Angel on The Bus, With I-Pod 4/03/2009 05:28:00 PM

As stated in the previous post, I had to travel by myself to the retreat venue all the way from Cebu by myself. Now, getting to Manila by plane is the easy part but taking the bus to a town in Luzon by myself and getting to the venue I have never been to before was the tricky part. I can't ever remember traveling on a bus alone before. The whole thing made me nervous.

Later, I discovered I was given out-moded directions by friends. The only saving grace I thought I had is the ability to speak fluent Tagalog (my Tagalog friends often ask me why since I have lived most of my life in Cebu City) thanks to having BatangueƱos for playmates during my early childhood in Saudi Arabia. Incidentally, I was also headed for the province of Batangas.

Getting off the plane, I decided to take the metered airport taxi for safety reasons. The driver was pretty pleasant and helpful. He even guided me on which bus to actually board and not to allow anyone to act as porter for my baggage so I won't have to spend more by tipping.

It was almost lunch time when I seated myself in the almost empty bus. A mestiza lady with dark sunglasses, who seemed to be around my age took a seat to rows behind me. Then, for some unknown reason, she got up and asked if the seat beside me was taken. I offered it to her.

I asked her how long the trip would take to Lipa City,and then found out we were going in the same direction but she would get off first. She was surprised to find out that I was traveling by myself there from Cebu to attend a retreat, and that no one was out there to meet me.

She then proceeded to hum in tune to the music from her I-pod while I took my packed lunch as the bus finally got filled up.

My seatmate pointed out a few landmarks along the way for me as well as pointed out that the reason we were apparently delayed was that the bus went through the different towns, stopping each time instead of taking the SLEX.

We said our goodbyes as she got off at Lipa City Hall. I still had several meters to go before getting off at SM City Lipa to take a tricycle to Latag Study Camp. It was then that I realized that I had forgotten to even ask for her name, due to my tiredness (I was on hospital duty the night before) and nervousness about traveling alone.

My tricycle trip to my retreat venue was then uneventful.

It's funny how God kind of sends us people to help us along the way in such a natural, unobtrusive manner. I may not know her name, but I'm so glad she decided to sit beside me.