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Monday, October 14, 2013

For a Backpacker, Swanky Means This


We headed to the surfing town of Bagasbas after our overnight camping at Calaguas Island, immediately we located this still-closed bar during the height of the morning sun. A lone staff by the name of Restituto (I forgot his name, but let's call him that for I'm sure he'll change his name to Bebe Chittybangbang someday) was sweeping the floor. He eyed us looking lost and in dire need of a shade. He instantly connected with Lauren and Sharlyn like they're long lost BFF's or something. Restituto was constantly admiring Lauren's backpacking attire - which consists of a yellow dress, a fedora hat and high heeled shoes. 

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The view from the lounge area slash Karaoke joint is just lovely
So we let this jovial dude Restituto know about our problem, there seems nothing that would suggest a nearby Inn at this beachfront street teeming with skaters and surfers on beer break. Like on cue, he showed us the words "Lodge Inn" at the corner of their welcome "E.M. Beach Bar & Restaurant" sign at the front door. This cranky establishment - which I imagine as reeking with drunks singing bad Bon Jovi songs at night, actually has a swanky accommodation upstairs.

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Revenue main source: the Bar, the money coming from the Lodging Inn is just a bonus
Like an MGM bellhop, Res (let's call him with his fictional shortened name okay) tried to help Lauren and Sharlyn with their backpacks and started making small talk with the two girls. Small-talk which I think morphed into a sobbing life-storytelling as I keep hearing Lauren telling him "Awwwwww ang sad" and Sharlyn reassuring Res "Okay lng yan ate".

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We went inside the room, which is good for three - given the third one - ME would have to lie down under the bed on an extra mattress which cost us 20 bucks on top of the 200 bucks for the room. We're talking about pesos here so Imagine the grin on my face when I divided it by three = 73 pesos each per night! on a beachfront Inn, facing the vast pacific ocean. It's like having a front row seat watching the waves and the surfers both pro and beginners running wild over the waves.

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Our room has ample leg room, vertically
After a few minutes getting acquainted with the bed bugs, we all got out of the room and hanged out at the veranda where we just felt the cool breeze emanating from the ocean. Sharlyn suggested we order beers right away but I said I was starving. So we had our lunch cooked at the next door Lucky Duck Bar.

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Outside the veranda, the smudgy glass window offers good selfie vantage point
After our shot at learning to surf mis-adventure we went back to E.M. Lodge and changed in to dry clothes. Afterwards, we just chilled the whole afternoon sitting at a cemented bench in front of the beach. We sat people-watching as surfers with braided hairs and tanned tattooed ladies walk, run, skate and surf in front of us. 

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A few steps away from the surfing action with a SMB light on hand = perfect afternoon
By sundown the vibe at EM Lodge was replaced by a jubilant banter of blasting Karaoke songs and drunken laughter. Not only we found ourselves a cheap swanky place to stay at, we're staying at a party place I told Lauren and Sharlyn.

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They also serve breakfast but the lone staff was too wasted dozing atop a table downstairs
As we gulped bottles of Red Horse and San Miguel Beer amidst the chug-chug-chug beats and the violent kissing sounds of the waves, we all had a wonderful sleep inside our swanky room. I should mention the small bathroom was only divided by a four feet wall behind the bed, so if one poops then it's everybody's problem. But no problemo because for us backpackers, the term 'swanky' means just like this.

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It's walking distance to anywhere 
That whole holy-week trip was just grand. Thinking about it few years later still brings a smile on my face.We walked out of E.M Lodge the next morning with one remaining stop before we head home, the tables and chairs downstairs were dis-arranged in a way you'd think Quentin Tarantino shot a fight scene there the previous night. We saw Restituto too wasted to even open both of his eyes dozing off atop two tables put together. He said something about us coming back, but we're never coming back I guess - with the still many places we all want to visit, it'll take a while before we all come back to Bagasbas. But hey, we got ourselves something to always talk about. That trip one Holyweek in the summer of 2010. Lauren and I would usually start it with "I miss our swanky hotel at Bagasbas"

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This is my entry to this month's Pinoy Travel Bloggers' Blog Carnival with the official theme: My Favorite Room hosted by the sultry Eileen of The Super Tourists



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