As what have been mentioned from the previous page, the party never stops at Boracay. We were late for our 10:15 AM flight bound for Manila via PAL through Kalibo airport. The survivors, including me, woke up around 6:40 AM the morning of June 16, 2oo9. Hadn’t for Kuya Richie, we could have woken up past lunch due to the partying that we had the night before at Cocomangas bar. I knew this was coming although at the back of my mind, I was seriously hoping that it wouldn’t because there would be terrible consequences once it happens. But our being late seemed to bound to happen for some reason.
We left the island at exactly 8:00 AM via a ferry boat from the Tambisaan Port that would bring us to Caticlan. Kuya Richie took the first batch Marla, Angie and Dennis, to the Tambisaan Port. We waited for about 30 minutes for him. But my judging my instincts, I told survivors Aboy, Hanzel and Noi, that we should get going and not wait for him anymore. They have voted to do as I suggested and so we headed off to the main road to rent a tricycle going to Tambisaan port. Along the way, I’m still hoping and calling the Gods to keep the time still so as not to be late for the flight. We all knew that it’s impossible to keep the time still and so we just shared jokes and recounted our past adventures in the island as vividly as we could. We reached Tambisaan Port and paid the driver Php150 for the ride. Upon reaching the port, I saw the boat almost full at that time. Great! That means, the wait time will be lessened and increasing our chances of getting to Kalibo airport in time. We paid Php 30 each for the ride and hopped in joining the rest of the crew and its passengers.
The ride to Caticlan via the boat wasn’t that smooth due to the strong winds. The winds are somehow whispered, “Don’t go yet,” to me. I was about to heed their call and stay for a couple more days but then reality check squeezes in. We have to go home. Aboy has work, Hanzel and Noi has school to attend to. And I, I got work to do as well! So I braved the calling and upon seeing Caticlan, I have decided that I should be going.
From Caticlan, we are to ride a van that would take us to Kalibo airport for Php150 per head. Judging the traffic flow in the area, I calculated that the travel would be anywhere from 1.5 to 2 hours. Since we had to wait for other passengers, that factor also lessened our chances of arriving in time for our flight. Aboy, Hanzel and Noi decided to buy breakfast at Andoks while I was left inside the van. At that time, I have accepted the fact that we are late for our flight, no more racing against hope. I was kinda angry at this point because it would be my first time to be late for a flight and honestly, I really don’t know what I should do for this matter. I have decided that my next actions should be towards getting us home on that day. Realizing that I don’t have contacts as far as flights are concerned and our tickets are non refundable and non rebookable, I decided to call Angie to book us a flight with whatever airline is available. The cheapest one for that matter. She agreed to help me.
After about 30 minutes of waiting time, we are finally set to go to Kalibo airport. The travel time seemed like eternity to me. It made me somehow boiling with anger when I realized that I was seated at the part where the sun shines directly at me and made me feel hot. Adding insult to injury, Aboy started to squeeze and push me to the edge of my seat where I felt uncomfortable already. Why? Because he said that the lady beside him is uncomfortably seated. This actually made me fuming with anger. What the heck! He didn’t realized that I’m as uncomfortable as the lady as well but he chose to make the other lady to feel relaxed over me. I was fuming, just kept it inside me because I really didn’t want to cause a scene inside the van. For what seemed like eternity to me soon ended. We reached Kalibo by 10:10 AM. I started losing hope of making it for our flight even when we were in Caticlan, and all the remaining pieces of hopes inside me died upon looking at my watch for the time check. Even so, when we reached Kalibo airport I started to run to the counter and said that we are for the 10:15 AM flight via PAL. The sweet-looking lady at the counter informed me that the plane just left. Later on, I found out that her name was Miss Gem. She asked me why we were late. I claimed that it was our first time to visit Boracay and we didn’t know that the boat and van waits for other passengers until it’s full. My claim looked real and Miss Gem took the e-tickets, studied them for a while, got the names of the passengers and told me to wait for a while. She would have to ask her manager something and just get back to me for the results. At that time, I was never hoping for anything. My mind is already set on purchasing new tickets for the 4 of us. I called Angie and she informed me that she was able to book us a flight via Zest Air for about Php1500 per person. Good thing, Zest Air’s little office is just beside the airport. So while we are waiting for Miss Gem’s advisory, I went to Zest Air’s office and informed them that we have a booking and will purchase the tickets later after withdrawing money. The booking guy agreed. I went back inside the airport, without even knowing that good news is on its way. Hanzel came rushing to me and informed me that Miss Gem was able to rebook us all in an afternoon flight at no extra charge! The manager allowed us to use our e-tickets again! Whoah! A miracle! What was then an unfortunate experience for us just turned into a relief for me! Miss Gem requested for our baggages to be checked in at that point. Probably she was making sure that we would be ready for our flights this time. Somehow it made me realize that the people of Kalibo are not all about making money out of us. There are some people left with genuine passion for the best customer experience. At which point, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to MISS GEM from PAL Kalibo for rebooking our flights. For showing me the importance of being on time. For that extra effort in making me feel that I’m a valued customer of PAL, for showing the best customer service experience that I have had in my entire life. And most importantly, making me realize that there are still some people left with genuine intent of helping others. Once again, thank you very much MISS GEM for all these realizations!
The experience with Gem was overwhelming that it makes us want to celebrate, well aside from the fact that the flight is set for 6:00 pM. I really didn’t mind that as long as we don’t have to pay extra for rebooking. It saved me like what, Php 6000? That’s enough reason to celebrate! So we decided to search for a restaurant that serves hot and boiling bulalo. I don’t know why bulalo but that’s what I wanted to have for lunch that day. So we rode a tricycle and and asked the help of the driver for our search of a restaurant which serves the finest bulalo in town. He brought us to one of the restaurants for which name I could not recall. The boys did what they are best at, looked at the food and menu being served. Judging from their reactions, the place is not meant for us to be eaten out. So we decided to go out of the place in search for another one. While trudging the unfamiliar streets of Kalibo, we talked about Aboy’s wife Joy of being a resident of New Washington. But the place is like 2 hours away from where we were at. So the plan of visiting New Washington vanished from our minds. At which point we saw this air-conditioned little restaurant. The tribe voted and we decided to pay the restaurant a visit.
Yep that’s the name of the restaurant. The menu ranges from Filipino to Italian dishes. They have sinigang, sizzling stuff, even spaghetti and pizza The boys wasted no time in ordering their food, while the cam whore that I am decided to check the place out for a while and these were the scenes that I saw at the restaurant.
While we were waiting for our meals, we gladly recalled the incidents that we have had from the past adventure. We were also watching Game Ka Na Ba from the small television that the restaurant had. We have also concluded that the owner of the restaurant was also the cook because he left his table after the lady at the counter was done taking our orders. After much ado about nothing our orders finally came.
The boys ate with gusto. The food was superb! After our meals, we again went back into recalling our past adventures. Soon, Hanzel opened the incident inside the van where I was squeezed uncomfortably at the edge of my seat for a girl that Aboy doesn’t know. Upon mentioning that, the heat at that moment came rushing back at me and I started to fume with anger all over again while the boys were laughing about it. When I could no longer contain the anger, I yelled at Aboy in front of the boys with the rest of the customers of the restaurant who served as an audience for that scene. It really wasn’t supposed to be that way, I could have let the incident pass but since they were laughing about it and seemed to be enjoying the whole affair of it, I thought that maybe it’s about time that Aboy realizes that he’s always taking me for granted after all the things that I have done for him, for the survivors, the trip, after all these years of being a friend to him, the entirety of our relationship as friends. I am amenable that it was a very harsh move on my part but I’m just human. Bound to also commit mistakes from time to time.
It was only a matter of minutes after the yelling incident that Aboy stood and stormed out of the restaurant. Tension started to build up between me and the boys. I have sensed that the boys didn’t knew what to do at that time. At the back of my mind, of course, kakampi itong mga ito sa Kuya nila and so I decided to give them their plane tickets and told the boys to accompany their Kuya. The boys did as instructed and I was left all alone at the restaurant, mustering my guts not to cry and finish my what was then amazing meal. Realizing that I could no longer stay at the restaurant, I requested for my bill. The lady at the counter somehow sensed the urgency in me. The tension was lessened a bit when I saw the bill, for all the food that we ate, I paid only Php 400 for all of it. Not bad at all. In fact, it was worth it! Considering the restaurant is located at a place where I least expected to find something like that. The restaurant is crown jewel of Kalibo. Hoping you would try the restaurant one of these days. But never dare try to imitate the stint that I did. Otherwise, you know what the consequences are.
Left all alone, I didn’t know where to go, really. I have been to that place several times but it doesn’t mean that I’m familiar with the establishments around the area. I saw that they have a mall but I assumed it’s far from where I was at. So I decided to walk to the east side of the town under a hot humid day! I saw Mercury Drugstore and a few quaint stores along the way. I also saw their municipal city hall and beside that is a hospital. I wanted to sit there for a while but I haven’t got any guts at all. So after a few smokes, I hailed a tricycle and asked the driver to bring me to Kalibo airport. There are restaurants beside the airport and I really don’t mind passing time in one of them considering the fact that I was all alone. I don’t have any plans of calling them or saying sorry to Aboy either because for me, I was glad that I was finally able to do that. I have psyched myself into accepting that what I did was just appropriate. That no one should ever take advantage of me even if he or she was my friend. That I can lose my composure from time to time. That I have the right to be angry and to say how I feel in whatever fashion I deem appropriate for the event. But there’s a price that I have to pay for all these things, being alone.
The waiting time is agonizing. I saw the boys leave from the airport entrance and entered one of the nearby restaurants. At that time, I was talking with Angie over the phone, relating to her what just happened. I was crying all the time because, like the boys, I didn’t know what to do. But then, the morbid part of me insisted that I should be firm with my decision. Although it was lonely being alone at an unfamiliar place, Angie served as my companion. With several text messages from Hanzel. Time ticked so slow and the humidity of the place was adding insult to the injury all the more. No companion, no things, no battery, no nothing! Just the camera and I! I even decided to stay at the place overnight and take a flight in the morning just to avoid the boys. But it didn’t worked. My mind seemed to stop working at that point in time and just wanted to cry, which I did all the time I was there at the restaurant. I was ashamed at the lady waitresses because I must have used up all the tissue papers that they have. But I really don’t mind at all. All that I could care about is how I would survive the plane ride with Aboy beside me.
Finally, the clock says 5:00 PM, it’s time to check in. So I did. First I took a quick glance at the airport. Looks like the boys are inside. I checked in at the counter and saw Miss Gem. Even if it was dark outside, I still wore my beloved Oakley shades so no one will ever have a clue that I cried the whole time while waiting for my flight. Late pa yung plane, ano ba naman yan! All of a sudden, Hanzel and Aboy came from nowhere. They invited me to come inside and join them. But I simply told them, no, I don’t want to be with them. All the time that we were waiting for our flight, I can hear the boys share funny jokes and laugh at each other. Parang wala lang! But I didn’t expected for them to have a share of the emptiness and sadness that I feel at that time. I was bound to experience this alone, because I preferred to be me. The waiting time is over, we are now being called to board the plane. I decided to be the last one to board the plane. Unfortunately, the sit beside Aboy is empty and the crew of the flight is somehow strict as far as sitting arrangement is concerned. So there’s no other choice left but to sit beside Aboy. He was uncomfortable at the thought as well, I can sense that. But even so I still gave him Mentos during the flight and then pretended to be asleep. After quite some time, I asked him if he would say sorry. He said that he doesn’t have any fault. So I let it be. If he feels that he doesn’t have any fault at all, then probably I just created the van incident myself when in fact, they were laughing about it, di ba? Upon hearing those words from him, I declared war. This is not a war waged between me and him. But a war waged towards myself. I had to struggle to keep myself out of sight and unavailable for him from now on. That I will be different from now on. Not cold nor even warm, just right. Enough temperature set for a friend.
It’s not that easy, I’m sure of that. I know for myself that it will be a struggle because somehow, this person beside me became a part of me and will always be for some personal reasons. Life had been easy all these years without him, so why can’t it be from now on? I mean at that point, he never considers me as a lover, not even a friend, so why bother? I don’t even know where I’m at, and I’m afraid to even ask him for that matter because I know the answers. The answers might add injury all the more. To me.
On the lighter side, flying from Kalibo to Manila via PAL was an enlighting exprience. There’s no doubt that PAL owns the most comfortable planes that I have been at. There is no doubt that PAL keeps on searching for ways to improve their crafts and their fares at that. We landed in Manila alongside the rain. Manila seemed to welcome me appropriately. Crying in the rain ang drama ng lola mo hahaha! The boys didn’t even invited me to ride with them. But that’s okay. Airport taxi can bring me home for Php 700, thrice the fare amount if I take the regular taxi. I cried again at home. But that’s no use now. Nobody will ever know why.