6:00pm. Estimated time of arrival.
But what luck I do have! It was almost 6:00pm and I’m still in Alabang. Mars already texted me as to where in the hell I am but I can’t reply. Supposedly, I should have my load at that time but there wasn’t any available load in the convenience store I beforehand approached. However, before leaving Alabang Metropolis, I must have a load, I concluded.
I’m nearing Alabang Metropolis. Unfortunate as I already was, the jeep got stuck up. I know I’m near the mall, I can almost see it but I can’t just walk! I don’t know Muntinlupa that well by commuting and I don’t know if the sidewalk I’m seeing will lead me there. Nevertheless, following the other passengers, I left. Without asking which or which, I got into another jeep.
I can almost feel my blood rushing up. Not Alabang Metropolis? So I asked the driver as to what heck I am in. Fortunately, he offered me help and told me where to stop. I need to climb the overpass just to get there. So I did. I set aside the load problem first upon reaching the other end and asked the police downstairs as to where the lanes are going to Biñan.
No terminal? I thought Mars, in her text, told me to find the lane inside the Metropolis grounds going to Biñan. But I followed what the police had said, to climb the overpass again and look for the right jeep.
I can feel the heat inside me- literally and figuratively. First, when I reached the darn other side, I asked a lady where to find a jeep going to Biñan. Seeing no luck, I approached another. There wasn’t any terminal going there. Dead.
I wanted to cry. I kept still for about a second and contemplated about my sick unfortunate damn situation. I should rather go home and eat festively with or without a party. But he added something and told me that on the other side is a terminal.
I tried it. I was wearing a pink blouse with an illusion that it has polo under because of the white collar and excess fabric on the sleeves and below. On the right side of the blouse is a silver embellishment with the brand name with silver sequins and beads. I wore it under a dark pair of skinny jeans and a wedge black sandals. I have with me a pink native bag I bought during our last year’s field trip in Baguio. My hair- I don’t know what it’s called- was done with only ¼ of it clipped in the middle and slightly blown up. I put some make up and wore a pair of dangling pink pearl earrings I had bought in a vanity fair.
I don’t look normal, at least with the people around me wearing everyday clothes. I’ve got two things in mind at the moment: that I pursue going home or get myself to be a victim of robbery. Along the way, I saw a police and asked the same thing I asked from all the people I approached since I landed the Metropolis. He told me the same thing the last guy told me. Before I got a little farther, I saw and empty jeep with a Biñan sign and three more. I got confused but nevertheless, I seated myself next to the driver. I asked him to drop me after the tollgate. I can almost sleep with tranquility. I thought my drama will be I came, I saw, I conquer!
It was more than an hour. Of course, silly me if I’d sleep. Definitely, I got my eyes dilated in search of that humongous tollgate Mars had been describing in the text. It was thrice that I thought I’m nearing it. Hopeless. Damn hopeless. Wrong again. We swerved left to a two lane street. I’m becoming nervous again as I prayed. I know that kind of feeling is not something good. I know how my instinct works. So I asked the driver if we are nearing the tollgate. Then I added, upon seeing his confusion, the Pizzahut and Jollibee billboard with the terminal below it that I described from the start.
After several vague answers, I concluded: No, there wasn’t any tollgate coming according to him and according to my judgment seeing the place. And another, that he doesn’t know what a tollgate is. However, I accuse that he fooled me since he seems to be decent- okay, the means does not justify the end. And it’s more like he’s not so much acquainted with the landmarks and so is the tollgate.
I got out in a place who the hell knows? He, during my inquisition, told me that there is a terminal there going to Southville. Before I went there, I saw 7 Eleven and bought a load. I texted Mars right away and told her that I think I’m lost. I was heading to the tricycle terminal the jeepney driver told me when I felt like crying again. Where in the world was I? What went wrong? I wanted to scream and shake every people to demand where I was. I wanted to run home because it’s my only refuge. I wanted to. But I’ve gone this far and now wasn’t the time to accept defeat. I maintained my composure. Mars haven’t replied yet, I thought. No vibration coming from my bag.
I approached a man with a child in his trike and asked him if the terminal we’re seeing is going to Southville. No, there’s no Southville terminal there but there is Southvale. Double dead. But, I didn’t blame the jeepney driver. I was half- expecting it. I’ve been in Southville twice and the place I was now is surely not what I’m looking for. But he told me that he can bring me there for fifty pesos. I- even though he looks harmless (here I go again)- got scared. He added that it’s far that’s why. How far? I don’t know. I declined and retreated and approached a nearby bakery. I’ve got a reply. I deduced that, even with the landmarks and the name of the barangay that I’ve been telling, she doesn’t know where I was too. Then I’ve got a call from an anonymous number. It was Mars. In the middle of our conversation, the man who offered a fifty peso ride interrupted. He told me to ride Carmona Bayan, stop at Andoks and there I’ll see the trikes that I have been looking. Then, I was already talking to Tita Violy- Grace’s mom. I consulted the new algorithm.
I asked the seller as to where I can find a jeep going to Carmona Bayan. She gladly pointed the way. When I got out, I was looking for the trike driver to thank him. But he was gone. In my mind, while walking along the dark street, played that the man was an angel. I smiled.
I saw the terminal. I was suddenly driven back to life. I consulted a barter and he escorted me towards the jeep. Then I asked the driver how much I am going to pay. Feeling that he sensed my state of being naïve, I wished that he will tell me where to stop. Along the dark way, I was uncomfortable looking for any trace of Andoks. At the same time, I prayed and once again entrusted my faith to Him.
Hands clasped together. Petron. I know this place already! I saw a yellow light not far from us: Andoks. I’m here, I said plus the driver told me so. There I saw the trike I’m dying to find. I got ecstatic and excited at the same time. I’m already there, alive and well, still kicking although foundation already dissolved.
Mars saw me coming and embraced me then we ate. I was somehow shocked that so many of them knew that I got lost. But we just made fun of it anyway. I joked that supposedly, I’ll arrive at 6pm but there I was, 8:30. Grace requested me to finish her dance number before I depart. And I did. After that was a Movie Maker Presentation and I got thrilled. So I also finished it plus the family’s speech. It was almost 11:30. I asked Mars to help me get a trike. She realized that at that time, trikes are super rare and asked me to stay overnight. Well, that is solution no. 1. Unfortunately, I can’t. It’s a house rule. Solution no. 2 was to call my parents to fetch me. However and unfortunately as I am in the course of the day, they are in San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila to attend a wedding and they won’t be home at that time. Another sensible thing, they don’t know the village.
Luckily, to balance the turmoil, Cess my former schoolmate and her dad were already going home. So they can drop me at Petron and there I am to find a jeep. Signboard: Alabang Metropolis.
I was stuck there for about five seconds. I’m beginning to get jelly. I hesitated then prayed. Then a jeep came up, an excessively long one. Twice as long with bright red new looking cover.
It was so chilly traveling SLEX that late. It could have been a lot fun if I am with my family going somewhere for a vacation. It could have been better if I wasn’t so nervous as to what the ending of this story might be. Although it was weird but funny that along the trip, I was thinking on how to blog this nerve- racking adventure I am having.
Filinvest: The Corporate City. I’m near at last but the sight of the corporate city like a ghost town scared me on the contrary. I was gripping tight whatever I am holding. After the Corporate Ave., I told myself that I can go out. However, I was still scared. It was dark and I can’t stand to wait there. Someone might salvage me, I thought. Pushing forward, I saw the busy Alabang. I can suddenly breathe at last. At the Metropolis, I almost practically run and went directly to the jeepney terminal. Last ride. I got even more relaxed when my dad replied and asked me to take care.
I welcomed Las Piñas with my nervousness completely subsided. Even though it was dark entering BF, I was already confident, very much. J
It was a super adventure considering that I’m alone. But it was fun testing how far I can go. My mom told me once that when you know how to ask, you won’t be lost. I’m vindicating it as true. Another thing, putting a brave face even if you’re really scared helps a lot. It’s like being optimistic anyways, no one can tell the difference except you. It was also heartening that there’s still a great deal number of Filipinos who are helpful and not taking advantage of situations. With my questions and facial expressions, one can easily deduce that I’m a lost bird. Lastly, I realized that God is always present in our midst. If you will entrust all you faith to Him, nothing will happen. He can even choose to add something tragic in my situation like adding insult to injury. But I made it through safely with His great help.
At the same time, those people who served as my guide were His instruments to help me. I hope that He too will work on me.
I’m so much glad that I was still able to put this into writing. Haha. Just my luck!