(Getaway soundtrack: “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors)
My friends – the same people I was with in Vigan – and I went to Aklan a couple of months ago. It was an eventful five-day vacation, so I thought a little play-by-play would be a better method of telling you about it. (Just a heads-up: I hope you’re in the mood for a mini-series.)
Part 1: Manila
06:46 – Clock into work with a humongous backpack. I hope I have enough clothes to last 5 days.
08:00 – Day officially starts. Sun’s really out. Hoping for a sunny Aklan too. Weather check says ‘stormy’, though.
11:00 – Lunch. Counting down the hours before we leave. Our friend Miah’s sorry he can’t come with us. Next time, he promises.
13:00 – Can’t work anymore; too excited. Wonder if I’ll get a tan. Focus. Two more hours before we leave.
15:06 – Con, Riza, and I say our goodbyes to the bosses.
15:30 – Outside. Texting Dani and AJ for their whereabouts. Dani’s hailing a cab from her place. AJ’s still at his office. I’ll meet you at the airport, he says.
16:00 – Dani reaches the office. We board her cab and head to the NAIA 4.
16:30 – Heavy traffic. Really hot out. Air conditioning not helping at all.
17:00 – At the airport. AJ is still MIA. We pick up our tickets and head for the boarding area.
17:30 – We get some food to tide us over. Con texts AJ. He’s at home, packing up. He’d washed his clothes for the trip last night and they only dried this afternoon. We shake our heads in disbelief.
17:45 – Con and Riza are sitting on the floor, he on his laptop, she on her phone. Dani and I in seats, ears plugged into our own music devices.
18:00 – Still no AJ. Our flight leaves in an hour. Where is he? Stuck in Makati traffic. On a Friday. Fuck.
19:00 – We’re all on the floor now. AJ finally reaches the airport. Collective sigh of relief.
19:15 – AJ joins us, pizza in hand. Our flight is delayed. What’s a few more minutes of waiting?
19:30 – No go yet. Sigh. As usual, we torment Riza to pass the time.
20:00 – Our flight gets called. We let other passengers get in line first. We’re all leaving on the same plane, anyway.
20:15 – Strapped in. All systems are go. See you in a few days, Manila.
Part 2: Aklan
21:20 – Touchdown at Kalibo Airport. Dani’s mom, Mrs. Salazar, meets us. Bags tossed into waiting van.
21:30 – Riding to Dani’s home in New Washington. She points out key locations, but it’s too dark out to see clearly.
22:10 – Dani’s house. Lots of dogs. Frankie, Bea, Buffy, Monty. Sounds like a 90s pop group.
22:20 – Mrs. Salazar herds us in for dinner. Paella. Ribs. Yum.
22:50 – Hermit crab-hunting behind their house at the edge of the lake. Dani says there should be a lot. Little bastards won’t come out.
23:10 – We head for the loft, our home for the next few nights. More talking. Chips are passed around.
23:30 – TV is on. People are dozing off. Can’t wait to see Aklan when it’s bathed in sunlight.
To be continued.
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