The month of October is about to bid farewell.
This is one of the months which have given me a roller coaster ride of emotions, majority of which were negative. Nevertheless, the experience recast me into a stronger and wiser woman.
Tonight, I would rather start writing about this series of happy events that took place this month instead of narrating the forgettable ones to avoid unearthing the pains and the hurts.
October 5, Sunday was the genesis of these indelible memories. Despite worrying for my safety since the alert level was heightened for the expected eruption of Mt. Mayon that very week, my husband permitted me to go home to my province just for the 45th birthday of a good friend/batchmate/kumpare. With the very short stay, I planned my itinerary well prior to the luau party at 5:00 P.M. that day without expecting bonuses.
From seeing the calm Mount Mayon after the touchdown, I had a wonderful surprise meeting/reunion with my grade school classmate who is now an internal medicine doctor. It was our first after our graduation in elementary 32 years ago.
A quick exchange of “hi’s” and inquiries about our mutual interest erased any awkwardness between us. In fact, Nestor’s warm greeting, recognition, and hug assured me that this very humble classmate of mine had not changed a bit. Thanks to Facebook, we were able to reconnect and sustain any friendship or brotherhood we had when we were classmates the whole six years in Bicol University Pilot Elementary School (BUPES).
Dropping my travelling bag at Ninong’s Hotel where I would be billeted overnight, I set out for my next destination. This is the Legazpi Restaurant, popularly known as LR.
I have been salivating for their pancit canton and bola-bola siopao for long.
When I ran at the Mayon 360 last April, eating here was what I failed to insert in my tight schedule though an opportunity could have been grabbed had a friend extended an earlier invite the day their team went there to eat. 😦 But that humid Sunday, I finally was able to end that craving. I had the place to myself and I did not have to wonder. LR has its peak hour and it usually comes late in the afternoon. While waiting for my order, I inspected the interior of the place and I smiled. Nothing has changed much with its appearance especially the “untidy” look of the diner. I guess it is part of its appeal.
You see, LR is part of my colorful childhood. Being able to eat there with my family on very rare occasions was truly treasurable. My smile became wider when the lone waitress granted my request for this documentation.
Looking at her face, I realized that she was already there at LR in my younger years. Another employee arrived and I could clearly remember her being part of the service crew. After the photo op, I silently ate my lunch. Then, in the middle of my eating the siopao, I had to ask my server if there’s still an egg inside. You know, it is my favorite part of that siopao. The affirmative answer of the woman excited me, making me take another big bite and finally saw what I inquired about.
“Hello, egg,” I silently muttered.
Seeing it gave me a rewind of this priceless treat from my father. The delicious taste was still the same making me wish that I had a bigger space in my tummy for another order. Unfortunately, I already felt full. I think the sight of the big serving of the pancit canton overwhelmed me making me feel bloated already after consuming one-fourth of it. I had it taken out plus 12 more bola-bola siopao as “pasalubong” to my eldest sister’s and eldest brother’s respective families.
My brother Yul/Long knew my going home that day since I made “lambing” for a transportation service to the party a day before my arrival, but not my sister Jocelyn/Olen whom I wanted to surprise. Now, my popping out at their gate is the next story I will be narrating tomorrow. For now, I got to give in to my drowsy eyes.