Day 1: The successful arrival. — An Iloilo Travel Journal

At 5:30 a.m.

I woke up Mae with great desperation. She woke up late again as usual with annoying comments flying around the corner of the room while in bed. “Mae, wake up!” Mae mumbled softly. “It’s time to go and we are late for our flight,” I said.

“Mmmm,” she replied with agreement. She twisted her body and the bed produced a screeching sound.

Not again. Because of the great irritation I felt, I continued my work and fixed my belongings on time with speedy arms and marching feet. The archers in my head were ready to shoot her. But wait, I can hear her body moving again. Yes, she’s taking this morning an impossible for me. At once, I saw her legs coming out from her regal-liked bed curtain.

The spoiled and wicked princess of the West woke up.

She’s ready to do some bogey.


At 6:30 a.m.

I was bored to death waiting for her to fix herself in the screen of her laptop. I’m not sure what to do. I checked my copy of my plane receipt bought online. A copy of my mom’s I.D., checked; a copy of my mom’s credit card, checked; my school I.D., checked. With my great relief, I put down the copy of the electronic receipt on the table.

Mae was clicking her mouse and typing on her keyboard very fast. The sound tickled my ear. When will she start moving again? Literally, she does but Mae stopped fixing herself. The time is running fast and she’s slowing down.

I bent my body backward. Looking upward, my retina sent a special message. I saw a white surface and the archers are marching again. Looking for a good place to hunt, they posed in great excitement at the side of the bushes. The arrows were facing my sister, one move and the wicked witch will be dead but the other smallest archer was looking through the ticket. His index finger was pointing to four numbers. I checked and shouted at her, “Sis, you better fix faster. I think we have no time for snail moment.”

She knew, Mae knew, that I’m talking of the departure time.


Few minutes later…

“Sis, do I have to bring our wireless internet connection [modem]?” I asked.

“It’s up to you.” She said with eyebrows on the left side rising.

I kept myself cool. I dissembled the modem one by one and stored it to the luggage and Mae kept the cord for me.

But I knew, we forgot something very important.


At 7:00 a.m.

We were doomed!

No taxi and nowhere to find one. So we decided to rent a tricycle and check if we could get a taxi in the nearest high way.

The birds were mocking at us. They were very happy.

I prayed to the Man above.

O God, please guide us.

As we walk through the rough road the evil of that day created to us, we saw a golden carriage with a white horse as bright as the golden sun. I kneeled. Mae waved her hand as if she is casting a bad spell. The carriage stopped at us. At one moment, the trade was bought by the man in the carriage.

My prayer was answered.

We were saved.


While riding the golden carriage…

The man in the carriage sucked!


At 8:00 a.m.

Checked in, Mae and I were looking for a good place to eat. She preferred sandwich, I preferred milk. But no place to run for milk so crossed mine. She picked. We ordered: (1) Chunky Chicken sandwich [mine], (2) Baked Lasagne [Mae] and (3) 2 canned soda.


Ten minutes later…

The order was served in plastics.

My hunger made me bite my food first before Mae. I choked. I felt a sharp pain in my oesophagus. It was dry and I can feel titbits of loaf’s crust stuck in my air passage. It was pain who reacted first.

My sister knew what happened to me.

Pointed her finger to the soda I bought, I hesitated. No, I better stayed this way than seeing by a lady burped what inside me. I kept my body calmed. It worsens the condition. No air to breath, I forced my lungs deep through my body. I heard a drowning man sound for the first time.

The witch kept her privacy from me. She never cared anymore. She listened to her laptop singing an unknown music. Worst, she played two games at once. It was impossible but incredibly awesome for a witch to use her magic in public.

I took a sip.

It relieved.

It ended with a lesson.

Don’t breathe while eating toasted bun and keep your friend see you drowning of food.


At 10:55 a.m.

The plane took off.


Between 10:55 a.m. to 12 noon.

I plugged my headphone into my ears and to my Nook. With a simple touch, I opened the Music application, checked the playlist and played it in random.

  1. Drunk by Ed Sheeran – 3:19
  2. Melt My Heart to Stone by Adele – 3:23
  3. Red by Daniel Meriweather – 3:53
  4. Giving Everything Away for Free by Daniel Meriweather – 3:24
  5. Heart Like Stone by Greyson Chance – 3:48
  6. Save You Tonight by One Direction – 3:24
  7. Slipping Away by Grayson Chance – 3:32
  8. 9. & 10. Unknown tracks.


The sister brother argument

Scene 1, Act 1: An Argument with the Witch

the witch poked me.
Me: with a headphone. What? voice volume increase by ten and no bad intention.
the witch: Shhh! hissed like a snake and grinned.
I unplugged my headphone.
Me: What’s wrong?
the witch was silent.
Me: Whatever.
the witch: I just want to tell you that we are near, maybe few minutes left.
Me: Okay. I nodded.
the witch: with her annoying facial expression. Next time, do not get pissed easily. I’m just telling you something important.
Me: Okay but next time do not poke me randomly.
the witch looked in front and I turned the window open.
Me: I can’t find the unbuckled sign turn on. Next time, tell me if the unbuckled sign turned green. irritated.
the sun’s scourging light reflected to my skin.
I turned the window close again.
the witch was irritated.
the unbuckled sign turned green.
the witch: I told you, the unbuckled sign turned green already. she joked sarcastically.
Me: Ugh! Okay.
turned the window open again.
the witch pointed her index finger to my Nook.
Me: What?
the witch: You should turned off any gadgets when the unbuckled sign turned green. grinned.
she pissed me the second time.
problem fixed.
my skin burned.
waiting for the departure.


At 12 noon

Arrived and met with mom and my younger brother, John.


For 30 minutes…

Travelled around Iloilo, met with my mom’s friends, checking ugly concrete subdivisions, sightseeing, took photos in the car, listened to mom talking nonsense and arrived worn off.

I really hate to listen to agents and I pitied the driver because of my mom’s repeated stories, period.


In the afternoon

We arrived with great exhaustion. I brought five bags from the van and brought it to John’s room at the fourth floor. The stairs were stiff and required great stamina to survive.

I survived.

I lay in the bed while waiting for them.

My eyes closed and dreamed of food.


After the nap

My mom and her friend prepared a meal for us. My mom brought some ulam or dishes from Mindanao. She’s somehow made us happy by bringing food after a good trip. Same menu: pork adobo, pork chop, sautéed shrimp and beef steak.

My mom’s friend, Santa, bought rice and some local dishes for us to enjoy the afternoon. She bought two sticks of barbecued squid stuffed with onion and tomatoes, spicy sinigang [soured soup with radish, cabbages, tomatoes and meat of your choice] and fried galonggong [a local fish].

It was a delicious afternoon with my mom’s never ending stories.


At 4:00 p.m.

Went to SM Iloilo City, bought my brother’s needs and went to National Book Store and Booksale [alone, as usual].

  1. A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian by Marina Lewycka (₱127)
  2. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby (₱115)
  3. The Friendship Bracelet Book (₱150)
  4. With Love: Ten Heartwarming Stories of Chimpanzees in the Wild by Jane Goodall and illustrated by Alan Marks (₱25)
  5. The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips by Michael Morpurgo (₱40)
  6. Crash: the Not Quite Unreal sequel by Carlos Malvar (₱200)


At 7:00 p.m.

Scene 1, Act 2: An Ogre-Filled Dinner in Shakeys

the gang entered Shakeys.
populated by hungry ogre.
I checked for available seats.
available seat had dirty dishes covered the table.
service was slow.
moved to a better seat.
reserved.
Me: Sir, the seat is reserved. annoyed because of people watching.
the ogre manager blinked.
ogre manager: Don’t worry sir, the place is available.
confused.
the gang settled.
the ogre manager thrown the menu on my back.
it was the worst idea an ogre can do in a restaurant.
I checked the menu.
Can’t decide, I asked the witch to decide.
unsettled.
I checked the menu again.
argued.
Me: What do you really wanted to eat guys? I’m starving again.
the witch: Anything.
the flying monkey smiled.
I hoped I could read minds.
I asked the queen.
Me: Madame Queen, what do you want for dinner?
the queen: Anything.
fucked up.
I picked randomly.
I asked the witch to call for the ogre waiter.
nobody responded.
the witch waved her hands to cast a spell.
it won’t work.
I decided to try her magic.
the ogre poker faced.
I faced the counter, blinked.
the ogre manager seen me and asked the lady ogre waitress.
lady ogre waitress walked slowly with a big smile.
lady ogre waitress: Can I take your order sir, ma’am?
Me: [insert food here]
lady ogre waitress smiled smoothly.
lady ogre waitress: Is that all sir?
Me: Yes.
she repeated the order.
bored.



dinner is served.
ate.

they served an old calamares.

the lettuces were great.

the pitcher of iced tea was enough for one person.

packed the remaining food.
pay the bills.
the gang went away.
the night is over.
disappointed.


At 9:00 p.m.

We carried all the stuffs my mom bought for John. It was a nice day, maybe some were disappointing ones but overall this satisfying feelings left me undone. No, wasted I mean. I tried not to sleep. I kept myself moving from each corner of the room. My mom turned on the television to watch news. My brother turned on his laptop to play O2Jam [an online piano-liked 2D game]. My sister scattered all the stuffs we carried.

I, in the end, in the moment that I wanted not to sleep, fell from the void of darkness.

I heard nothing except my mumbled voice.

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