Going Back Home in folding style

Category: , By DuNi
It was half an hour past four in the morning.  The alarm on my mobile phone continued to make noise, waking me up for my usual Sunday morning bike ride.  But today is a very unusual day for me.  I had earlier planned of a surprise itinerary of sorts.

Fast forward and four and a half hours later, I alighted from the bus stop in Tanauan City in Batangas for a different kind of adventure.  While curious passengers from inside the bus and on-lookers from the waiting area were watching in wonder while I unfold the (folding)bike, I mentally prepared myself for this 21 kilometers of riding back home to Talisay.

With my schedule running late I decided to bypass two significant museums since I do not have enough time to stroll around.  I went straight pedaling to the National Highway going towards Talisay.  My first and probably only stop would be a place I have always wanted to visit ever since I was a child.  The Mabini Shrine, the birthplace of Apolinario Mabini, one of our heroes and the one who drafted our first Philippine Constitution, is located in Brgy. Talaga, Tanauan, Batangas.  It is found along the highway going towards Tanauan if you are coming from Talisay or Tagaytay.   It is just a few kilometers from the town proper and STAR tollway.  We always pass by the shrine when riding a jeep going to our house in Talisay but this is the first time I’d be exploring this historical landmark. 

Unlike the Rizal Shrine and its unending arrival of visitors and students participating on their educational tours, I arrived by my lonesome and without any other visitors in site. Except for an ambulance on standby which I suspected was parked inside the premises because of some mechanical trouble, I only saw a single car, probably the service vehicles of the staffs that are maintaining the whole shrine  and a few local kids who mostly uses the vast shrine as their playground.

I was approached by the caretaker slash guide and guided me with utmost patience as I explore the shrine and museum.  I applaud in secret the National Historical Institution’s efforts in maintaining the shrine but the place becomes less significant unless visitors come and see at least some of Mabini’s contribution to our colorful history.  I was entertained though digging deep in my Filipino vocabulary as I gamely answered their evaluation questionnaire, written in Filipino language and expected to be answered in, of course, Filipino.  I wanted to dig deeper Tagalog ala Chiz Escudero but the spaces for answers are severely limited.  I took some photo opportunities, most significant are the ones beside Mabini’s small coffin inside the museum and tomb outside.

I left the shrine fulfilled and journeyed on towards home.  The pictures makes the ride looks easy but the rolling highway towards Talisay is filled with its share of ascend and descend made it difficult to arrive in a short time.  I had to stop and rest at the public market beside Taal lake for another photo opportunity and a visit to my aunt who sells there.  I arrived at home an hour and a half past noon and just in time to catch in glimpse of the Pacquiao-Rios boxing match in local television.  I went to my cousins on the lakeside to catch up for some lost time together, drank a few beers and enjoyed the sunset I missed a lot.