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Passing Thru ManilaJun 27, 2011

Passing Thru Manila

Manila Stop-over
With cheap air fares from Cebu Pacific, I finally got my chance to explore the one place in the Cordillera that has proved elusive - the Kalinga region and Balbalasang. But before reaching my destination, I had to pass through Manila. Every time I visit Manila, it always reveals a new unexpected flavor. I was curious what it would be this time.

An Odd Couple
I thought I'd put the word out I'm up for a night of adoption...just like the good old days, but I thought my Manila days would be better spent bonding with my Dad, despite my lingering ambivalence. His spare room didn't hurt either. After what's been said and done, we spent time together on new ground. I'm not his 5-year old anymore, and he's not the swashbuckling man-about-town either. We've become different people in the passing years, and it was only a matter of time before the old mold breaks to accommodate the changes that have always been tearing at the wall. We're pretty much on baby steps...yeah, two not-so-spring chickens taking their baby steps - talk about a serious comedy. But despite the awkwardness, it's still very much a healthly relationship. Why? Because there's effort to acknowledge the differences and the willingness to go forward with the change. I've seen so many less-than-optimized relationships wallowing in a rut caused by its compliance to an ill-fitting template that has already seen its time and purpose.

Shifting Sands of PeopleScape
Very few denizens of my peoplescape that previously defined Manila remained intact. Most of them are gone - ex-girlfriend-turned-friend has become an arms-length acquaintance, promising friendships became distant possibilities, remaning friends felt tired and weary. My beloved org even felt distant and alien. My heart remained restless, but for what, it wasn't clear.

Glass is Half Full
True to the yin-and-yang dichotomy of things, the bright side of the moon saw me hooking-up with my dear Carina, who's expecting her first bundle of joy with hubby Victor. I touched base with Maria Falcon at Backdoor Blues Cafe and filled each other up on what's been happening of late. Likewise for my dentist buddy Raddy Mabasa who gave me a once-over followed by coffee at Caroline's across the street. I appreciate these recurring constants. It was a surprise to have marine-bio Amanda Ackiss join me at Backdoor Blues for some live music. Talk about surprises, former LRTA administrator, Mel Robles, met me at Backdoor Blues with his good buddy to claim my offer to buy him beer for his master stoke of opening up the LRTA to folding bikes - you still DA MAN, Mel! Mabuhay ka!

Backdoor Blues Cafe
Of course, Backdoor Blues Cafe is a resurrection all its own, after shutting down its Maginhawa location. I felt a tremendous loss when that happened. Now that it's alive and well in a more accessible location, there's nothing like a neighborhood blues bar where you hang for friends, food, music and spirits. It doesn't matter if I go alone - I always come away with new friends. Hands-on owner, Elwyn, has a lot to do with the vibe. For music, you get the unexpected open blues jam on Mondays. The just-concluded Led Zeppelin night by Kulukati brought the house down!

I make it a point to bond with my Vipassana family with every visit. If I can, I even join them on a sit. That happened on 2 occassions - one at Sico Farm and the other one at Julien Drolon's place at Eastwood. One thing about Vipa peeps is that I don't have to put my guard up - even though it's a fresh acquaintance. We resonate on the same page. Amongst new friends, I particularly liked Julien's unpretentious candor and Bita's plight. Jessie and Dex said something I couldn't forget - that yoga can cure anything. I researched about yoga and my health issue. Through prolonged inversions (headstand primarily), I cured myself, or at least, getting close to it. Yeah, yoga works on specific health issues!

Earning While on R&R
Making money while on vacation? I didn't plan it that way. But while getting a flu shot, I told the owner a lot of health-conscious people would like to avail of adult vaccination, except that like me, they're probably not even aware of it. With that, I talked to her about subscribing to my city directory. After seeing the Google performance of some clients, without further ado, she took out her wallet and paid me cash. Instead of feeling gaga over the unexpected sale, I was thinking, "Now, here's a forward-thinking entrepreneur who knows the value of Google ranking on the internet". I've priced my listing so low that if a business owner declines it, it's not because of money. Primed, I duplicated that scenario as I was travelling. The ramification is profound - that I can indefinitely travel because I can be self-sustaining. Unlimited travel anyone?

Lingering Thought
At the end of my Manila stay, I left the place with a somber feeling that whatever I was looking for wasn't least, not anymore. Given what's up ahead, it only means there's a place out there with my name on it. I just need to find it. In the meantime, the north awaits.

--- TheLoneRider

Manila! hibachi lunch Raddy Mabasa Carina and Victor
Vehm and John UP Mountaineers orientation Mel Robles Maria Falcon
Backdoor Blues Cafe Ronnie Badilla, Ricky and Elwyn Amanda Ackiss Vipassana
Eastwood Mall Bita and Julien Drolon ice skating Pia Faustino
Vehm and Genesis at Mogwai goodbye Manila    

Metro Manila Blogs by TheLoneRider

These guys like this story:





Alen AdornadoAlen Adornado
(Jun 20, 2011) Kalinga? Bongga!

Kram BacheroKram Bachero
(Jun 19, 2011): Wow...Balbalasang! Sana makapunta din ako dyan...he-he. Enjoy and have a safe trip.

Raddy MabasaRaddy Mabasa
(Jun 19, 2011) : Hope you are enjoying your trek in the hinterlands. See you when you get back!

Maria FalconMaria Falcon
(Jun 19, 2011) I hope you enjoyed your time in the city. Enjoy your northern adventure!

Greg HutchinsonGreg Hutchinson
(Jun 19, 2011) Enjoy the journey...destination!

Daphne PadillaDaphne Padilla
(Jun 19, 2011) Wow...ingat sa byahe!

Rene AbesamisRene Abesamis
(Jun 19, 2011) Have a safe trip. Sounds like you're having a blast!

Mimsy Sermonia-JundisMimsy Sermonia-Jundis
(Jun 16, 2011) Happy travels!

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Manila Bar, Cafe and Resto:

Trigo Bakery and Cafe

Serye cafe resto

Black Kings Bar music bar


Coffee | Food

Serye cafe resto
Cafe | Resto
Quezon Memorial Circle

Trigo Bakery, Guijo Street, Makati
Trigo Bakery
9629 Kamagong
San Antonio Village

Music Bars

Black Kings Bar music bar
Black Kings Bar
Bar | Cafe
107 West Ave., QC

Backdoor Blues Cafe

Julien Drolon

Gerard Mabasa, DDM, FICD

NY Fries and Dips