After five years, at last! I finally went back to Banus!!!
After I first set my foot on the place in Holy Week of 2013, I fell in love in an instant with how perfect life is there. Very simple, quiet, serene, peaceful. What else do you have on your list? No TV, no internet, poor cellphone signal. Well, when you live in the toxic city, life in the province is just perfect. It’s sad we had to go back to Manila when the Holy Week was over.
I’ve always hoped to come back the years that followed. I was only able to do so this year, with a little kiddo with me.
Wednesday – Travel to Banus
2+ hours bus ride, 2 hours RORO (Roll on/roll off), and another 2-3 hours travel by land. That’s how it’s supposed to take us to get there. And just when we thought that Wednesday would be early enough, well, wrong. Unfortunately, it took us a day on the road. No, not the traffic, though, but the queue of vehicles getting in the Port area. Imagine, we arrived there at around 8am, get into a ferry at past 11, started sailing at 1pm and arrived at the Calapan Port at 3pm. We finally arrived in Banus at almost eight in the evening. Fifteen hours travel time. Whew! Mas mabilis pa yung biyahe pa-Caramoan or pa-Pagudpud via commute.
Thursday to Sunday – Vacation Mode
There’s actually not much that we did there. We literally just stayed in my aunt’s home. On Thursday, we opted to just rest after a day of travelling. The aunt and cousins prepared sumptuous meals for us and the little kid introduced herself to her second cousins. Kuya Eric also bought Ice Scramble from the wet and dry market. It’s a scramble made out of real fruits – or crops, for that matter, because it was Ube flavored – and it tastes really delicious! And not to mention, perfect for the warm weather.
Good Friday was for reflection, as believed by the Catholics. Again, it was another plain day at home.
Saturday was a good day for beaching. There’s this beach my cousins are talking about which they visited the day we arrived. Buktot beach is located in Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro, an hour and a half drive from Banus. White sand and non-commercialized beach. Their stories and pictures make me long for the refreshing sea breeze and so the beach girl in me was really excited. Unfortunately, the little kid started getting sick. She had a slight fever the morning we’re supposed to go to Buktot.
On the afternoon, mom cooked Ube Halaya then that evening, we had dinner with Tita Lina and family to celebrate Shane, Eman and Chloe’s birthday.
Sunday was our last chance to enjoy the sea breeze but the little kid’s still having a fever. As much as I want her to experience the morning sea breeze which was good for cough and colds, I just couldn’t take her in that situation. Her fever would only subside when she takes Paracetamol. Goodbye, Buktot!
Anyway, it was a busy Sunday since it’s also our last day there. Uncle Dan went with the mister to the Banana trees to get some bananas we would bring home while the rest of us prepared for our trip the next day. We agreed to have Carbonara for dinner, too, as Bryce’s request.
Monday – Back to the Metro
For the past days, hours seemed to pass slowly. But suddenly, it hurried as Monday came quick. As much as we wanted to extend our vacation mode, the mister had to go back to the office while my uncle needed a check up in Manila. So off we went, back to the Metro.
This time, it only took us a few hours to get to Manila. No more long queue in Calapan Port as maybe because everybody had gone back to work. We left Banus at 4:30 am. At around 10am, we were in Mampalasan SLEX having an early lunch. Our second stop, though, was in UERM for my uncle’s supposed check up with a Urologist. He was rescheduled the next day so we drove them home in Angono after. Then tried to beat 5pm for Jhia’s check up in Pacific Global. Finally, we’re home at about 6pm. Technically, it also took us a day before we reached home but it’s because we needed to bring my aunt and uncle home and our travel time is still shorter than the 16 hours we spent on the road going to Banus.
Our 5-days vacation is a literal staycation with the little kid unexpectedly being sick. Doesn’t really matter, though. She really enjoyed being there. She’s got a really huge playground and loved being surrounded by farm animals and second degree cousins. She loved the geese, pigs, and Cameron, the cow. She also loved to hear Beyonce, the myna, speak. She also indulged herself in fresh Buko juice and bananas, her favorites. Of course, she wouldn’t miss her favorite melon, watermelon and apples which we bought from the market.
The mister had a realxing vacay, too. No. 1 on our list was the fresh air. Yun palang, winner na e! Adding to that were the fresh foods like I mentioned, we’ve got unlimited buko juice and salad. Buko alone costs Php35-45 here in Manila while we’ve got unlimited stock there, fresh from the tree! He’s also proud to tell that he drove the chunky tractor and got Bananas fresh from the tree. Pasado na nga daw na haciendero according to my uncle.
But among us, four – me, mister, Jhia and mom – no contest, it’s mom who enjoyed the most. She helped my aunt and uncle in the piggery and loved watering the orchids in the garden. She’d take a nap and fill her tummy with buko salad in between. My aunt brought her to a garden where she bought several orchids that we brought home. It was indeed refreshing. She slept well and didn’t complain of knee pain while we’re there.
And me? Well, I felt refreshed, too. Before the Holy Week, I was kind of feeling exhausted with everything. This was the break I’ve been waiting for. It’s like for the first time in forever, I didn’t have to follow my daily routine. I felt rested. Not that I didn’t do chores nor watch over the little kid, but at least I’ve got a companion – actually, a lot of them – finally. Thank you, Lord!
Life back there is just perfect, at least for me. I’ll never get tired of saying that. And I am again looking forward to going back (I hope the Holy Week comes quick. Hehe).
Thank you Lord for your wonderful creations and thanks for the gift of family. ❤
PS: Not much pictures for this trip. Our phones rested as well. 😉