NB: As I write this, my body still fucking hurts. Mostly my lower appendages.
When John and I first met, he regaled me with stories of his youth. Moments he would call budongki days, when life was carefree and time was nonexistent. Mostly, he would share them for the lulz (since most of them are lulzable). Those were moments of pure stupidity and sheer happiness.
One such story was when, four years ago, John, Kais, Jack and Allan decided to go for a walk trip on Good Friday. It was a colorful story, how they made that decision, but will be undisclosed here. For the sake of the person involved, ohoho. Anyway, early Good Friday 2008 they decided to go on foot from Muñoz up to SM Mall of Asia.
Four years after, these horsemen decided to repeat the feat. Last week, as Good Friday approached, they began to discuss where to go this time, to repeat their walk of four years’ past.
Initially they were planning to go to Cavite (!!!) from Kalaw (!!!). Being men of good strength (naks) it would be a just-about-right challenge for them. They were going alone. … At least, that was the first plan. Eventually, it expanded to include six more people (myself included). Eventually, the whole Cavite plan was scrapped (wee xD). And thus began our Good Friday trip.
I wasn’t expecting it, really. John told me about it early on and I was prepared to have a quiet night up in the hills of Antipolo to spend some time with my brother. However, since there had been a change of plans, I decided to go for it. I figured I like walking anyway, and I had been looking for excitement for quite some time now.
The night was beautifully adorned by the full moon yesterday evening. There weren’t much clouds and it was breezy. This is good, I thought, perfect weather conditions for walking. Awesome. We boarded a jeepney from Project 6 to Kalaw around half past eight. It was a short trip, but fun nonetheless. It was in the jeepney when Allan got his “missionary badge”.
First agenda upon alighting was, of course, to take photos. And here are some of them:
We took our first stop of the night inside Rizal Park, where we ate green mangoes, chips and candies. We also stocked on water and cigs. It was also here when I declared the end of my friendship with Kat.
Me: *nonchalantly heads for mango stall*
Kat: Ate, magkano po? (Ate, how much for these?)
Me: *shocked, appalled, disgusted look* NO WAY. P*ina toooooool! Friendship over! FRIENDSHIP OVER!
Yes, so she thought I was a vendor. Grimy.
Inside, we were fascinated by all the night show/night activities around Rizal Park. There were water works, night shows, the friggin’ gigantic Hyundai clock…and it was also there I declared “Friendship Regained” with Kat.
The Manila Grandstand was our next destination. We crossed a football field (filled with “humps”) and John decided to go blind.
He has much respect for the blind now.
Passing by Manila Ocean Park, we headed straight to Roxas Boulevard for one of the longest walks of the night. We passed by The Philippine Navy (Hukbong Dagat ng Pilipinas) where we had some interesting photos taken.
…but was immediately halted by the guards, since we weren’t allowed on the cannons. BOO.
At the end of this road, as we reached CCP Complex, we saw…
…and figured it should have…
Then came the second longest part of the journey, from CCP Complex to MOA. It was here, as we passed by beautiful Sofitel, that we started to feel the burn on our backs, legs and feet. One by one, we sounded off how tired we were and how we couldn’t feel our feet anymore. We also lost a bit of time because Allan decided to go off on the curved road instead of the tangent.
Roxas Boulevard is a lovely sight at night. Some of the stores were closed due to the observance of Good Friday, but some were still open, giving us sustenance throughout the trip.
The abundance of “oases” (as they called it) throughout the trip surprised our four guys. They established that since their walk there four years ago, the entrepreneurs decided to open stores there for “guys like them” (i.e. guys who decided to walk from QC to Manila on a whim).
Reaching MOA was a feat and it must be documented.
And of course, since this is their main quest, our four men did a repeat of their four-year-old poses:
And everyone had a good time despite the tiredness and pain.
Allan, by the way, gave away the fliers to the agents working in MOA. He introduced himself as a missionary. No, I did not take pictures because it was too funny.
Two days ago, I was talking to Carlo via text, telling him how bored I was this supposed “vacation”. Bored sa mukha, I told him. He told me to go pray, haha. But he clarified that he only meant for me to do a bit of self-reflection. “Some introspection couldn’t hurt, right?” he had asked.
Indeed, I learned a lot during the trip. They say that travelling tells a lot about our companions and more so about ourselves. This trip is no different. I learned more about my friends and how they cope up to different situations. Even when I’m not directly involved in their actions, I enjoyed observing them and seeing them react. I also learned a great deal about myself, how I acted throughout the walk and how I reacted to every situation.
I learned that when I get tired, I tend to walk faster to get to my destination. The slower I walk, the more I feel the pain. … And I guess that’s also my way of dealing with problems. I don’t like dwelling on the pain for too long. I give it time, I acknowledge its presence and I might even cry about it. Afterwards, it’s about setting new goals and getting there as quickly as possible. That’s my mindset.
I learned that having company is a good thing. There are times wherein I just want to conquer the world alone, doing things on my own. I have a tendency to go off into my own little world at times, and I end up feeling very lonely. That situation, the walk, made me trust the people around me more. That if I lag behind, someone would always look back to check up on me and that if I run too far ahead, someone will always pull me back and check my reins.
I also learned about each person’s beliefs, burdens and enlightenment. I am particularly proud of this little family:
And of this big man:
For all the strength each of them had just to walk and carry the light of their lives was a feat in itself. Add that to the fact that he has to run a company and she has to finish her studies…wow. I am so proud of them.
I am also very happy with my partner and stabilizer. ♥
Little spats and arguments colored out evening and early morning, but he stuck by me. All throughout our relationship I have seen definite changes in his personality, and this day definitely highlighted him. He had been very patient in taking care of me, putting my welfare above his own. I really appreciate how he took me under his wing, especially when my knees were about to give way.
CHEESE ALERT. I loved how he held my hand during the bus ride. It was…uhh…symbolic, for me. It felt right, everything felt right when he held my hand. He sat behind me in the bus, letting me take the window seat right in front of him. As I rested, he just held me. Not too tight nor too lightly. It was just right. Kind of how he is with me. He lets me steer my life to where I want to be. At the same time, he reminds me that he’s just there supporting me. Should push come to shove, he is there to take the hit for me.
Okay, so I’m pretty sure John didn’t plan that whole thing and didn’t really see that scenario in his head (he was laughing with Allan the whole time we were on the Don Mariano Death Bus). ANYWAY. … Thank you pa rin.
The whole trip, unplanned as it was, showed me many sides of me and many sides of my boyfriend and friends. G0es without saying that I’m really thankful for the experience. I wouldn’t mind repeating this next year. And if it becomes a real annual event, let’s try a new place! ^_^