By the lake

BATANGAS is the farthest we've all been to, my batchmates and I, since residency had begun. This weekend we had our first outing at a lakeside resort, allegedly made famous by the fact that it was the venue of a celebrity's wedding—the celebrity's name escapes me. All in all, it was a welcome respite from the endless charting and patient interaction and code-ing and social work-ing—not that we minded doing those things. It's just that, at some point, we've all gotten beaten down.

batch 2017 internal medicine residents, pgh.

The view of Taal Volcano and the surrounding lake was a glory to behold. The first image of Taal Lake I could recall was the poorly printed black-and-white in my brother's Sibika and Kultura textbook. I am fortunate to have seen it close up—not as close as to even smell its sulfuric waters, but close enough to see how small it is.

Taal Lake

The waters were calm . . .

Long day's work.

. . . and the harvest was plentiful when I walked around the sandy shores early this morning.

Early morning catch. Taal Lake.Tawilis, endemic to Taal. Best eaten fried, dipped in vinegar.

At the resort, and just a stone's throw away from the lake waters, were tall, beautiful houses. Some of them are homes of permanent residents—probably owners of the resort. It was in the sweltering afternoon when I took this photo. A sprinkler was watering the lawn. I was looking for a cup of tea and some biscuits, but my colleagues wouldn't indulge my English pretensions.

Rest house near Taal Lake, Batangas.

The novelty of not thinking of the hospital, not smelling its tuberculous-infested air, not hearing painful wailing, not thinking of time, was something we relished, reminding us that there exists an outside world where vacations are possible, where time moves slower. We swam in the pool, then waited for the evening to fall as we talked about anything and everything under the sun.

Timeless—we had all the time in the world.

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