Angono Petroglyphs: Ancient Stick Figures and Mr. Chips in a Pandesal

Sunday, June 30, 2013


PROLOGUE

I swore that I will catch up with my long-overdue blog entries today. I'm trying my best not to sound like a discursive galoot. So here's change: (because what's life without whimsy, yes?) new title format. From here on out, the title of my entries shall be Celineism: Lakwatsa #__: A More Flamboyant Title

It's more interesting, is it not? It also shows how clever I am. So there.

THE PRELUDE

It all began with a photo post by my good friend, Jed. (I was poised to post a screen shot or whatever but can't seem to find this post. Probably because it's buried beneath all the photos from Jamjam's iPhone. 'Di marunong mag-upload. Hihi. Joke lang.) This particular post shows the Angono Petroglyphs. Jed captioned it with something like, "Parang 'di taga-Angono" along with an expression of his intent to go to this place. 

I then thought it was high-time I visit this place. I remembered last summer, Loves Ko and I were seriously talking about paying the place a visit but it never did come to fruition because a) we didn't know how to get there and b) we were broke. The former reason is outright bull (what's Google for, duh?) and the latter hogwash. This adventure is very budget-friendly. Anyway, I posted a comment telling Jed that I'd really love to visit the Petroglyphs as well. Then, before you know it, Kambal Tophe was gathering forces and scheduling a trip to the historic site. 

The initial plan was to go on a weekday. I pleaded no. I suggested we go there on June 1, a Saturday. Kambal said he's ok with my proposal but added that I have to tell Jed and the others. So I did, strengthening my case by telling them that I already called up the Petroglyphs office and gave advice that we're going there on a Saturday tour. And who could say no to that? We were all set. By we, I mean Jed, Jamjam, Kambal Tophe, Jerrold, Jensut, Jensut's Paulo, Loves Kong Dennis, and moi.  

(The place is officially called Angono Petroglyphs in Binangonan. It's politically correct because the site is in Binangonan but an Angono resident, National Artist Carlos "Botong" Francisco, discovered it. For more info, kindly google it.)

IN A NUTSHELL

Again, to make things easier, a rundown:

1.) The Tardy Bird gets to buy Peanut Butter. In my defense, I got home quite late the night before this trip because of a work-related event. (See previous entry.) I was seriously considering bailing out because I wanted more sleep. (I'm glad I didn't.) Kambal Tophe, when Dennis and I arrived, casually told me to buy palaman. I said, ok. We bought Peanut Butter in 7/11.

Later on in the trip, while we were playfully bashing at each other, me and my tardiness became the target at one point:

Jed: Yung late diyan o.

Kambal: Hindi naman siya ang late, si Dennis.

Haha. Let me clear this up (because I didn't at that time), I told Kambal that I was good to go but was still waiting for Dennis because we were going to the meeting place together. He got the impression that Dennis was the reason we were both late. Muhaha. Still, thanks for coming to my defense, Kambal. :)

2.) Nothing could've prepared us for what we have endured. We all said that we were willing to walk. I, for one, was like, "Meh. Malapit lang yan." I was soooo wrong. Gad, the sheer distance of "the walk" was unimaginable. It's like there was no end to the alay-lakad. Most of the gang got tan lines. Muhahaha. I sort of knew this was going to happen ergo I dressed aptly. But it waaaaaaas exhaaaaaaaausting. We were basically trying to drink as little water as possible because we were afraid we'd run out and die of severe dehydration. (In retrospect, yes, that was counter-productive.) We also had to constantly stop to rest. ("Five minutes pa.") It was still fun, though. It was tiring but we had a great time. We were laughing our thirsts and exhaustion away. At some point, this conversation ensued:

Jed: Di ba nag-tour din sila sa Camsur tsaka sa Bicol?

Me, Dennis, and Tophe: Di ba ang Camsur ay nasa Bicol?

*laughs*

Jed: Di, OK lang yan.

Dennis: Wahaha. Kinonsole ang sarili. 

I swear, this was funnier in actuality. Hahaha.

One of the many photo ops during one of our many pitstops.

3.) The weird food preferences. When we finally arrived at the site, we decided to have an almost-but-not-quite lunch/snack before we go exploring. We didn't have a shortage of food, thank goodness. We had bread and chips and an assortment of palaman. Perfect after a looooong loooooong walk. While we were munching, Jamjam kept on insisting that Mr. Chips make delicious palaman. She said it was her favorite. We all looked at her like she was crazy. (In our defense, she truly is. Haha.) At first, no one dared try her eccentric choice of filling. But since we, Jamjam and I, basically spent most of our highschool days together, I can say that the two of us share the same messed-up gene. I ate Pan-de-Mr. Chips and I liked it.
Keeping true to the WTF food theme, I came up with the idea to try Pik-Nik as palaman. Jerrold quickly took me up on my challenge. Kambal tried to piss Jamjam off by saying, "Bakit yung suggestion ni Celine tinry agad, yung sa'yo hindi?" Jamjam ignored him because she too decided to try my suggestion. (See? We're sisters that way.) The rest of the troupe eventually did try Mr. Chips in a pandesal and decided it was not bad. Even the pandesal with the Pik-Nik seemed to pass our standards. Tasty things come in weird, crunchy and floury packages, after all. :))

And oh, this was also the moment the phrase "If you know what I mean" + wink became a crude running joke.


Pan-de-Mr. Chips and Pan-de-Pik-Nik and a portion of the actual Petroglyphs + moments. 

4.) The helpful and well-informed security guard. I think we were all mildly surprised and, um, a bit uncomfortable by the fact that the security guard on-duty was thoroughly knowledgeable of the what's-happenings and the what's-in-heres. He was very courteous and very enthusiastic. To be honest, I was half-expecting he'd be grumpy, being assigned to such a far-flung area. Glad I was wrong. Us being exhausted and all, bad things might have happened had I been right. Anyway, Nong, as Jamjam came to call him, even showed us a kind of gliding lizard. He claimed it was a draco rizali. I did some googling and the lizards we saw did not look anything like a draco rizali. Hey, it's the thought that counts. 

5.) Failed to be Awed. Awesomest, nonetheless. Loves Ko and I casually discussed the place while we were walking back to civilization. We were in agreement that there was nothing really magnificent about the place. We didn't have any sense of going back to the past--that tingly and creepy but nice feeling that you're in the presence of something old and grand and significant, know what I mean? Dennis even had this conspiracy theory. He said there's a possibility the stick figures in the rock face were just drawn recently. I laughed at this, but what if? Also, the small museum in the area housed objects that were not found or unearthed in Angono, or Rizal for that matter. Some are even replicas. We expected more, I guess. But I'm glad for the company. 
After going back to civilization, we decided to have our lunch--a proper lunch--at Jamjam's. (Jensut and Paulo said their goodbyes; Paulo had a basketball game that afternoon.) While and after having our lunch, we had a sort-of movie marathon. More bonding. More laughs. :) 
My friends (and new friend, Paulo.) are the awesomest. They're weird and annoying and often tactless but they're the most intelligent, caring, and just the best people in the world. I love them. 




THE BOTTOMLINE
Wouldn't exchange this experience for anything. I'd go anywhere with these people. Exhaustion and the threat of death-by-dehydration is nothing when you're with great company.

Cheers to the next adventure!

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