#RPintheRP: A Travelogue
Day 20: Paalam, Pilipinas Kong Mahal
This is it. The big one. The goodbye.
It was really hard to even get out of bed. I knew this was my last moment with Six. We did our best; we had a good run; and now it’s time to simply enjoy every single second we have together.
Six was an absolute gentleman. He helped me pack, helped me clean. There are days when I don’t know how someone like this came into my life and what a horrid joke life likes to play on me that I met him just a few days before I had to leave.
This was painful — but let’s transcend pain. Because this was a beautiful experience. For everything and all that it’s worth.
I had checked out of the condo around 2pm and my flight wasn’t until 4am the next day. I brought my luggage to my uncle’s hotel room in Makati. He and his wife weren’t there, so it was my cousin who let me in.
We walked together to Glorietta and parted ways; she was off to her old office to meet friends while I met Shirl. (Though of course, I had my last Jollibee meal — two piece chicken, spicy, with rice!) We walked around, I bought a carton of Marlboro Blacks for Canada. Canada has a ridiculous federal menthol ban (not to mention an embargo against Marlboro) so this was my only opportunity to get my cigarettes.
Given the large amount of books I had bought, I was also afraid that I would go overbaggaged. Shirl and I scoured Greenbelt, Glorietta, and Landmark trying to find a portable luggage weigher — and it involved multiple back-and-forths between CDR-King and Octagon. It was, precisely, an exercise in research.
Later that evening, we had dinner with her boyfriend, Barbie, and Precious. We ate at Maman’s, a traditional Filipino restaurant, and we had large servings of sisig, kare-kare, sinangag, and patis wings. Oh, and a small serving of vegetables because, well, because we had to.
Shirl and her boyfriend left a little later; Barbie, Precious, and I would have dessert at a nearby cake store. Barbie left right after; and it was Precious, the person I spent the most time with on this trip (after Six, of course), who walked me to my uncle’s hotel.
I took a quick shower at the hotel room and chatted for a while with my uncle, aunt, and Precious. My cousins were there, however, both weren’t feeling very well so they were pretty much asleep at that point. Close to midnight, we walked down and I got into an Uber and, I guess, said goodbye to the Philippines.
There were very little moments in this trip that I felt nostalgia. Being at Magdangal, being at my childhood home, at Matalino Street, Sarah’s, SM North EDSA, TimeZone Trinoma, AliMall — these all brought a lot of memories, but the full hit of nostalgia never came until today.
It came when Six was helping me pack. It came when I said goodbye to him after loading my luggage into the Uber, It came as the car drove through Quezon City. It came in the last supper with friends. It came in the middle of the night, on the way to NAIA. And I couldn’t stop crying.