Liwaliw, in English,
is strolling or roaming,
and this is precisely what my long-time friends and I did in mythological goddess Makiling’s beloved province, Laguna.
[photos by CJ Brosas]
It has become a curious coincidence that the three of us, Connet B. and Jay G., would go out to some far flung place, on a whim, with no experience (or idea) how to get there. First time we did this was when we found ourselves riding an ordinary bus to the famed Caramoan islands in Bicol.
This time, it was nearer (we all live in Laguna). Another college friend, CJ, invited us to his hometown Liliw–one of the oldest towns of Laguna–known as the Tsinelas (slipper/sandals) Capital of the Philippines and if I may add, that quaint little town at the foot of mystical Mt. Banahaw.
Evening arrived before we did. The rain did a good job in soaking us and bringing us closer together, under one umbrella, which is, believe or not, Jay‘s.
Cold and hungry, we took a very long jeepney ride from the national highway to Nagcarlan (the town before Liliw) via dark and hilly, snaking roads. Then, we took another jeepney to the town proper where CJ picked us up.
At 9pm we were all seated warmly at the dining table, and we chatted all the way until 4 in the morning, with coffee break in between. I realized, other than my boyfriend and perhaps my sister, these are the only people whom I can talk with for hours.
When we settled down on our beds upstairs, we chatted a little more until our bodies and eyes cried out, abuse! Morning came and we rode a tricycle to the nearby town of Majayjay for an early river dip, stopping by the market for a while so Connet and Jay can buy some popcorn, those kids.
Unfortunately, we had to cut the Fooling Around In a Strange Town Where Nobody Knows You because CJ, that corporate slave, had to run to his work in Manila.
The best part for me was when we were (okay here we go again) chatting while watching the stream enchant us. Hours later, when Connet, Jay and I went to Los Baños to meet another college friend, Seph, we talked some more until late in the evening just outside the SU Building after a round of beer and crazy videoke session at LB square in the afternoon.
It’s quite a lovely night talking near that building where our friendship started with many others as we toiled many nights producing the University’s official newspaper for the students.
It’s not as if we haven’t seen each other for years. My two cents, YM chat or FB messaging has long been our mode of communication among each other, so face to face talk was refreshing. All of us have our lives mostly spent online and it’s nice to check from time to time that they’re real.