time. Its only a quick 2-day out-of-town were having. So the moment we arrived at the house, we briskly changed to our sporting gears. Its a “Tennis Holiday” as how my pill-dependent, lechon-deprived, alcohol-free friend puts it.
We met up with some of our tennis buds in the court. It was nice to see old, familiar faces. It hits home. All warm and pumped up. We played a few matches. A couple of hits and misses were thrown. After the game, we dropped by at the town’s plaza for some authentic empanada. Whatever it is that they stuff in those orange patties surely taste good, plus the vinaigrette that comes as sauce. Im not sure if it was good because it was delicious or it was just a treat..libre.. i doubt the latter though.
Ive known tatang as very welcoming, warm and accomodating.. and his dining table could attest to that. That night we had lechon manok, embotido and soup. I love the way he cooked the rice, all moist, supple and white. He’s a good cook. The next day we had pinakbet and lechon baboy with all that greasy, crunchy balat.
After dinner, inuman na..the fun part.. we threw a couple of plastic chairs and table beside the street then the 3 of us kicked it off as we waited for the others.. first to arrive, the bald-headed maniac, Denmark..then his other 2 twins..then paul, the humble topseed.. It was a fun night even though we ran out of beer. Even if Kim gobbled on orange juice, everyone including the tropicana killer got all loosened up and tipsy. It was fun, makulit..everyone hit it off.. the same old Sampras-Federer argument still flared up nozzles. and now even rafa and andrei were included in the party. After hours of frolicking, non-stop braggin and pestering..the peeps started going home. The 3 of us remained pasted in that sidestreet for a while before we hit the sack and kissed the first day goodbye.
As soon as woke up the next day, we went straight to the court. The sun was out early. It was a hot day. Scorching. We played til 9 then we went home. We changed clothes then off we went to the beach. We ramble to the next 3 towns to explore the seaside. It was a lot of fun. We walked on the dry searocks, large and flat..it was lowtide so the rocks on the seabed were all visible, all hard,sharp and brittle. We climbed the biggest rock where the virgin stands..
We spent most of the afternoon swimming in the placid beach next town. The sand was pristine, powdery.. there was not a single rock or stone around..it was beautiful..nothing i expected.. Beaches in Ilocos are not famously beautiful, except for pagudpod.. but this one’s incredibly nice.. i forget the name..it was a cove. The water was clear and waveless. It was tranquil. just perfect to ease out the hustles and bustles of the metro. The sun was unusually big. The sky was orange and pink with streaks of thin clouds hangin around. And just before the sun dwindled down in the ocean, we left.
We went home with soaking wet pants. We went swimming with no extra clothes. Riding in a bus with damp undies is surely not cool. you get this funny feeling. Once we got home,no bathing..we just changed to dry clean clothes then we went back quickly to the court.
It was a night of swashbuckling tennis. everyone was in the zone. the ball was being hit hard instantaneously. you can hear the ball getting pounded all the time. A string was broken. Everyone was just eager to play. We played for 4 hours. 4-5 games. You get to rest in between games though since were 6 and theres only a single court. Its probably the best tennis this year. at least most fun i would say. Everyone was swingin and having a good time.
The clock ticks 10 and it was time to bade our adieus. This is the last time were playing with these guys, at least for this year. And most probably it will be a long wait. Since i have no plans yet of going back.
Tatang. The Tennis guys. Empanada. The Beach.