posted by 08/08/2015 2 Comments
This is what I think as we take the drive home from our road trip misadventure. We drive through the rice fields that spread amongst the mountains and the coconut palms peak out through the rugged forest that lies like a lush green carpet around the fields. There is a caribou grazing lazily underneath a coconut palm and that is how my question came about.

Suddenly, the mountains appeared on the horizon & I started to breathe again

I have so many thoughts running through my head at this time. It is getting on to mid afternoon; we left home just after eight this morning. After everything with BB’s hospital adventure as well as my own illness, I was looking for an escape. I wanted to run away. Get as far as I can away from that life. Even if it is just for a day, that will be enough for now. I need air. I need space. I need green that is not the sickly grime covered trees that struggle for life around the city. So I speak to our driver, ask what he thinks and he suggests Subic. A solid three or so hour drive but there is beach and forest. The two things I crave. So we go. I packed up the car with everything we need, I packed up the kids and off we went.

Rice fields & Mountains, a delightful combination

We got out of the city and once again the mountains appeared in front of us and the excitement built, so did the relief. We drove through the rice fields and mountains and the further we ventured, the more relieved I felt. Yes, we are escaping.


That was as far as it went.


We got to Subic, stopped at the service station for a map and directions to the best beach and off we went. Driving through the town center we passed the nasty looking girly bars that Subic is historically known for, amongst other things (it was one of the largest US military facilities outside of the US until they had to withdraw in late 1991). We passed the one place I would have loved to explore. The old cemetery. It is built on the side of a mountain and is a maze of crypts, tombstones and decorative head stones. It is really a fascinating site. Further up the coast we traveled and on the advice of some locals we got onto a small, rough road hemmed in by old, decrepit buildings. This was the coast road? The buildings, which included various ‘resorts’,hotels, kitchens and very dodgy buildings with signs such as 15Php a shower, blocked the view of the actual beach line, however glimpses of it made my heart sink. Dark grey sand and grotty water flashed past like grabs in a TV commercial. Sadly, there was nothing inviting about what I was looking at.

Glimpse of the Cemetery in Subic

Eventually we stopped and turned around. It was late now, the children were totally over sitting in a car and we needed to find some lunch.

I Googled ‘where to eat in Subic’ and found Trip Advisor (what would we do without Google?). After a good look we decided on a restaurant that got four and a half star reviews. It was back in town but I didn’t care, I just wanted to get away from this place. We finally found the restaurant and it was closed. This was the theme for a few places we tried to find. As we were driving around we got pulled over by a policeman. Apparently our Driver had committed a ‘felony’. Really? Easy enough to sort, two hundred peso later, which was handed over in the most professional illegal way I have ever seen. Clearly our Driver is experienced in dealing with these situations. I am impressed, and commended him on his sleight of hand.

By this time I was really over it. Recommendations were coming in on Facebook for places to go, but they were too far out of town, we only had the day and it was practically over. All we had time left for was lunch so we stopped at the shopping mall which thankfully was a good quality one and we had lunch at TGI Friday which I don’t mind too much. Predictable pub grub and they serve milkshakes and cocktails. I was tempted to have a drink, I felt I was kinda owed something in this mess of a day but I didn’t. The kids feasted on hotdogs, spaghetti and strawberry milkshakes and I tried to take a moment of mindfulness and gratitude to turn this situation around.

I was thankful I had not brought anyone with us. Despite the disappointment of Subic, it has still been an adventure and you know what, I got to go through the mountains and forest. Even if just for a short time, I felt like I could breathe again.

Driving home the children played in the back of the car, and I listened to my BB giggle and that made me smile. They have forgotten for now, that I told them we would be swimming at a beach. I get a message from FB’s teacher, who has agreed to tutor me in Tagalog. She says its heavy rain in Manila, do we still want a class tonight? I look out the car window at the blue sky dotted with white clouds and smile.

At least we have had sunshine today.

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Marie Loerzel 11/08/2015 at 5:37 am

The misadventures are the ones that stay with you and make you smile. When they're all over of course…

Salty Bug 17/08/2015 at 8:23 pm

I totally agree. I also feel it is important to discover these things for yourself.


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