It had been over 20 years since our barkada last got together. After a year of planning, this year we went back to Cebu to get together. My friends Joy, Jasmin and Divine had come home for the reunion. Jasmin came from Japan and Divine came all the way from from L.A. Joy, however, was here a month prior. She had come home from Austria where she and her family now resides and had extended her stay to join us. The rest of us had come from different parts of the country - Tata, my bff, came from Dumaguete, Limuel from Surigao,while I and Bong from Manila.
On our first day, however, there were only the girls and some of the young ones my friends are related to - Joy's children, Divine's son and 2 of her siblings, and Jasmin's nephew. I took an early flight while Tata was there early too. We both went straight to the Radisson Blu Hotel where the rest of the pack was waiting for us. As expected, the ladies were almost hysterical to see each other after such a long while. Some of us, yes us, grew bigger (sideways) while the others had maintained their built. Nonetheless, despite the years, the wrinkles and the inches, the friendship had never been stronger as the bond that tie us is rather long and deep.
We had originally planned to go to Bohol but, because of the weather, opted not to go. Instead we went to Simala where we had visited a famous church on a hill. It is said that the place was miraculous and thus a church was built on the very ground where the miracles happened. It was Divine's idea to go and thank the Good Lord for the time we had together. Everyone else just had to agree with her. It took about 3 hours to get there.
On our way back from Simala, we stopped by a store in Carcar to buy some chicharon which the place is known for. I had bought a few packs to bring home to Manila. A pack of about 200 grams cost 50 pesos. Of course we had a few pieces to eat inside the van. Sssshhh. That's supposed to be a secret because we are now in our mid 40's and chicharon should not be on our list of things to eat. For those who do not know what the chicharon of Carcar is, it is pork crackling made of skin and fat. Anyway, a few pieces wouldn't really hurt, right Vine?
While there, we saw a girl vendor who had some banana que with her. Of course our friends who live abroad couldn't resist the temptation of buying some. We all had a stick of the sugar-coated plaintain banans and a can of soft drink. Whew! talk about rising blood sugar. Tata, though, had a coke zero because she's diabetic. The rest of us, well, had a high glucose tolerance.
After the pitstop at Carcar, we went on our way but stopped once more in Carcar to buy some slippers and shoes. It turned out that the place is also known for footwear and there's a place there where they sell them cheap. The ladies bought an average of 2 pairs. Jasmin had about half a dozen more. Cheaper by the dozen so it seems.