We’re all in our 70s, about 33 of us, going for a day in a city famous for seafood. We mainly wanted to eat a whole array of seafood, a favourite for this group. We grew up in the same town and went to the same grade school and high school, so there is a camaraderie among us brought about by years of growing up. Now, we are growing old together. Though some of us live in other parts of the world, we try to be home in our village, and when we are around, we get together as much as possible.
Today, we were off to Roxas City, about three hours from our place in Iloilo. We decided to go early as most of us woke up early anyway. So, at 5 in the morning, we gathered in our town center, and there, two vans provided by two in our group waited for us.
Off we went, and one of the valuable tips I’ve learned is to have a bag of jokes to entertain everyone in the van. You will have so much fun. To energize the group further, bring a collection of old songs. Download it on your phone. They will remember their old days when you play the songs and enjoy singing along with the recording. More stories will come out of their memories. Make sure you have your battery pack.
When planning this trip, most of the group who had been there before told us of some of the challenges they encountered. These guided us in our choices of restaurants. Knowing that most in our group were diabetic, many brought snacks, so there was enough food and drinks in the van.
We only planned for lunch but seeing how early we arrived in the city, we proceeded to a restaurant on top of a hill big enough to accommodate us and serve breakfast immediately. We found one attached to the Convention Center. It was raining, and they immediately prepared the table and food for us because they had enough staff. Some staff even carried umbrellas for those in our group who braved the drizzle to take pictures.
The hilltop Cafe Terraza ended up as the perfect place for us. We enjoyed our breakfast and rested a bit while the others went to take pictures. Many started bringing out their pills and randomly sharing stories around the table—a great start to our day.
The restaurant for lunch, Coco Veranda, is on the beach, and you can enjoy watching the waves as you eat when the weather is fine. The weather prevented us from doing this, but it did not diminish our fun in being together and enjoying each other’s company.
Days before we left on this trip, we contacted the restaurant manager of the chosen place and outlined the dishes we wanted to enjoy. Also the time we wanted it ready, so when we arrived, they were prepared for us. After they’d served the food, silence reigned as we delved into the different seafood dishes. We had fun tasting some of our favourites and some unusual dishes.
The trip is complete with picture taking. We are advancing in age, and a few pass on each year, so we enjoy each other’s company when we can.
We saw the oldest bell in Pan-ay and went to Banika market, where they sell the best-dried fish. More picture-taking and buying, activities we always relish and do with gusto.
We all enjoyed the trip, and the group wants to plan another soon.