Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Revisiting Infanta

Up to Dinahican Fishing Port, Infanta in Quezon is roughly 120 kms or 3 1/2 hours away from Cubao. A similarly traveled distance brings you to Batangas in the South or to Pampanga in the North. But Infanta transports you to a place that transcends beyond geographical travel time. 3 hours is short to be set back centuries ago when population density is low and pacing slow.
Mega Maya at P 230/kilo, Tuna at P 130, Blue Marlin at P 140, Tulingan at P 60.

Before the 2004 landslide tragedy, it was a favorite destination of racer bikers and motorized trike drivers. Today it remains still to be their favorite weekend getaway. Coming from Rizal, you cross two mountains; the Rizal-Laguna boundary (about 20 kms and ½ hour) and the Sierra Madre range traversing Laguna-Quezon (about 40 kms and 1 hour).
Paluto at P40 compared to P 180 at Farmers
Sight alone is a feast. The Rizal-Laguna boundary imposes a view of the Metro Manila skyline with Laguna de Bay and Talim Island at the foreground. The Sierra Madre ascent and descent display an infinite depth of mountain ranges, coconuts, trees and gorges. End to end, you drive to a well-paved concrete highway with minimal traffic interrupted only by a series of checkpoints in the Laguna and Quezon provinces.
To Polilio in 3 hours at P 180. Bus ride to Infanta from Manila at P 180.
2008, 4 years after the massive landslide where thousands of trees from roots to branches were uprooted rolling down to the river and to the Lamon Bay and Pacific Ocean, there appears to be no traces of destruction.

Resorts are bustling with guests from the nearby provinces (including my colleagues from work, Rolly and Alex). Fish is in abundance and townfolks as courteous, modest and helpful as ever.
Fishing vessels dock in late AM at Dinahican Fishing Port
Infanta is at the forefront of a new wave of development when the 100 kilometer plus Infanta-Marikina road opens before the end of 2009 exposing another segment of the Sierra Madre to further expansion and hopefully not exploitation.
Rolly, Alex, Jonnell

It felt good to have come back. It brought back the same feeling I had the first time I explored it a more than a decade ago.

In the company of friends, the hardworking sales associates who simply wanted to relax and urban workers escaping from the entrapment of malls, targets and deadline did not deter us from enjoying socials at the Baywatch. What was originally a 5 PM enroute was moved to 7, 8 and eventually past 9. Over squid, blue marlin, light drinks and engaging conversations, at least for once, time did not matter.
A 7 kilo Tuna gently cut by Marissa for the novice fish buyers

Chito Razon 8 June 2008

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