Recently, our gracious employers had the courtesy to send our rag-tag group of misfits and Internet meme geeks to the beaches of Subic. This so-called recreational trip, dubbed Zeezoobic, was months in planning, and the anticipation was on an all-time high. Granted, I already went to the former-military -base-turned-tourist-spot the week prior, the idea of mentally dissecting these diverse individuals was a welcome distraction to the day-to-day boondoggle that we subject ourselves to.
Of course, such long trips would require us to rendezvous on the godforsaken hours of the early morn like some deprived, militaristic gaggle of grunts. Suffice to say, the best solution for some was to forgo the comforts of their own beds and relatively clean bathrooms. Considering I had a prior engagement that night, I decided my best course of action was to give the Sandman the proverbial finger and make him wait until I was riding the bus before I succumb to his restful whispers.
True enough, I arrived early, lacking sleep and in desperate need of a caffeine fix. As exhilarating as the dawn's breeze was, the long trek on foot to the only convenience store of worth and the decision of skipping my usual 4 hours of slumber was beginning to prove foolish. Still, this was caffeine we're talking about, and God forbid I miss out on my daily intake.
The bus arrived rather early, which was a good thing as it only enticed us to consider further the hedonistic pleasures that we were about to be subjected to. Then again, perhaps hearing one such as myself asking for someone to lead a prayer erased all that, a foreshadowing of what lies ahead is a bizzarro world wherein the Rambler is actually religious. Guess what, there is that bizzarro world and you're living in it. You think you know, but you have no idea.
The trip itself was a blur, this was a far cry from my other travels with those of my usual circle of ...well, friends. That, and I was asleep majority of the time except for eating meals and answering the call of nature. I could go on and ramble further about the philosophical value of dreaming in a moving vehicle but quite frankly such things are best kept secret.
In the instance that we arrived I immediately felt the urge to gather insight upon seeing the pristine waters and fine grains of sand that lie before me. The rays of the scorching sun licking my exposed epidermis and the salty sea air has a mystique all on its own. Yes, poetic bullcrap once again, you'll get that a lot when the Rambler travels.
The food was a welcome development, any self-respecting kampampangan will tell you that. Insult their cooking and you're in for a world of fast-paced verbal assaults the likes that would make even the most brutally dry British tosser blush. Other things of note was the various amenities available to visitors. Clean bathrooms, karaoke machine, a makeshift volleyball court, jetski, banana boats, a billiard table and a gigantic chicken that probably owed its existence to Chocobos. Yes, this little shindig was proving to be well worth the price of admission (Seriously, the bathrooms alone are worth it).
Onwards to the itinerary. A pseudo-Amazing Race activity built to explore just how twisted the minds of the committee members are when it comes to formulating subtle tortures toward their fellow man. Weeks of scheming would come down to this, and expectedly, road bumps marred our well-planned gauntlet. Still, there's something about seeing co-workers suffer through a series of tests of your own making. Let's just say the Rambler felt a warm and fuzzy feeling inside.
The rest of the day allowed all to enjoy the amenities Sunset Cove had to offer. Despite the atrocious heat of the sun and sand, the time spent was quite relaxing. While the concept of seeing colleagues scantily-clad in their swimwear provided new... erm.. observation towards such persons, it was the landscape that proved to be quite impressive. The refraction of the setting sun's light against the calm waters painted a wonderland of orange and purplish horizons. The mountainside was donned with a tangerine veil that only added to their enigmatic aura. Greens and blues gave off a different tint, making one think this was some sort of messed-up crossover collaboration between dirty hippies and a drugged-up Van Gogh.
In a manner of moments, it was nightfall and this means only one thing. Booze and merriment. While the unfortunate few may have missed the happenings of that evening, those moments, those little glimpses of possibilities will live on in my memory forever, for the sake of blackmail of course. I could go on detail on the events that night, but then again, let that be our little group's secret. While the Rambler did wish for certain things to happen or to develop, the idea that everyone was enjoying themselves was perhaps enough, and whatever selfish reasons I had were best left in the back burner, or better yet, forgotten forever like the futile pursuit that it was.
After awakening from alcohol-laced sleep, I was surprised to find out most of memory was still intact.... much to my chagrin. Still, this day could only prove to be even better. While it was less controversial as... say, the night prior, the enjoyment was still present. By the way, beach volleyball is fun, as long as the ball does not come to you.
It was time to go home and it felt bittersweet. The idea of going back to your comfort zone is always nice, but leaving Zeezoobic felt a lot like leaving unfinished business. Whatever that business is, I don't know. Still can't help shake the feeling that there was something that I should have done. Meh, such musings are boring at best I always say.
The return to normalcy can be a downer, but the idea of going back knowing that we bonded with each other can be quite exhilarating and overwhelming at the same time. I'd like to think that Zeezoobic is but the first step to a lot of things in our little slacker company's future. For ill or for better, Zeezoobic will always be ours, no matter what.