Chapter 2: My Visit to the Province

CHAPTER 2
MY VISIT TO THE PROVINCE

Province? What??!!
I know what you’re thinking:
There had better be a goddamned BLUE LAGOON in this here goddamned province!
Nope.
Chapter 4, maybe?

Some wise AE author on this thing once wrote that time is quite accelerated in Angeles City. Hell, LIFE is accelerated. I think he was referring to the fact that a second barfine with the same girl is sort of the AC equivalent to getting engaged. I would guess a trek to the province to meet the family is pretty much the equivalent of a wedding, in that line of thinking.
Therefore, I guess I’m sorta married now.
Wait. I’m getting way ahead of myself. We haven’t even gotten past the morning Walk-of-Shame with Miss Slutty Straps from Chapter 1…

Perpetual smiles.
Mjibbo’s Vortex Vixen who was strutting around in the slutty strappy shoes spent most of her time in my room radiating the pure smile of a girl who was just plain happy inside. I found this to be very endearing in an oddly powerful, sexy way. Oh sure, you guys now think I am merely reciting the mantra of the friend-of-the-American-fat-girl: “she has a great personality!” Well… this girl DID have a great personality, and she was hot. Sue me. I kind of dug that, in a sexual way. (Weird? Yes, weird for me too.)
Alright, MAYBE her grin was just a result of my clever peanut-tickling technique. I win either way. (peanuts are great snacks)

SPLAT.
The sloppy gray “omelette” that dropped onto my side of the neat white breakfast table in the hotel’s cozy restaurant did not entertain my curiosity as much as the deafening female body language echoing all around me. Miss Slutty Straps slowly ate her rice, chin raised high and proud, occasionally trading glances with the roaming waitress and the two receptionists within view. These flying glances carried no cargo of friendship whatsoever. It was a war. A loud war with much shouting and shooting, yet it was obviously very quiet to all the oblivious men at other tables who were also treating their conquests to a morning farewell meal.
It all started with the Walk-of-Shame. You know: You take that morning stroll past the sexy receptionist with your barfine who is styling in the same outfit in which she arrived at 2am, except that her hair is still wet from the shower needed to remove all traces of wayward man-butter. You’ve been there, yes? Well, it SHOULD be the Walk-of-Shame by Western standards. I’m convinced the tables are turned in AC, however. It seems to be a friggin Walk-of-PRIDE instead. Every time. The paid female companion seems to enjoy a temporary rung on the social bamboo ladder just above the receptionist, and clearly above the waitress. Fascinating. I was so content to observe this non-verbal status jousting, that my fingers almost reached for my Moleskine to take notes like a good embedded reporter.
Wait.
Shit.
The clock.
It was almost time for the switch. Gotta make the switch!
“Check, please!”

Trike of tricks.
After swiftly executing the classic anti-bamboo-telegraph hotel switch-a-roo move, I waited for my reunion with Spinner while lounging next to the Wild Orchid pool. I was becoming quite anxious to see the sweet little girl whom I left a few months back. Mid-afternoon, several SMLs later (Pilipino-time, here), I was summoned to meet a trike in front of the hotel. As I cautiously approached the rusty yellow tricycle with the impossibly opaque windscreen, I was compelled to glance left and right, expecting to hear circus music. You see, there were suddenly SO many bodies pouring out of the tiny vehicle, I was convinced that THIS little three-wheeled death-wagon was actually one of those clown-cars that magically transports a dozen jugglers into the big ring, Chinese fire-drill fashion. My startled blinking eyes and incredulous half-smile must have sparked the round of laughter that Spinner’s entire extended family employed as their greeting. I didn’t take a good head-count because I was busy writing a new Dr. Seuss book in my head, entitled “Big Peeps, Little Peeps, and Peeps In Between”. After the stun wore off just a bit, put on my best John McCain face and began kissing babies and shaking hands, amidst the incessant cat-calls of the blow-job bargirls across the street. Surreal. I wouldn’t say rude. I would say Angeles City. Spinner ignored them, yet was still just a bit shy in front of her big family, though her hug was filled with that healing affection that I remembered from months back. I gazed down at her close-up with the un-jaded eyes of admiration that one Phoenix might reserve for the one most beautiful girl in the bar. (I see much, my young friend) Her warmth took me back a few months to a tearful goodbye in the very same spot. My God, she felt good in my arms.

I finally ponied up some pesos for Father Clown, whose role was also driver. Go figure. He sped away, but only after the entire clown troop executed the inverse Chinese fire drill, and loaded up the trike. Well, the entire family that is, except for Spinner and her two cousins. I had agreed to allow the other two girls to hang out in the pool with us for the afternoon. Smelling just like the classic AC under-aged scam setup, I checked both cousins’ IDs to their amusement. I was reasonably satisfied, but still practicing my Station 4 speech for the Chief Inspector Louie, hopeful that the good exchange rate would get me out of jail without killing all my savings.

A sunny, humid afternoon in the Wild Orchid pool was just what Spinner and I needed to become reacquainted. Her soft touch, her honest laugh, her smell, her taste… it all came back to me as I could hear the blood rushing in my ear drums. (Okay, the blood was actually rushing downstairs somewhere.) I was tasting life again. This tiny, curvy girl had that exact effect on me. The three cousins swam with all the grace of three girls who grew up in a land-locked city without pool privileges. Still, there is a good reason that Freud was convinced dreams of water were merely dreams of sex. These clumsy girls displayed enough slow motion underwater sexuality to fill many of my dreams for nights to come.

Swimming like a rock.
I was only mildly concerned that I was about to tow a girl with limited swimming skills to an island- the kind of island completely surrounded by water. You know the type. I was even more concerned that Spinner’s little cousin had NO swimming skills. Zero. Zip. Nada. Thankfully, the Wild Orchid pool is not as deep as the Sulu Sea. Why did I care about the little cousin?
Because she was going with us to Boracay. (!)
Bang.
Did I say TWO tickets to paradise? I meant THREE.
“What the fuck. Are you crazy??” exclaimed the voice in my head.
“What the fuck. Are you crazy??” exclaim you readers of my story.
Yes. Crazy. Probably.
I shall dub Spinner’s little 18yo cousin “Chastity”. Yep, Chastity.
Aw, crap.. a CHERRY girl??
Yes. A cherry girl. Not only that, a cherry girl who is a college student, NOT a bar girl. I like her. I LUST after Spinner and I LIKE her little cousin Chastity. Call me weird. I’ve been called worse.
But BORACAY?
Sure, why not? (This story goes even farther over-the-top. Stay tuned…)
I shall dub the other cousin Miss Odd Girl Out. I believe that four is a crowd for a trip like that, and Miss Odd Girl Out missed out on any sort of plane ticket. A fellow has to draw the line SOMEWHERE, or else the clown-car Chinese fire-drill scene would just keep repeating like Groundhog Day, only the setting would be an exotic beach resort.

My Province Trek.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, the province in question here was Pampanga. That’s right, my little Spinner is from Pampanga. A local girl. (“aw shit”, I can hear it now.) If I had conducted the original barfine interview on my cherry trip with the official prescribed barfine list of questions, then I might have known this from the start. Don’t get me wrong, I would have still completely ignored the common advice against local girls, utilizing the very same shrug often tossed by an expat with a latex allergy to a lecturing mamason. I march to my own iPod, if you couldn’t tell. (that’s my story, I’m sticking with it)
That evening, Father Clown’s rusty yellow trike returned to the same spot on the same red paver-stone driveway in front of the hotel. This time he was lacking the entire clown troop as well as any hint of clown music. His death-wagon was empty and beckoning as was his smile at his potential white-monkey meal-ticket. Spinner, Chastity, Miss Odd Girl Out and I all piled in.

I really had no idea that the back roads of Angeles and surrounding towns were all unmarked and indistinguishable by Western eyes. My life was now completely in the hands of this old guy driving a smoky overloaded trike deep, deep into the bowels of Angeles. Or Mountain View. Or some other town with a fancy name that matched its true appearance like my loud board shorts matched my quiet T-shirt. Who knows where the hell I was? I began to compose my epitaph in the growing darkness to keep my mind off my increasingly bruised kidneys.

The four of us finally arrived in a sloppy, muddy “parking lot” in the pitch black, in the middle of nowhere, piled out, and walked down three dirt paths that doubled as sewage canals. Ok, maybe gray-water, not so much the black-water? Dunno. The strong funk was hinting at the latter. Was my nose extra-sensitive that night? There was suddenly an ancient voice inside my head. (“Its not the heat, it’s the HUMIDITEE”) In the dark distance I could hear someone’s videoke box complete with the amplified dissonance that comes with two tone-deaf singers. (Why is that fun?) I had a lot of trouble resisting the urge to shout “Anyone up for a card game?!” As you can see, I have very little respect for the Grim Reaper. Bring it on.

Spinner’s huge family was gracious, hospitable, and funny. Really funny. Her 70yo grandmother had the hots for me. That is EXACTLY the kind of humor that tugs at my heart and I laughed until I needed to re-hydrate. Lacking any bottled water at this residence, I urged Spinner and Chastity to finish packing for Boracay.
After a hundred goodbyes and not one card game, we retraced our journey down the river Styx, and miraculously ended up at the Wild Orchid. My epitaph would have to wait.

Spinner and I quickly ushered Chastity into her own private room at the Wild Orchid. I was NOT going to miss our 8:00am SEAIR flight to Caticlan the next morning because of another detour through the bowels of Angeles. I told cherry Chastity to txt her boyfriend that she had a nice room for the night, all to herself (I remember being 18!).
No boyfriend.
Hmm.
Spinner and I retired to a different room altogether. The love we made that night was the urgent style of a couple unduly separated by time and distance. She felt like heaven. She felt more like home than home. I dig Spinner. You already knew that.

5:00am
Bleep bleep bleep.
What the fuck? Its still dark!
I blame SEAIR. Fuck SEAIR. Our 8:00am departure from Clark to Caticlan (Boracay) was tagged on their website as having check-in at 6:00am. Skeptical, I set the alarm at 5:00am. Spinner, Chastity, and I piled our sleepy asses into the waiting car at 5:45am and arrived at Clark Field exactly at 6:00am. The security guards laughed and told us to take a seat outside, as the terminal would not even open until 7:00am. Actually, 7:30 would have been fine.

Well, the extra hour of sleep would have been nice, but still- the price was right. It was only about P5,800 per person, round-trip. I was gung-ho to get out of Angeles. Don’t get me wrong, I do love the bar scene, the male bonding, the GIRLS. It’s just that Angeles City is exactly 75 minutes away from one of the top-ten beaches in the world, and I now had a female companion (or two) with whom to share it. I just cannot let go of a chance for humor, though…

“Ma’am, your website states that check-in is at 6:00am”, I blurted out to the sleepy yet sexy young SEAIR ticket girl, upon check-in.
“Sorry, sir, that time is meant more for Manila.”
“But we’re not in Manila are we? We’re in Clark, yes?”
“Diosdado Macapagal Airport, sir.”
“Don’t you think you should somehow inform Clark passengers of the difference? My maganda harem, here, coulda used a bit more sleep, what with all the boom-boom, diba? Don’t YOU like to sleep after boom-boom?” “Sir?”
“What time did YOUR alarm go off?”
“mmmm”?
“Your alarm. Ours went of at 5 friggin am. Do you see our problem?”
“Sir? I’m sorry.”
My eyes closed indignantly right before the “remember where you are” voice inside my head started again.
“Its not the heat, missy. It’s the HUMIDITEE!”
“Sir?”
(score two for me)

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