“Lima lang po kayo, ma’am,” (“There will only be five of you, ma’am,”) the tour driver, Paul, said as I climbed into his van and asked how many were taking the Bolinao-Hundred Islands tour. It was a little past 10 PM when he picked me up at McDonald’s in Blue Bay Walk in Pasay. Apparently I was the only one there, and we’d be picking up everyone else at QC. Traffic was a bitch on the way there and Paul was obviously livid, which I tried to ignore by napping to Bon Iver. Between this and Pangasinan were hazy, sleep-filled events like Paul taking a wrong turn somewhere, picking up the other four passengers, and stopping at Bridgeway Travel and Tour’s office to pay the balance and we were on our way.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to Pangasinan, and it was one of the most memorable trips I had ever gone on in my life for two reasons. One, I had never been there before and I’d always wanted to go. Two, it was my first time traveling alone.