Sunday, June 16, 2013

Of Death, Ostrich, Numb Butts, Macarons, Flights, And Other Things Important And Otherwise

Last Wednesday morning was Independence Day, and I was able stay in bed a little bit longer. Then TheHusband handed me his phone -- my mom was calling. I cringed a bit and held my breath. She rarely calls, and I don't think she has ever called me that early in the morning. True enough, it was bad news. My aunt died. I was totally surprised because she is, was, healthy and very active. True, she was pushing 80, but if you'd seen her, you'd think she was much younger. Sharkteeth cried and she told me that it felt like when her rabbits died. I remarked to TheHusband, "Kaya nga ba ayoko ng calls at phones eh. I rarely receive good news over the phone. Laging bad news. Ayoko nang mag-phone!" To which he replied, "Ano ka, ostrich?" [By the way, bebe, misconception lang yun!]

So, I started to make plans to go home. As much as TheHusband and Sharkteeth wanted to go with me, we couldn't afford it. Sharkteeth went to check her piggybank to see if she could afford the fare. She's a sweet kid. Remember when we got left behind by the plane back in 2012? We had to pay the full fare back to Dumaguete, which was ~2.5K each, and I wrongly assumed that the fare going to Manila is in the ballpark. Boy, was I flabbergasted when I learned that Cebu Pacific will be charging me 7.2K. Seriously, seven thousand two hundred pesoseseseses! I can't understand why the base fare from Manila to Dumaguete is ~2.5K, yet 7.2K from Dumaguete to Manila. I won't stand for such usurious rates, but I can't do anything about it either, as I really NEEDED to fly that day. I checked the rates for Cebu-Manila flights, and I found a cheaper (2.7K) one flying out in the afternoon.

So I took the longer route: 20 minutes by fastcraft going to the southermost tip of Cebu, Santander, then 4 hours by bus going to Cebu City, and finally, 40 minutes going to Mactan International Airport. I came fully prepared with my inflatable neck roll and [Hello Kitty!] sleeping blinders, thinking I could catch a bit of sleep. Unfortunately, ang katabi ko sa bus, ANG LAKAS MAGHILIK! Umabot na sa point na siniko ko na sya slightly (slightly, right) 'cause it was so loud and annoying na. Finally, a bit past 12 noon, nakarating na rin sa bus terminal. Nagkaroon yata ng kalyo puwet ko sa tagal ng pag-upo ko sa bus. I grabbed a quick bite, and in fairness, nakapag-stroll and window shopping pa sa ako sa mall for a few minutes. Went to a flea market as well where a store was selling a vintage classic-style Coach bag for 1.2K. When I balked at the price, the store owner was a bit haughty when she said, "branded kaya yan." Wahahahahaha! Eh ukay kaya tindahan nya. Anyhoo, I proceeded to the airport na. I rode a cab. Ang dakilang driver, habang nasa gitna na kami ng byahe, biglang hirit ng, "May dagdag pong 50 pesos pag papuntang airport." I know otherwise, but I wasn't exactly in the position to argue because (a) we were in the middle of the highway and (b) I was in a hurry. It saddened me more than it angered me. I've been to Cebu lots of times, and this was the first time that I've encountered a dishonest driver there. Saka hate ko talaga ang mga drivers who arbitrarily increase the fare in the middle of the ride. Oh well. There's this macaron store in the airport that sells yummy macarons for just PHP50 each. I bought mint and coffee, and I really liked the latter. The former lacks the minty freshness that I was expecting.

Oh, may Zubuchon na pala sa loob ng airport. The flight took off way earlier than the ETD, but we had to fly around because of the heavy air traffic, and we arrived later than the initial ETA. It was good that I didn't take the cab, as there was heavy traffic because of the flooding in the Magallanes-Makati area. I took the airport bus instead and rode the train. By the time I reached Trinoma, around 9 pm, I was already exhausted and it was drizzling. So few buses were going to our place, perhaps because they got stuck in the flooded areas. Anyway, I finally got a bus, and after 10 rides and almost 15 hours of travel, I finally reached our place. I went to my aunt's place first to pay my respects. Although I was saddened by her death, I didn't mourn for her -- to me, her wake is a celebration of her life, a life fulfilled, a life full of love. She was a devoted wife. She had seen her children and grandchildren succeed in career and family. She had seen the birth of her great grandchildren. She had never experienced any lingering disease and was very active till the last moment. She died firm in her belief of God. If we can only be so lucky.


  1. Your aunt's a lucky woman to have gotten past the age of seniors' boundaries - 70. May she rest in peace.


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