Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A Crazy Kalibo Plan

So how did we go about this? Here I go…

On a Tuesday lunchtime at the office, I casually mentioned that I was thinking of hitting Kalibo for the weekend to see the Ati-atihan. It elicited a chorus of mixed reactions generally on the disbelief side that it was already less than a week to the festival and I was still on the “contemplating” stage! I said “where there’s a will…there’s a way” and the rest is history! History what? Well, phone calls and emails flew everywhere in the office and by mid-afternoon, there were something like 27 of us interested souls!

I knew that was horribly impossible, but I told everyone we will plan only for everyone who has a confirmed booking by Wednesday evening! See?! When that Wednesday evening came, there were only 6 of us able to grab flights! And call it unfortunate or fortunate, all were on Asian Spirit’s early morning run to Kalibo – on the 14th! Hah! So I firmed up my earlier call to La Esperanza Hotel, the only available accommodation in Kalibo as of that time.

This was/is even at the hotel’s “annex” behind the main building, a dorm-type room good for 8-people (4 double-deck beds), no aircon, just a ceiling fan – where two ‘unrelated’ guests may join us to complete the bed capacity since there were only 6 of us! Common bathrooms (at least 1 for males and 1 for females) but we had to grab it since there was nothing else available! All set!

Oh, someone got creative! The plan to stay in Kalibo for the 14th and 15th was made grander by adding the 16th and 17th for another Boaracay Escapade! Whew! We all still had available leaves (this was just January, c’mon) and good that our respective bosses gave us permission! Whoa!

But the whole affair made everything a bit more expensive. somehow rebelling on the dearth of available accommodations at Kalibo, we agreed to pick a more luxurious (therefore more expensive) room in Boracay. But a very unique one! That is the (only) suite at ‘Chalet Y’ – one of only 3 rooms in the whole house and in fact the only room on ground floor! We’ll have more of that later hehe.

Thursday night, everything was set except that we had to do one last frantic activity – to get us 6 a flight each from Caticlan to Manila on the 17th. Whew! But thankfully done anyway – and even together in just one flight! Lucky!

Friday lunch time, I saw two of my companions-to-be at Watsons doing some last minute grabs of sunblocks, toiletries and chichirya. Ah, for that last item, I was silently rejoicing I’d never get hungry on this trip he hehe he heee!

Friday lunchtime, we talked about the plan, and others who were not going (nye nye nye-nye nye) even joined us to discuss and Day1 looked something like this:
meet at the airport >> check-in >> fly >> on arrival get a trike to La Esperanza >> check-in and drop things >> see the festival >> lunch >> back to the festival >> if time still allows and/or if we have seen all troops, go to New Washington >> dinner >> nightlife whatever! Day 2 was something similar. And we noted that we had to do a lot of walking since La Esperanza is not at center of town where the dancing happens.

We were all ready and eager to go! But let’s do that in the next story. Okay?!

For now, if you are ever thinking of going Kalibo for the Ati-atihan and Boracay for a sidetrip, get a hint from the above story! You can do better!


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