Thursday, March 24, 2011

Aklan: The Night Before Invading Boracay

A friend here in Manila is coincidentally in Aklan while we were in Iloilo. She invited us to their place so we decided to leave our original plan of going to Guimaras to discover their beaches and instead took a 4 hour van ride to Kalibo, the capital of Aklan to meet her.

There had been an accident on the highway during our trip. One of the Ceres buses headed to Iloilo collided with a jeepney going to Aklan. According to the van driver(on our way back to Iloilo), 6 died including the driver of the jeep.

It's already late afternoon when we arrived. We we're fetched by Diane (our friend) from the terminal and was brought to the lovely home of her cousins, Councilor Apol Roldan and his wife, ate Rhine, who welcomed us warmly to their humble abode. Diane prepared a sumptuous dinner for us. :)

Diane and Ate Rhine planned on touring us to the Sampaguita Gardens, a resort that feature attractions with Christmas theme throughout the year. Since it's already late and the resort's attraction will be closing soon, that idea was ditched and we thought a bottle of beer or just a few more will be perfect to call the day a quits. The kids were left at home who were still busy acquainting with each other.

One of Diane's cousin is a band member and happened to be having a gig that night. We went to the place where they will be performing called the Abre Gana Bar and Restaurant. It is a simple yet spacious open bar and restaurant located along Judge N. Martelino St. in Andagao, Kalibo, Aklan. It's there that we met more of their relatives, one is Noy who had always displayed a kind smile.

When we arrived, I could probably do a quick headcount of the people who were there but by the time we left, the bar was already crowded by mostly young adults. I couldn't blame them for choosing the place. The bar has a relaxing ambiance and was designed with native materials, mostly bamboo. The light bulbs are tucked in hats or bamboos with carved holes, illuminating dim lights which kind of make you in the mood for more drinks. There are tables and chairs set the usual way but we chose to sit on the bamboo platform with cushions, ala Japanese style.

When the band started to play, the place became livelier. Acoustic and sometimes alternative and reggae music filled the air. The band also started singing requests from the audience. I'm usually not a party goer or a night life junkie but I love music. :)

After few hours, Kuya Apol joined us, coming from a work related engagement. I personally am thinking that he had a long day yet he was there to be with us. I'm really thankful for their family's hospitality. It left me an impression that Aklanons are all warm and accommodating.

Few more bottles and many stories shared, we felt it's time to go home. We left Abre Gana with a glad heart. We slumbered that night and woke up early the following morning to prepare going to Boracay. We were saved from the trouble of looking for transportation, everything had been arranged for us. (Thank you again to the Roldans ^_^)

Before leaving, I can't resist the urge to have a picture in their home's beautiful garden. hahaha!

Minutes later, our van is travelling the highway to Caticlan and I am most excited to see Boracay. :)

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