Dear Travel Buddy,
I met you sometime in 2011 with our Batulao climb. I was minding myself that after each we’re introduced within the group I immediately commune myself with the climb itself. For one moment along the trail you were behind my tracks.
Retracing pictures back on our Talamitam Climb, I remembered you were also there. That’s when I recall I was on the lead pack following the pace of two invites who were trail running. I fell in love with how gracious they were running on the trails so I ran too. It was amazing.
I didn’t even remember then how the group capped off the climb or how had each gone home.All I knew is the gang have made a stop in a Bulalohan along Tagaytay and all was a blur.
Maybe, we have met in a few climb meetings. I’m not sure now though.The way you’ve registered in my system is comparable to an acquaintance. Or maybe I was just busy minding my own world that all petty appearances were all but a blur.
We have little correspondence on Facebook, mostly from hi’s to occasional greetings to climb invites and twice we have coincidentally met along the pathwalks of MRT sometime in 2012. Those were little encounters that I didn’t even mind at all though it brought a feeling of joy, reminiscent of the feeling of seeing someone you know. That was all. Nothing else.
Years rolled fast. Come 2013, we’ve chatted over a topic on what group I was currently affiliated. I said none, I am a freelancer. You said you wanted the same and all you need is a travel buddy, so I volunteered. Right on that Facebook chat we agreed to be travel buddies.Poignant as it may seem, or it may have just an agreement from outburst. I didn't know… seriously.
We’ve exchanged schedules then, laid plans, climb and travel schedules. Sent updates on the latest seat sale, enjoin for any upcoming event with other friends. I have automatically put you on my list to say the least. That was the trend, yes trend. Funny, because we have never climb nor traveled even in the next few months. Blame it on our schedules. It won’t match.
One time in late February ( I think ) I received a message from you asking if a scheduled trip I semi-organized for the end of March will push through. Timely, I have already turned it down because I wanted to cover more places and the Marinduque alone won’t fit. I was contemplating then to pursue a solo backpacking in Central Visayas when you mentioned this Bicolandia plan. I said yes for two main reasons: One, you aren’t sure yet if that will materialize. Second, at least I’ll have a travel buddy while still covering more places with your proposal. Come what may, I still have my own back-up plan should you decide not to.Great deal so far.
From there, we’ve exchanged infos over the plan. Forgive me; I wasn't really serious until our first and final meet-up. I was surprised of how you could be so detailed, evident of the full itinerary (including back-up ) you've presented when I only brought with me my skeleton plans emphasizing on the big ones to consider. Nonetheless, we agreed of how we’ll maneuver the trip.
The big day came. I’m sorry for being a little late. It took me time to sip through a jam packed highway of trippers bound north.You were welcoming then that I immediately forgot we are technically…well, strangers.You may not know it but I’m really thinking how it would be should the first day came. Thankfully, it went well. We were two clads of happy backpackers seemingly excited to cross out all in our travel must list. Notwithstanding the fact that we have waited four hours before we were finally able to board and the first day almost spent in a 14.5 hours grueling bus ride when it should have been only 7-8 hours travel. You didn't mind I suppose. I’m not worried either.
I almost burst intolaughter when you were haggling for the boat ride. You look like a kid trying to use your charm at your favor. That was the second dimension of your personality I saw. You see buddy, I may sometimes content myself with silence but I was really observant.
I enjoyed the two hour boat ride to Mangkawayan. Who wouldn't? Great sunset,wide array of interchanging cloud formations, dusk sky, stars and the ride itself.
Thank you for providing the requisites of camp life. My apologies for I overlooked you were preparing the stove while I just sitting comfortably looking up the sky contented with the spectacular nebula (Shocks strike 2!).
You were observant in your own way. We haven’t talk beyond personal level but you’ve found out I was scared to death of that boat ride. And at the same time frugal too, we’ve got the boat ride for P150.00.Imagine!
Thank you for the assurance of safety when I was struggling my way to your convenient spot in that clear turquoise waters of Calaguas. First time I swam beyond what I knew I can manage.
Thank you for the pictures capturing my precious moments with the paradise. The cheers to win friends while letting me enjoy the comforts of my sport. I’m not a pro but I've been playing volleyball since elementary.
For the ‘alalay’ mode every time you think you’re needed. My apologies if I have to dispel it sometimes. No offense meant buddy, been independent for so long that most of the time my defense revolved around doing all things for myself. I wasn’t at all clingy and weak. But don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the treatment, it was warm and at the same time overwhelming. Things I’m not really used to, honestly.
I thought you will stick on the detailed IT, but I was amazed how you could be flexible too. Naga City Tour was a blast even if we have started touring about 5pm covering most places by foot.
You are a kid, giddy about how low the expenses turned out for Day 1 and 2. And I still can’t figure out how it turned lower than mine. Remember, I charged you ‘madaya’ while we were computing at Bigg’sDiner. Of course, I was kiddin’, bigtime! And you have a great appetite for street foods. Oh, please don’t think I’m maarte but I really can’t indulge into it at my current state.
You were a great survivor in Caramoan. I can only appreciate how you could be so fitting for an itinerary I’m currently hooked. I like moving from one place to another in no time and so are you I guess.I was glad as you when we made it back to Naga at the same day. Such energy buddy, I was glad of the same level.
I felt bad, I didn’t know how to capture good photos of you, it was either blurred or with unbalanced horizon when all the best ones had been captured for me, from jumpshot to me posing in different places we've been to. My bad, my bad… I lack technical know how on DSLR and photography. This sincerely I felt sorry about.
I have so much to thank you and so many apologies to ask for. I ended putting up my concerns into writing as I ran out of time to tell you personally or maybe I don’t have the nerve to voice out everything. But this have to suffice, buddy did I ever made a good a travel buddy for you or was I burden?
And the one that’s bothering me … Have we embedded a friendship notch higher than before or just the same or worse a way negative before we embarked on this trip?