August 19, 2011
The phone rang. It was 6:00 in the morning and we had a late night prior. I and Jasmin were at Radisson Blu Hotel where she was checked in and where I had spent most of my time too. She was in a deep slumber like a baby while Paolo, her nephew, was silently snoring on the couch. I had wanted to ignore the sound but it just kept bugging me. Plus, the sound was all too familiar. It was my phone. I picked it up and on the other end, a male voice in a high tone said “Gising na kayo?”
Grrrrrrr! It was my cousin Bong who was flying in from Manila. I had wanted to put down the thing and go back to dreamland but he was persistent. He said “you guys will have to talk to me.”
I said “why? It’s too early.”
“Exactly. I might fall asleep and if I do, I’ll miss my plane. If I miss my plane, it will be your fault and I won’t be able to go there for the reunion.”
I wanted to throw a fit because I was dizzy from lack of sleep but I chuckled heartily. How on earth can you get mad at someone who’s just so excited and ecstatic at seeing you? So, what happened in the next 5 hours was that we had to bear with Bong by almost throwing the phone at each one. I talked to him till about 8 am. When Jasmin woke up, I gave her the phone to talk to the poor guy while I took a bath. Then, the phone was back to me because Jasmin had to go to the bathroom too to prepare. We dressed up, did our hair, put on our make up and he was just there chatting. And yes, you read it right, 5 long hours. Actually more but there were a few minutes break in between. He was at the airport at 6 but his flight didn’t leave till 1 pm and he had nothing else to do but sit or sulk. Not a good idea to sulk on a good day.
Tata arrived. Divine and Joy had joined us while Bong was still on the phone. He had purchased an unlimited phone call service and he planned on using it all up on us. Unlimited! He had 2 phones I guess and charged one while he used the other. It was clever. We, on the other hand, had to take turns charging our phones as he would call another phone when one died out on him. Pathetic and funny altogether – something only Bong could muster.
Breakfast for Jasmin, Tata and myself was at the buffet in the hotel. Divine and Joy were to pick us up and go to the resort together. We checked out of the Radisson at 11 am since we were booked at the Plantation Bay Resort on Mactan Island. It was just about 45 minutes away from the City. However, we were not allowed to go to our room right away as check in time was really at 2 pm anyway. We So, we just brought in our bags, waited for Bong to arrive and took off to a nearby resto to have lunch. Finally, our ordeal with Bong ended. Ha ha! You know, it was such a joyful and hair-raising sight to see how exuberant we all were to be together. There were hugs and unending laughter, tearful recounts of past events, and unlimited stories told. 25 years could not have been enough to tell in 3 days! But, we were all happy.
In the afternoon, we were joined at Plantation Bay by Limuel and his family. The boys were the group’s funny bones and just as before, we were laughed hard such that I had to constantly remind ourselves that we would had to tone down our voices lest we be told by the front office to do so. We were in our mid 40’s and such an act would be degrading but we felt like we were in our 20’s that time because we were in that age where we left off. At maybe 8 pm, we decided to go out to dinner. First we decided to eat at a resto inside the hotel where they served the food al fresco with an Arabian nights show. However, it was too expensive and there were over 20 of us that time. Also, most of us wanted food that was Cebuano so we decided to go to another place. I told Joy I would go to the powder room but when I went out they had gone off. Apparently, Joy forgot about what I said since they were preoccupied when her sister joined us and boarded the tram that took them to the front office. Tata soon looked for me and they had realized I was left at the resto that she came to fetch me. All of them tried to call me – Bong, Joy, Jasmin, Divine and Limuel. We all laughed at that. Some comic moment was bound to happen and that was it. LOL
After dinner, we drove back to the hotel, passing by for some balut and penoy and, over a couple of drinks, told stories of each one’s own life the past decades. We thank facebook and Tata for bringing us together - Tata who diligently and persistently searched for all of us and brought us all back together. It was a pity that some of our friends were not able to join then – Boy Beduya, Jun Pascua, Onie Torres. Anyway, there’s always a next time.
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