The solitary traveler wakes up early and sets out to an early morning trip up north.
With just no specific destination but with the purpose of spending the weekend on the road. And just to de-stress what the chaotic week had just brought to his weary body.
Where to, he asks himself. The vehicle he is driving takes him to the road he usually passes by. On and on the road seems to lead him to the hinterland which they call San Remigio. As the road climbs up, and as the sun greets him, he opens the glass window of his car and inhales the smell of early morning fog which is bountiful in Brgy. Aningalan.
Simple things, like the blooming bud of a wild grass or the shadow of a rice stalk as the early morning sun rays hit it while the wind is softly causing it to sway, may become the most special thing about this simple province they call Antique. And this thing they call “Aningalan fog.”
Our weekend trekker stops and notices the blooming fields full of million flowers and blue aster. And yes, the skyline that is only seen on this side of the province.
Antique has been on the map lately, he muses. A researcher from the State University was said to have “discovered” a century-old rice terraces somewhere in San Remigio. “I might as well try to visit the place,” he decides.
He backs his car and goes in another direction, up to the long bridge that took so long to finish. At least, the bridge was done and the community was able to use it.
The road to the rice terraces ends a safe distance from this bridge. Our trekker has no choice but to leave his car and starts walking. Walk, walk and walk he did until his feet could no longer move itself.
Along the way, he thinks about how beautiful is his province. This town alone has many things to offer, to flaunt. The Igbaclag cave that looks like pointed crystals and where the wind blows so generously.
The Pula Falls where the water looks so red. The Bulan-bulan Cave that has 14 rooms. The Baguio-like atmosphere in Aningalan. And yes, the tasty bulalo that is starting to boom as family business, so fitting for the weary traveler who is shaking with the cool weather.
And the pine tree plantations along the road uphill to Aningalan that tells of many gold diggings and that prides itself as the home of many bird species that sing many lullabies.
San Remigio still claims ownership to be the habitat of rafflesia speciosa, the world’s biggest flower, nay parasite that blooms every summer. The trip up there is never complete if our solitary trekker will not catch a glimpse of this orange-colored yet fly and other insect-infested bud.
The trek is only for a day. The rice terraces will have to wait for another schedule. Weary yet refreshed with the long walk, our traveler retraces his steps back to his car and sighs : “What a way to celebrate a balmy weekend.”
Yeah San Remigio, it is our pride to claim that your natural beauties are ours to partake, this and many more, make the many reasons to come home to, even on a weekend only. (PNA)RMA/AJP/Leah Marlie Pagunsan-Tambanillo