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lucid thoughts

Philippine Connection - July 13, 2002 Saturday

Los Baños

It's been a week since I arrived and the rain hasn't really stopped - from torrential downpour to mild shower to short lapses of 'rain-free' moments. Because of that, we had to change plans and cancel the planned scuba diving at Anilao, Batangas. The entire family went to City of Springs, a hot spring resort in Los Baños, about an hour's drive south from Manila.

Having a penchant for good food, we stopped by "Betty's Sans Rival", a specialty shop making a very rich butter/wafer layering that stands true to its name, "no rival".

To further gain experience, I chose to drive the other car. After my "baptism of fire" driving to Makati the previous night, nothing hurts. What should have been an hour's drive turned out to be 2.5 hours due to flooding in 2 sections along the South Super Highway.

We finally reached the place. Being perched right by the already swelling Laguna de Bay, it offered a panoramic view of the fish ponds within the lake. It has air-conditioned rooms with its own private mini-pool inside, filled with natural volcanic (hot) spring water. There are also 2 big public swimming pools filled with volcanic spring water. As expected, there was way too much food brought along including a rice cooker and microwave oven.

Altogether, having the family together for a little R&R was rewarding in itself. For dinner, I had the chance to prepare my favorite: blackened steak - a spicy Cajun dry rub on butter-covered tenderloin grilled in charcoal to produce a crunchy outer surface and tender, juicy center. I wish I brought along a bottle of red wine but the Spanish brandy wasn't bad either.

Because of the non-stop rain and fear that the flooded sections of the highway are in worse condition, we decided to spend the night over.

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