Well, I’ve never dreamed of being a traveler in my life. Never. Call me kuripot, KJ, and all. That’s just me. My team is the other way around. They want to travel. They want to experience something new. They want to get away from the dusty, polluted metro. Somewhere refreshing. Somewhere new. Kaya if may chance ang team na lumabas, lumalabas kami. Team Building. The definition of team building in other teams is just having dinner, bowling at a nearby lane, videoke, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I love those activities. But the team wants more. The team wants adventure – something new.
The team decided to have a road-slash-food-trip. That’s the original plan. Rommel had a car. We are just favored to have an Associate Manager who’s just so us and so mabait! We are so glad he joined our trip! Road trip nga ang peg! The original plan was just to have a road trip to Minalungao Park. No extras whatsoever. No extra pants, undies, shirts, towels, slippers, etc. We didn’t expect we’ll go on a river swimming, crossing the river, and riding a balsa. Park. That word itself. Haha. Minalungao Park. What would you expect to be doing at the park diba. Sight seeing, picture here, picture there, food trip, and then head home. The adventure was a one-of-a-kind trip. A trip to remember. Haha. Here was our itinerary last August 09, 2014, Saturday. Take note, we are working on US Time i.e. on a night shift schedule. Bangagers!!!
8AM: Eastwood to Five Star Terminal, Cubao
We waited for Gian (one with the camera) to finish the shoot for Team’s Geoff’s video entry for the Windchimes @10 celebration. We placed third. Not bad. We even had our selfie at the bus!
9:30AM: Tenga ng Baboy. First Time.
This was my first time to eat tenga ng baboy barbeque. I can’t quite get the taste of it. All I know is that I was eating a hairy tenga ng baboy. Hahaha! This was also the time I made a selfie with an umbrella! Posted in Instagram! Nakakaloka. Nakakatuwa!
9:45AM: On our way to Minalungao Park, Nueva Ecija
We are just favored that we used Rommel’s car for this road trip! We need not have to commute to Nueva Ecija. We just enjoyed everybody’s company. Sayang lang hindi kumpleto yung team. Mark has a prior commitment. Sad.
12:20PM: Wiwi break. =))
We had to stop as everybody wanted to answer Mother Nature’s call. In short, wiwi break muna. Haha! The jump shot of Conie and Tin! Hahaha! We had to do the shot again as it was epic fail the first try!
12:45PM: Off road. Stuck. Lost.
Paano mo hindi maiisip na maliligaw kayo kung lahat ng mga kasama mo eh hindi pa nakakapunta dun sa destinasyon niyo? We had to trust Google Maps to where we’re heading. Google Maps – internet, phone. Well, no signal, no mobile signal, low battery, stuck, lost. Haha! At eto pa, our car was stuck! We had to get off the car and help each other get that car out of the muddy place. Si Gab naman pumunta somewhere para humingi ng tulong. 30 minutes ng nakalilipas wala pa rin siya. He didn’t brought his phone! Sabi nga ni Rommel, maganda ung ginawa niya as long as dala niya yung phone. Habang nag-aantay naman sila sa taas, kami nila Gian and Leo ay nagpicture taking nalang. Haha. Namomroblema na nga, nag-eenjoy pa. Haha. Well, eto lang naman yun, may problema na nga bakit mo pa prinoproblema, just enjoy and have fun! Haha!
1:15PM: Got back on track!
Finally! We got back on track! After thirty minutes of waiting and trying to solve the problem, we got back on track! Yey! Gab got back from our spot with an off-road jeep na may ulo ng baka sa harapan ng sasakyan. Haha! It was confirmed that we got lost. We now head to Minalungao Park with a different route.
2:20PM: Kinilaw ng Baboy.
Another first. Haha. I’m not used to pork anymore but this was once in a lifetime moment. Binawa ko nalang sa gym. Haha. First time to eat kinilaw na baboy. Actually it is not a raw pork that was just marinated into a vinegar. The pork was first grilled then marinated. I know ’cause I eat liempo and sinugba a lot dati. This was our first food trip ever in our entire trip. See, this was not what we expected. Haha. We expected every thirty minutes we’re gonna check on a resto or carinderia then eat. Haha!
3:30PM: Minalungao National Park, Nueva Ecija
All the hardships were paid off seeing the Minalungao River! Just wow. A peaceful yet strong river. This was our first time seeing the river. This was also MY first time to ride on a balsa. A lot of firsts in this trip, huh.
Sabi ko nga, di bale ng puyat at naligaw, nakapunta naman kami ng matiwasay.
These little ones were our tour guides! Being tour guides were just their sidelines. They study. They go to school. They just love their what we call, job. Roberto, Jessa, and Shiela. Their names are just so adorable! These kiddos are really good in taking care of their tourists. Hindi ka nila pababayaan lalo na sa pagtawid ng ilog sa sobrang lakas ng current. They love their jobs. They love telling the tourists about their playground. They swim well. I envy them. Haha!
And now the wonders of one of God’s creations – Minalungao National Park, Nueva Ecija. The awesomeness and greatness of God overflows in His creations! I just can’t help but to glorify and praise His Name! As what the Bible says:
Colossians 1:16 – For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him.
Known as the Camwhore Queen, hindi ko palalampasin ang pagkakataong magpapicture sa Minalungao Park noh! And here our photos!
4:30PM: Turning point of the road trip.
Now here is the turning point of the trip. The river we crossed for the cave is a rushing water. Current was so strong that even a carabao could be easily be swayed. I totally forgot about that! Since basa na pants ko, might as well, swim and enjoy the water diba. So, I did swim. Nakakapit kami sa balsa ni Conie. I know how to swim but there’s something in me, well I know psychologically, I am not confident with deep water. Gusto ko yung natatapakan ko yung pinaka-ilalim. Tell me I’m weak but that’s how I learned how to swim. I really wanted to know survival swimming. Anyway, yun nga, swimming and totally forgot the rushing water. I attempted to float. I floated. Yung nakikita yung sky. Ganun. Mga ilang seconds yun, mga five. At dun ko lang nalaman na umaanod na pala ako papalayo sa balsa! I panic. In short, muntik na akong malunod. Thank God Gab was there to rescue me. Para akong ginawang flyer sa cheer dancing. First attempt to rescue me failed. Nawala bigla si Gab! Yun pala nadala din siya ng current. Hindi pa ako umaabot sa balsa! Second attempt, Gian. When he held my hand, I grabbed it to a point na pati siya naanod. Waa! Second attempt, failed! Buti nalang si Robert, the little guide, held my hand. He was on the balsa. Conie held my hand, as well. And I was rescued. Whew. That was something. During the time I was running for my life kasi naanod na ako, ang lakas ng current, di ako makalangoy, I thought one thing, I prayed or should I say, I talked to God in my mind. Sabi ko, Lord eto na ba? Parang di ko pa naman ramdam. Parang confident ako na irerescue mo pa din ako. That was the time when I totally felt God’s presence and rescue. He totally loves me to a point that He doesn’t want me to end up like that. He still has a purpose for me. He still has great plans for me and for my family. Just wow. Just amazing!
5:55PM: Headed for Manila
And since this was just a road trip, we headed for Manila around this time. We had no extras. We’re totally wet, literally. Aww. No undies. No pants. Just extra shirt. That’s it. I had a scarf that was been my skirt. No undies. We headed to Papaya Mall. Conie bought shorts for me. Yey! Now, hindi halatang walang undies! Hahaha! I slept all throughout the trip. Haha! Antok na kami!!
And that was our road trip. A one-of-a-kind trip that will surely be remembered! I am just so thankful for these guys for letting me experience such. I am not a traveler. I am just Tin who wants to enjoy life within God’s unlimited resources. God let me enjoy this trip with these bunch of kids wanted to have a new experience – a travelling experience. Haha!
At the end of the trip it is just God being gloried. His creations. His greatness. His power.
All for you, Lord!
Photo Credits to Gian.