Friday, May 07, 2010

Pool side fun at the LBC

We checked into our room, turned on the air con, took a shower, and flopped onto the firm clean beds. Couldn’t help it—they beckoned! Telling ourselves that we would just lay down for an hour’s worth of recovery napping we ended up waking up hours later to the laughing screams of some kids running past our door. Fresh from our slumber we looked at each other thinking the same thing, “Damn kids!”

“I hope those brats aren’t going to be here for the entire time we are.”

“With our luck they will be…”

Well at least the noisy little inconsiderate monsters had gotten us up and moving again. No use going all that way to one of the most beautiful spots in the country only to sleep through all the potential fun and games.

The sun was fast approaching the end of its day’s journey by the time we had made up our minds to go out and have dinner by the pool. The LBC has some pretty good cooks. Over the years I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad meal there. They definitely know how to make what foreigners like. It was true my first time there in ’03 and its true still in April 2010.

After eating we decided to swim off some of that good food. My buddy Jen-Jen (Divine’s daughter) and I continued our pool fun until well after dark. The warm clean water felt great; it was perfectly treated—clear as it could be, not too much chlorine and not a bug or a leaf in sight. Nice.

I did my best to stay away from the screeching kids that had awoken us earlier. Unfortunately, they too were in the water. There was a girl about 12 with her two younger brothers. Luckily, they stayed mostly in the shallow end, but the noise they made was incessant. The chubby girl babbled and giggled in the most irritating way, mostly because it was nonstop. At times they would wander too close to where I was trying to swim and I’d have to move. There’s nothing worse than someone else’s kids.

“How does she stay so chunky with all that quacking and snickering? I’d be worn out after five minutes of that. She’s kill’n me!”

Then another kid entered the pool area. It was a slightly built blond-haired very pale English lad whom his grandfather said was 9 years old. What a delightful contrast the young boy made to the splashing quacking insufferable little piglets on the other side of the pool. He walked up behind me and quietly said hello. Then he politely asked if it would be okay if he dove into the pool near me.

“By all means young sir. Dive away!”

“Thank you.”

Putting his hands together in front of him he launched headfirst into the water almost directly over my head where I was hanging onto the side of the pool. His slight body hardly made a ripple. A few minutes later on one of my underwater laps his foot inadvertently brushed against my side. I barely felt it. I popped up ten feet away and heard him politely call out to me, “I’m sorry about that.”

“You’re sorry? Why?” I asked, wiping the water from my eyes.

“I kicked you underwater. I’m sorry; I didn’t see you.”

Delighted, I smiled. “Don’t worry about it buddy. I’m fine. All part of the fun, but thanks for your concern. I appreciate that!”

Standing at pool side, his grandfather, a tanned tall grizzled fellow in his early 60s, said they were on holiday from England. They had already been at various resorts in the Philippines for the last three weeks.

“Well, I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip sir. Your grandson has renewed my faith in the potential of the world’s youthful humanity. What a fine young man he is! My congratulations to you and to whoever else has had a hand in raising such a courteous little gentleman!”

With towels wrapped around our shoulders Divine, Jen-Jen and I ambled over to the sea wall and sat on the steps with our feet in the sand under millions of shimmering stars. Where I live in Angeles City, seeing stars only happens anymore when someone bashes you in the head with a pipe (which does happen to some unwary denizens on occasion). The toxic pall that hangs over this town has worsened over the last year to the point that the sight of stars is a very rare thing indeed. The thought of it is too depressing for me to continue to even think about. I need to stop, NOW.

To the right of the wall, at the foot of the steps going into one of the seaside hotel rooms, is a fellow and his wife, I believe, that rents snorkeling equipment. They have a little hand scrawled sign advertising their snorkeling wares, which they keep in large plastic bags piled on the sand at the edge of the wall.

“Do you have fins and masks that will fit kids?” I asked.

I wanted to make sure we could find items that would fit Jen-Jen. They did. I found some nice flippers and a mask for me as well. There’s nothing worse than ill-fitting flippers, especially if too tight; but these were made of super soft rubber and felt great. Over the next few days they would serve us well. I don’t think we paid even $30 bucks for the two sets that we used over the next three days.

When Mac-Mac the boatman had dropped us off earlier that day we had already told him that we were interested in going out the next morning at ten am. Sipping my last beer of the night looking out at the shimmering sea dimly reflecting the moon and stars above, I couldn’t wait to get back out into the water to swim with all those gorgeously colored fishes again.

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