Today, I drove 37.5km to Isdaan Floating Restaurant in Laguna to celebrate my older sister’s birthday. Alright, her birthday was actually a week ago but this day was chosen for the celebration. And as further practice for my driving, I drove the whole way – through fast lanes, winding roads and roads so narrow buses don’t fit inside a single lane. And to cap the day off, night driving in SLEX.
I must say that our frequent trips to Alabang and to Nuvali have been instrumental in improving my driving skills. I can maneuver and navigate through obstacles in our village better now and I am more or less getting the hang of parking and backing out of our very steep garage. However, someone still directs me whenever I’m parking or backing out. We really should get that sensor ASAP.
Anyway, going to the Isdaan Floating Restaurant in Laguna was not very eventful, though I still felt really panicky whenever I am going at least 60kph and there’s a vehicle to my right, another one is approaching to my left and I should be doing a right turn. I get flashbacks of that time when I almost rammed Rogue to a post.
Rogue? Well, I have decided to name our red Monty “Rogue” because like the X-Men mutant, Rogue seems to drain my powers whenever I use her. And it’s also a sort of play on the spelling of “rouge” which is French for “red”. Hehe.
So, we arrived at Isdaan in Laguna before lunch, and was able to get a good table. We ordered Mama Chit’s Bilao, Sweet & Sour Dinner Fish, Nilagang Bulalo and an assortment of fruit shakes. Mama Chit’s Bilao was made up of various fried goodies like lumpiang shanghai, liempo, shrimp, catfish (hito), tilapia and crabs, together with ensaladang mangga. It wasn’t the first time that we’ve ordered this bilao so I was a bit surprised to find that there were fewer pieces than when we ate last January at the Isdaan in Tarlac.
As soon as the food was served, three singers started serenading our table. And after a few minutes, it was already 12 noon and it was time for a show that showcased different talents. There were folk and ethnic dances, a magic show, a couple of acrobat and juggling shows and this strong man show. The shows were entertaining enough, particularly the strong man show and the acrobat show, but they could improve their speakers. The music didn’t sound too good.
After eating, we explored the place some more. Isdaan offers free face painting for kids, a free boat ride (although guests are tipped to tip the boatman a maximum of P20.00) and lots of statues for picture-taking. Buddhism figures were mixed with Hollywood and cartoon characters so guests can keep themselves entertained while waiting for their order. Plus, there was also this “San Kilo Bridge” challenge, wherein a guest who successfully crosses the San Kilo Bridge would win a kilo of fish, cooked in any way. The bridge is very narrow, and according to some related literature, one would have to cross it while balancing two pails of fish (1kg each) and avoiding obstacles like shells and water bombs. Unsuccessful attempts would leave one treading in a 6-9 ft deep pool of water filled with fish.
After a while, we were back on the road and we went to Nuvali again. There, my older sister had here turn at the wheel and she practiced driving around a bit. Then, we just passed the time while having drinks at Starbucks, again c/o my older sister. I must say, this was a very good day for me because I didn’t spend a cent but I was never hungry and I was able to practice driving, too.
I guess the only shadow to this nevertheless great day was that a 7.2 magnitude earthquake ravaged Bohol and Cebu earlier during the day. My mind kept wandering to the ruined churches and to the devastation that the earthquake left behind in those two provinces. I hope that the Boholanos and Cebuanos would not experience any more disastrous aftershocks and that the death toll would no longer increase.
And with that, ladies and gentlemen, I bid you good night. My tiring day is done and I am off to dreamland.