26 October 2007


My husband has fallen in love with Taal, the cold mountain with a lake and an active volcano in the middle. This is where Splendido, the golf and country club is cocooned. He just had discovered Splendido, but I already feasted on the beauty of Taal long before I even met him. I am glad my husband found Splendido and Taal.

My parents always brought us here when we were children. The long trip, for us, started along the coast of Manila Bay and wove into the smaller roads festooned with fruit stalls. Along these roads we experienced the sight of freshly cut beef from Batangas cattle that hanged on rods and also smelled the brewing of the coffee called "Barako". A barako literally means a thug or a bully. This is the coffee that raises your adrenaline, I know.

In the vicinity of the famous lake, there are quaint, European-like houses owned presumably by well-to-do families. My husband is reminded, he says, of countryside England because of these houses and the cold climate.

As a child, I looked for my favourite fruit when we stopped over at the stalls. It is called 'tiessa' and it looks like a ripe papaya on the outside. The taste is like a chiku gone chalky, my brothers would say. But, it did not discourage me and I suspect I had more Vitamin A because of the 'tiessa'. All of us liked the 'atis' (sugar fruit) because of its unbelievable sweetness and we spit out the seeds to hit on each other. I found the pictures of these fruits (Marketman's) and I am brought back to the magic of Taal.

waterloo, bournemouth

A conversation like this comes up now and then.

MEEZA: Where is 'waterloo'?

ME (remembering the battle movie): It was where Napoleon Bonaparte lost. It was his last battle. Rod Steiger was Napoleon in the movie...

HUBBY(with 'stop it mom look' at me) : Waterloo is the railway station where Daddy used to take trains from London to Bournemouth where Daddy went to school.

MEEZA (lighting up, more interested in Dad's history than Napoleon's): Can we go to Bournemouth soon?