Celebrating My Day In The Urban Jungle

I have always wanted to celebrate my birthday in a random place away from home. I have also foreseen celebrating it alone, sort of contemplating about my life, soul-searching or whatever. All these things I had in my mind when I was still drifting. My mind was not particularly focused on some specific thing, etc. I sort of just drifted and took life like a come what may situation. However this year’s birthday celebration turned out quite different and very special at the same time.  I did many things for the first time too.

See how amazing life can be when you have so someone to hold on to. Someone to be with. Someone you’re drawn to. I was never really the adventurous type until recently. I became happy of what I was doing until it became a routine. Then I realized there’s more to life than having to wake up, eat, watch television, take a bath and go to the office. I guess the adventurer in me is really trying to reach out and just push me out of my comfort zone. I booked a flight bound for Manila (as to how it was booked, it will remain hidden) a few weeks before September. Thanks to my friend who gave the offer. I went along with some friends because they also booked for the same dates. I must admit that I didn’t gave it much thought. I just took the offer because it was too good to pass up. Why? I would take any chance or opportunity just to come and visit my girl.

Day 1 (September 6): Went in the morning shift so that I could still work before going to Manila. Worked at home too because we needed to be at the airport by 3 PM and it would be already far if I went to the office. Wouldn’t want to be late. It was a normal working day, so far so good. Went out to get my camera by two o’clock. I needed it cleaned because there was some blot in the lens and I couldn’t clean it. Then I went to rendezvous my friends before heading to the airport.

I was so excited and just couldn’t hide. Haha. We got to the airport, checked in, and waited for our flight. For over an hour I just sat at the waiting area and watched an old Filipino film and I don’t even recognize any of the cast. My friends were busy taking pictures and talking about their travel plans and stuff. Me on the other hand, I was busy thinking what I was going to do when I get there (and stuff) or shall I say I was busy thinking about the girl waiting for me at the airport.

Around past 5PM we already boarded the plane and few minutes later we were already flying.  For around two hours I waited. I waited till we arrived at Manila. I waited till I saw my girl again. She was there, wearing a violet blouse, wearing that same beautiful smile, waiting for me. I hugged her as soon as got to her. I hugged her as tight as I could. I really missed her. After that we separated from the group and headed straight to the first diner we could get to, McDonald’s. Yeah there’s no other big “M” symbol in front of the airport but McDonald’s. We got there and had our dinner, had a little chitchat. Then we started our journey to Makati.

Believe it or not but it was my first time to be in Makati and I was kinda amazed, really. No, not just because of the skyscrapers and the wide streets but because of the beautiful wide sidewalks. Really though, I could walk safely there. It was clean and well paved that we opted to walk from the terminal to Ayala Stock Exchange where we took a jeepney ride to Washington. Another thing that amazes me in Manila is Seven Eleven. I think I could really call it a real convenience store. Moving on. We got to the place where my girl stays around 12 midnight. The landlord was already asleep so we had wake him up and get to our rooms.

Day 2 (September 7): The next day me and Mercy woke up early. I asked if I could get to take her to her office. She said yes, so I got into my Vibram FiveFingers, short pants and shirt and then we went off. It’s good to see a little culture in the city that your’e unfamiliar with. Early morning you could already see the people preparing for the day. People going to their offices, and other people getting out of their offices and chilling at the bars. The streets are already busy with cars and buses running about. It’s actually easy to know your way around the city. We got to ride a jeep to Makati Avenue and then we had our breakfast before she went to her office.

After that I took my time walk around Makati Avenue. I took some photos too. I noticed that there where many people using bikes as a means of transportation. I also noticed that many people in Makati are into jogging. The whole of Ayala Garden Triangle would be full of joggers and other people walking their pets. I also happened to see the Brompton folding bike group which my friend, John Buno, was a member of. They were assembling at the place because it was their anniversary. I envied their folding bikes because I always wanted to have one. After scanning the place I went to the same spot where we took a jeepney ride to Washington. I went back to the boarding house after that.

Although it was a Saturday, I was still scheduled for work. I setup my laptop and logged in. I just worked and ate inside the room until it was already time to get off. By 3PM I prepared to go out to fetch Mercy from work. Jad tagged along because I think he was getting bored staying in his room as well. We didn’t stray too long. We got back to the boarding house. There were no plans at the moment so we just kinda stayed in one room and had a little chitchat. During that chitchat Jad happened to mention there was a Lamborghini showroom in Taguig. That got us pretty much hyped up. We dressed up and went on to Taguig.

First stop was Market Market. Then we strolled through Bonifacio High Street. I must admit it’s not the usual things that you could see when you’re in Davao. It’s like a compound where there are bars, restaurants, and stores in it. Then we got to the Lamborghini showroom. The Lamborghini Aventador was an eye candy. A head turner. A show stopper. That slick orange shiny car. It was like I was looking at a car version of Starscream. We also saw the Audi and Chevy showrooms.

We went back to Market Market to get something to eat. It took us a while before we found a restaurant to eat to because every restaurant was full. Right after that we continued to stroll Bonifacio High Street. We did a little window shopping. Not really much of good thing to do though when you’re not really planning on buying something. During our strolling we go to see some Mustang’s in display. It was a photo opportunity and we took it. Haha. We also witnessed a contest by Subaru, and guess what. We also saw and got our picture taken with the vice president of the Philippines.

Day 3 (September 8): It was nearing midnight when we decided to go home. We bought some snacks from seven eleven before heading to the boarding house. We stayed up until it was midnight. We stayed up until it was my already my birthday. We watched some movies and ate the snacks that we bought. Then me and Mercy got sleep so went on first. In the morning we just kinda slacked off because it was a “no work” day. Sunday! We went out to buy some breakfast first thing in the morning. We also scouted the place if there was a store where we could buy a cake. But to no avail, we just decided to buy ice cream instead.

When we got back we had our breakfast. I think it was already brunch though. It was “the celebration”. Haha. I was beginning to love the baby back ribs at Seven Eleven. It was really tasty and in my opinion, not expensive. We talked about a lot of things while we were eating at the rooftop. Things about life, work, current events and food. We got know our board mates too. We learned that some of them can speak our language and are really not from Manila but from a province in Mindanao. We were talking in Tagalog the whole time just to realize that they understand vernacular. After the chitchat we headed back to our rooms and slept.

It was already late in the afternoon when we decided to go to the mall because it was getting boring just staying in the room. Jad, Mercy and I headed to Glorietta to stroll. It was already raining when we got there. We wanted to do something else. Like stroll in the park or what but the weather didn’t permit us.  Though it looked like any other mall I’ve been to, it was still a little interesting because it was my first time there. We just strolled and window shopped and after a while we decided to have dinner.

After having our dinner we didn’t even know where to go next. We decided to go home. Didn’t do much during the evening. Just headed out to get something to eat and then went to sleep. The next day, we still stayed indoors and just watched movies after our work shift.  It wasn’t so of a day. I just started to pack my things because the next day  we were gonna be going home.  I just made use of the time and spent it with my girl because it’s gonna be a while before we see each other again. It felt like we just arrived in Manila the day before and then the next day we were going back to Davao. Time really flies when you’re having fun.

Day 5 (September 10): Woke early in the morning to fix my things and go to work. Mercy had to work too so I stayed in her room until she went back so we could go to the airport together. During the afternoon, I contacted Jad so we could meet up with them. They were killing time at the Mall of Asia so we decided to go there so we could go to the airport together. We arrived there just in time they were about to get their bags from the baggage counter. We didn’t have time to stroll around (sigh) but better that than missing our flight. So then we took a taxi going to the airport. Those minutes on the way to the airport seemed to short. I held on to my girl as tight as I could. I told her we’d see each other soon. Sooner that we think. Our flight was at around 7PM so we waited.. I guess this is where I end this. The end.


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