Katja and Arne's travel stories

Goodby Manila hello Batangas

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Early rise as we are to train in the park with GM Rodel at 7:00. We are checking out of the hotel and will go to Batangas directly from the park after training.

All that for just a trip of one year?

All that for just a trip of one year?

The check out took about twenty minutes. They are so focused on recites in this country that a process of two stays, a deposit and a laundry service takes 20 minutes to handle. But we got time. The training starts when the training starts, with or without us. Finally we’re all done and head for the park. No traffic means 18 minutes ride and when we get into the Chinese garden there was just a few students there already. GM came soon after and we started practicing.

Once again we had a great training gin the park. We worked alone and with partners and went through different elements from Rodel’s Dagooc Arnis System (DAS). At around 11:00 we finished and gathered up our stuff. We come pretty heavy packed as we have everything with us. We went to a restaurant and sat down for food and waiting for the title match in boxng between the local hero Pacquiao and his American opponent Algieri – “Hungry for Glory” is the match called. So we eat some noodle thing with some undisclosed meat product in it. We don’t dear to ask what it is, in fear of actually getting to know. It tastes good and we’re hungry, that’s all that matters.

Right before the match is about to start, we get the result. Turns out the TV broadcast is not live and the match has ended. We still watch 6 rounds before we go to the bus station. One of the new guys in the group, who’s only had about 4 beers, drive us down. We board and see that there’s a tv in the bus and we get the last three rounds as well.
Pacquiano is a huge national hero here in the Philippines and there has been tremendous promotion for this match. He out boxes his opponent totally and win a deservedly victory.
The bus fill up and it’s time to go. The ticket system leaves me a bit baffled. First a guy walks through the bus and hands out tickets, then he comes back and collects the money in the second round through the bus. If it works…
The roads are quite nice as we ride down the new highway. The trip to Batangas took previously up to five hours, and is now done in one and a half if the traffic allows. We spent about two hours on the road.

Bus Selfie, with GM in the back

Bus Selfie, with GM in the back

We got off at the Batangas bus station which must be categorized as “busy”. A lot of busses and people, cars and tricycles in between. A constant honking of heavy bus horns and Jeepney’s that pollute with their big Diesel engines. We spent a little time waiting for GM’s daughter to pick us up, and the we headed to their home.
We stopped on the way and got us basic things like water and fruit and came after thirty minutes of driving to our new home.

In the third story of GM’s house is a gym. Directly connected to this is a bedroom with a bunk bed and a bathroom. A German guy stayed here for a year, so it’s gonna be fine for us for the days we spend here. We have aircon and a fan, we got a fridge to cool water and store fruits, and we got a whole gym for ourselves. This is gonna be great.
We have planned two sessions tomorrow, 9-11 and 15-17. In between we’re gonna find a post office and send back some more stuff, including Katja’s old day pack. There is a motorcycle to be rented here and I’ll think we’ll do that. Then we can go to the beach between trainings, and explore the area when not honing our already sharp killer instincts.

Our personal hygienic standards have been challenge several time during this trip. The park trainings and later eating and drinking without showering first was strange at first. But it is common around here. You dry up, change cloths and go out in the world. There is no one here that smells bad, so with clean clothes this works. Now, with 10 hours since we were soaking wet of sweat in the park do we get to hang our training cloths to dry. It’s also the first opportunity to wash our feet and to clean the armpits since this morning. In between I have numerous times been sweaty and it will now be a wonderful feeling to strip down and take a shower. We got up at 5:30 this morning, and will soon crash to bed to exhausted to do anything but sleep.

One man’s wilderness is another man’s amusement park.


Author: arnber

Humongen! The big guy! The man, the myth, the legend! And then theres' me. The nice guy in the house. The man without cooking skills, but with five stars on the Playstation. Boss at work, relaxed at home. What you see is what you get. Life is good. I choose it to be.

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