Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Macho Temple, and a series of happy misfortunes

Our La Union trip tops all serendipities we have experienced. (A happy post :))

We went to La Union for a fun run. We registered online and sent the payment through the bank. We were so excited. A week before the trip, we went online for hotel reservtions. All the hotels within San Fernando City were fully booked for the event, so we ended up booking for a hotel resort in the adjacent town of San Juan. It's going to be a fun sporty weekend for us, we thought.

It was a long trip, delayed by slow-moving traffic on different points. The six-hour trip became a 7.5-hour trip. While on the bus, we got a bit concerned that our hotel seems far from the starting area of the fun run, which starts the next day at 4 a.m. We thought, let's just cope with our circumstances.

We were tired, legs achy, hungry (because we didn't bring food and the food from the stopovers didn't appeal to us: pricey but doesn't satiate hunger), bummed that we got there at 4:30 p.m. instead of 3 p.m. check-in time, worried for the next day; when we checked-in at the lobby of the hotel, got a bit disappointed when we were told that the balcony room we reserved is not a beachfront room.

But fate works in ways we could never predict.

Despite not being a beachfront room it still has a wonderful view of the beach! We got the view of the beach used by the Billabong Surf School. Nice waves, with lots of surfers. The far-off modern lighthouses can also be seen, this we found out at night.

After freshening up, we went downstairs to the hotel restaurant, and was awed at the great view that it has. The resto is near the beach, we ate our food with the view of the calming waves and a magnificent sunset. We just went upstairs to our room when the moon was fully visible.

We slept early (7 p.m.), because we need to be on the fun run meeting place by 4 a.m. The next day, we woke up at 2 a.m., hungry and excited, we went out and tried to wait for public transport (jeep or trike or bus) at 2:30, but uhm, we only got to hail a jeep at past 3.

We ate a fast meal in McDo, then hailed a trike to take us to the starting point. When we arrived, there were lots of people. The people there are nice and friendly, but the registration is chaotic. Despite being registered online more than a month ahead, there was no separate list for those who have done so, and we had difficulty getting our race kits. We also were not allowed to upgrade our race category despite being advised days ago that it's ok. After an hour, we got our race kits and the feeling of being so out of place dawned on us. Yes, they are nice and friendly, but still, it felt that we are intruders in their event. Everyone seems to know where to go and what to do, but we just felt stupid and sad. (I mean no negativity towards the organizers, they are really good, nice and welcoming people, we just don't know how to cope in a foreign place.)

So we decided to take a walk in the dark and not join the fun run. We were so sad, holding our singlets and race numbers, we walked where our feet took us around the still sleeping city until we found a convenience store, where we bought some provisions. We then rented a trike to take us back to our hotel.

I have a habit of taking note of signs and landmarks while on any kind of transport, especially in a place I'm not familiar with. While the trike was speeding on the highway, I saw a sign that says Macho Temple. Funny, that sign is.

Back at the hotel, we ate breakfast at our favorite spot in the hotel's resto. The view and the food made us feel good. We found it funny that we planned a trip to La Union for a fun run that we didn't participate in.

After our meal, we took a long walk on the beach. I then understood the reasoning behind the cliche that most women long for, taking long walks on the beach with the guy they love. It really is a nice feeling. Well, it's my first time to walk on the beach with a guy I love. My beach outings were usually family and barkada events, not this. It's like we're on our first date. Four and a half years of being together and having fun conversations, but this long walk on the beach is different, a different kind of fun.

When the sun got too high, we went back to our room. Checked our phones for messages and updates from family and friends, uploaded some pix, etc., the usual stuff. We then talked about the funny sign we saw, Macho Temple. I told him, I think it's a gym, thinking that some people think of their bodies as temples, it would be a cool gym name. He said, it sounds like a bar or beerhouse where men go. So we decided to ask google about it. After which, we laughed at our ignorance.

Macho Temple is a Taoist temple.

So on our third day in La Union, we have a new unplanned itinerary.

The temple's location sits on a high elevation that gives a great view of the sea and San Fernando City.

After touring the temple, we went for a walk around the city and we enjoyed it. Next year, we'll explore La Union some more.

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