Monday, September 21, 2009

Tudela town proper

Tudela proper is not that far from Bukilat Cave. It took us just a mere 15 minutes of leisurely drive on the motorbike. And Tudela is one fine town I like. Its rural. The noisiest thing you hear anywhere (if you can call it noise) are just old motorbikes that need repair.

Too many old houses! Though they don’t really look grandiose or imposing, I noted that there are quite a number of houses here that were probably erected sometime during the Japanese or American occupation. They’re just there standing silent and still… still serving the purpose for which they were erected… to provide a happy home to some of the longtime residents of the town. Not rustic but serene… not modern but complete!

Heading to see the town’s church, we chanced upon some kind of a flea market. It was! And I learned it happens only once a week in the area that starts at the front gate of the church. It traces an L-shaped row of stalls with everything one might need. In this “taboan” encounters, there were stalls selling tools like hammers chisels and many more. There of course were those that sell trinkets, phone gadgets and ukay-ukay. There were those too that sell dinner sets, utensils, soaps, pails and other plastic products. And there were stalls that sell meat, vegetables, fish and local rice cakes. The latter two stalls were quite an attraction to me!

Some of the fish on sale were even still alive fresh from the sea. And my goodness some were real big, I could just imagine feasting on them grilled! Yumm! There was a big colorful fish that was still trying to grasp for breath while laid on the table for sale. The mouth has an orange tint and gradients to gold and bright yellow below and brown with blackish dots towards the body. Fins are piped with bright yellow while the tail has an orange lining. Interesting big fish and I heard it was the last of 6 pieces selling at just P60 per kilo! Hah, if I only had company to feast on that fish, I should have jumped on it!

Then there was a table selling BIG puto! Each puto is bigger than a jumbo siopao anywhere in the country! Being really outsized, each piece of the delicacy is usually wrapped in plastic as they’d not be easy being placed in the usual Tupperware. I asked how come their puto were “family size”. The women told me that it had been so in this place as far as they can remember. They use half of a coconut shell as mold for each puto. That’s why it is so big! I wanted to try them but seeing the size, I would just be wasting most of any piece!

Their church looks fairly new and even newly painted and their municipal hall looks like a residential house! OH they have a wharf but I did not see any commercial boats docked. When I asked a man lounging the breezy morning away at one of the concrete kiosks, he told me that there are no scheduled commercial boats that come to this town’s wharf. It is only for use of the fishermen and occasional barge or bigger boats that arrive for various businesses. Nice breezy town!

Yes, a nice quiet town!

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