grub + travels + perspectives

The Happy Weekend!

Before, it was such a grueling (a little exaggeration there) task to organize a get together with my college friends. Different schedules, different preferences and different work places. And when we start to plan something, it almost always never happens. Gladly, late last year, a couple of my friends transferred to Makati. We were able to have weekly dinners, spur of the moment eat outs or just basically hangout together during most weekends.

Last February, I suggested we go out of town and attend the 18th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Pampanga. Sure, it was a long shot by then but it never hurts to suggest doing something quite different for a weekend.

I never thought it would actually push through, but it did! Since Fritzie was from Bataan, we thought we could spend the night there so we could avoid the early morning traffic from Manila going to Pampanga. We decided to attend the last day of the festivities since my shift ends on a Saturday morning as well.

February 23:
We all met up at the Bataan Transit bus station in Cubao right after I got out of work and endured the long ride going to Limay for almost 4 hours. It wasn't supposed to be that long but there were 2 accidents along NLEX that afternoon. We arrived there around 6 PM and I was dead tired and sleep deprived.

Hello, PBR Housing!
Hahaha. We ate dinner around 7 PM and I had to retire to the bedroom early because I couldn't function normally anymore. We were again up around 2 in the morning to prepare for our journey to see the hot air balloons!

February 24:
So, I guess, it was not a good idea to leave around 4AM since we were stuck in traffic (again) going to Dau. I just did not expect there would be that much crowd early in the morning. We met up with another classmate who was from Pampanga. Good thing he knew another way around so we could get closer to the Freeport Zone without being stuck at the main gate. Hot air balloon flight was scheduled at 6:40 AM. So to cut the story short, we were not able to see it. LOL.

Excited, bored and stuck.
So far away...
These 2 were the only hot air balloons we saw upclose that was in flight. There were so many people and so many cars that we had no choice but to park at least a kilometer away from the Clark Freeport Zone. The place was brimming with people and it was such a challenge to get in. By the time we got inside, it was already around 8 AM (I think) so we settled at first possible open spot to buy breakfast and eat. After that, we roamed around, looked for souvenirs and watched the jet exhibition.

Photo 1: Me and my friends under the scorching hot sun.
Photo 2: Topless models for a fragrance. Girls were squealing in delight!
Photo 3: A velociraptor that freaked me out. It looked so real! Acts real, too!
Photo 4: Kites flying up high.

I think I'm not used to the sun anymore (LOL JK I don't like being under the sun at any circumstance) because I was reduced to a ball of sweat and it was just 11 AM. Apparently, I was not the only one because we all decided to split.

To replenish our tired souls (hahaha) and induce a little sugar rush, my college buddy suggested we go to the Creamline Ice Cream House before we leave Pampanga.

Ah, heaven!
My super delicious Peach Melba ice cream <3
Of course if there was anything with mango or anything mango flavored in the menu, I would've gotten that in a heart beat but there was none so I got something with my second favorite fruit, peaches. It was satisfying and delicious. I definitely needed that after that trip.

If you think about it, I think the trip was quite a failure (for lack of a better term haha). But as they say, "It's not the destination, it's the journey." It would be cooler if we were able to see the hot air balloons in flight but the trip was still great. We were able to spend time together (as if every weekend was not enough), talk about people (hahaha) and things, future plans, our college days, everything we could still remember and everything we almost forgot back then. It was nice to see an old friend, go to a new place and just kick back, relax and not think about tomorrow. I wish the weekends were longer so we could have longer trips like this but this will suffice for now.

Hoping to have more out of town trips this year with these crazy people!