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This morning, I got a call from my mother, in Gubat:

     "Did you see the news? Nag-erupt na ang Bulusan!"

     "I'm doing the shopping, ma. Hasn't it been erupting for the past few months na?"

     "Well, yes, but it BLEW UP!"

     "WHAT?! Crap! Does this mean our flight this Wednesday's cancelled?"

     "Don't worry, the wind's blowing the other way -- but WE CAN SEE THE MUSHROOM CLOUD FROM HERE!"


     "Ooooh! Tita Betsy took pictures!"
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I'm back from the beach, not so much tanned but blotchy red and still a bit itchy in certain places. Also discovered that I had lost about 10 pounds before I got there, but then quickly gained them all back thanks to The Most Evil Chocolate Cake In The World.

Pictures (and gory details) as soon as the communal photo pool has passed muster and posted on Facebook, and then stolen for LJ
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(Oh, that's right. Because I got dragooned into it by well-meaning friends.)

Hotlinked like whoa. Credit http://boracayphillipineisland.blogspot.com

I'm really not too crazy about Boracay. Everyone and their second cousin's neighbor's dog goes there for the beaches, which really does not bode well for the state of said beaches, to be honest. Give me Rizal Beach in my mother's family hometown of Gubat, Sorsogon with its mainly local (read: family) habitu├ęs, or Honda Bay in Palawan, which is utterly utterly gorgeous and I'd go there in a heartbeat if not for my lunatic uncle who's parked himself there a couple of years ago and shows no signs of budging one inch.

Thing is, I'm not really going for the beach. I shall be (wo)manfully enduring the sand that stubbornly clings to one's toes and the sticky residue salt water leaves on the skin, and dumping gallons of conditioner on my hair each night to save it from looking like fodder for the local Wicker Man, because the photographs will be EPIC I like my friends and they really are a bunch of certifiable hooligans who definitely know how to have a good time.

Well, good night. Early drive to the airport tomorrow. Back on Tuesday night.
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I'm back. The pilot for my plane back to Manila is apparently a speed demon, because even accounting for tailwind he squeezed a 70-minute flight into 25 minutes. My mother felt oddly cheated.

Anyway, I met a bunch of new relatives -- my grandfather's family. They're all awfully lovely and funny and nice and madder than a box of frogs and so very, very Waray. Fortunately my working knowledge of Bicolano (which is a pretty closely-related dialect, and one I was exposed to very early on thanks to my grandmother's family) served me well. Still, felt a bit like an interloper at times. Which is only natural, I suppose.

Reunion is still in full swing back there, however. I think it's a dinner-dance tonight.

*should've used a River Song icon. Why don't I have a River icon?
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I'm off for the next few days -- family reunion in Tacloban, Leyte. I personally prefer not to go at all, but there is absolutely no way I am letting my mother toddle around in the wilds of Leyte all by herself. She might get lost. Or set something on fire. Possibly both.

I'll be back to play catch-up on Sunday. Tootles!

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December 2011

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