Weekend Away From Home

Episode 22 – Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015 (6840)

Gathering lunch together at KFC after Sunday Feast in SM City Santa Rosa (Photo courtesy by Stella Tupas on her Facebook post)
Gathering lunch together at KFC after Sunday Feast in SM City Santa Rosa (Photo courtesy by Stella Tupas on her Facebook post)

Last weekend, I supposed to have my “full” rest day. However, because of many distractions in the house (most especially to my jobless elder brother who is always calling my name sounded like a goat), I just decided to leave from “toxic” house to go somewhere. This was my first weekend to not stay at home for my rest day since I’ve been no longer in a relationship for three months now.

Last Saturday, I was thinking if I took a bicycle going to St. Clare Monastery for my morning prayer after my warm-up exercise. It was already 7 o’clock in the morning, and I would be late to take my biking exercise going there (via “shortcut key”). So, I just decided to leave the house because it was not enough for me to take my concentration while in day-off mode, and I didn’t like what my jobless elder brother calling my name again and again and again! (Gosh! I’m so tired to hear him calling my name!) After taking my bath, I just ate a simple breakfast then immediately left from the house.

Leaving from the “noisy” environment, instead riding a tricycle going outside the subdivision, I just walked alone thru “shortcut key” (via South Drive village) then rode a pedicab going to Old National Highway. Later, I rode a jeep going to Cabuyao where St. Clare Monastery is located. It was sunny Saturday morning, and I got so sweat going to the monastery. I came there for my prayer petitions (although the chapel was temporarily closed for morning cleaning) and supposed to stay there longer when I saw some students gathered at the garden. After St. Clare, I supposed to go to St. Polycarp Church when there was a wedding gathered inside, so I just decided to leave Cabuyao area to go near Mariquita in Santa Rosa to have my “idle” time at a convenience store. I bought a snack for spending my time alone (considering as a solo “dating”) for about an hour.

Just before 10 o’clock, I left Mariquita area to go to Pavilion Mall in Biñan to have some hobbies to eliminate my boredom. I went to TimeZone game arcade to spend my time playing games and to collect some tickets (I spent 100 pesos for playing). These tickets were equivalent to the item for a special prize (or thing). When I collected them after playing, I exchanged these to buy a bottle of lemon iced tea and a candy. After spending my hobby at Pavilion Mall, I left there to ride a jeep going to Alabang.

Arriving from Biñan, I went to Festival Mall to eat my “solo” lunch where there was a food chain having a delicious and sizzling food that I wanted to eat again even since I was working in Alabang 3-4 years ago. And because I had a bottle of lemon iced tea that I exchanged from collecting tickets in Pavilion Mall, I used to drink it for my lunch. After eating, I supposed to have spending my time at Festival Mall when I had “emergency”. I left the mall to ride a jeep going to San Pedro via Old National Highway. While travelled, I noticed a lady at the far side (near the driver’s back) that her face was so familiar to me. I didn’t notice her, but I just saw her face looked like my former officemate (and one of my former crush, as well) in Alabang. I was thinking that she was my former work colleague, but I didn’t even call her to greet. Later, when the jeep stopped near Susana Heights area, she left from her seat to walk and suddenly called my name before she got off from the jeep. I heard it, but I just realized that she was. Well, totally, she was my former officemate (and crush) when I was working with her in Alabang 3-4 years ago. However, she’s no longer my crush because she has already a boyfriend, but I’m happy for her having a nice love life.

When I arrived at San Pedro, I rushed to the office (where I work there as graphic designer for gaming magazine) to have an “emergency”, and it was successful (luckily, I have keys to open the office). But anyway, I felt so free to spend my time on that Saturday afternoon from “noisy environment” and distractions in the house (within that time, my family were watching Kalyeserye (a story from the streets) featuring a popular #AlDub tandem), so instead watching that non-sense kilig thing from popular noontime show (because I’m now loveless and I hate to watch that non-sense thing), I just explored my free time thru internet (watching some videos or Facebook although I hated to see some comments about #AlDub). I spent my time at the office for two hours before I left to go home around 4 o’clock.

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On the next following day, Sunday, it seemed that I couldn’t take my whole rest in the house, and again I decided to stay away from the house to go to SM City Sta. Rosa to attend Sunday Feast. This was my third consecutive Sunday to attend Feast after my absence for two months. I left home at 9 o’clock in the morning, and same as last Saturday, I walked alone thru “shortcut key” (via South Drive village) and rode a pedicab going out from the subdivision. I arrived at SM City early (but the entrance doors were open for public) and went to Cinema 1 where the Feast was about to prepare before 10:30. I met Sis Tess and April Rose “Gee” Ebalde whom I had never seen her personally for three months (she was there last Sunday attending the Feast, but I didn’t meet her after I immediately left before concluding the Feast session). Gee, who was in her day-off from work, served media operator (flashing song lyrics, videos, and PowerPoint presentations while I was serving video camera for Sunday Feast led by Bro. Dreus Cosio. During the Feast session, Bro. Dreus talked about the second talk of Thanks God I’m Filipino (TGIF) series: Halo-Halo Espesyal, and I learned something about Filipino culture and traits. And again, because of #AlDub phenomenon, he discussed about the happenings on the “loveteam” (I know you have watched this Kalyeserye) where millions of Filipinos are so kilig with them (considering, for me, as a non-sense thing (knowing that I’ve been loveless for months), and eventually I hate to hear God Gave Me You (by Bryan White) playing on the Feast announcement for Couples).

After serving at Feast, I met other Feast friends like Lanie, Earl, Che, Sony, and some others, and then we took our lunch at KFC inside SM City to discuss about our lives. Earl shared his experiences happened last Saturday evening where he was almost in danger after he was threatened by an unknown stranger putting an ice pick covered by an umbrella and a rolled newspaper on him while travelled on a jeep along Old National Highway. He was scared, as he narrated to us, and prayed quietly after he was asleep travelling on a jeep going to his destination. Fortunately, he didn’t get victimized after the jeep driver shouted the pointed place where the passengers could get off for the right destination, so he immediately got off from the jeep and went to a tricycle terminal with some people around. This incident was also mentioned on Bro. Dreus’ talk on the Feast earlier (but he didn’t tell the name of the person who got almost victimized). For Earl, he was not the one of the passenger/commuters who got almost victimized by a notorious crime but also for me, Sis Tess, Che and Gee who experienced notorious activity while travelled on a passenger jeep. As what I had experienced, I got almost persecuted by notorious Laglag Barya (dropping coin) gang last year where one of its members sat beside me on the right trying to open my bag to get something inside, but fortunately he was not successful. And as what I have mentioned on Episode 16, commuting in a public transportation is no longer safe for our middle-class commuters/passengers like me, not only in Metro Manila alone, but also in nearby provinces like Laguna. I don’t understand why there are existing crimes happened everywhere without any police visibility. Gosh! Poor commuters! I know most of us will always tell you mag-ingat ka but this may be not enough to protect ourselves! OMG! I want to leave this place (or country) before I will be the one to be victimized! But anyway, Earl also discussed about Media Ministry especially the laptops that we used during Feast activities (including Sunday Feast).

After our lunch and discussion, some of us left to go home while I, Earl, Anna Guerrero, and Gee went to Dunkin Donuts to continue our “Connect Group (CG)”. We talked about an hour and discussed our business, serving at the Feast, and our previous discussion that we talked earlier at KFC. Then after our closing prayer, Gee was the first to leave while Earl and Anna stayed longer to discuss their business, but I was thinking if I would go home or go to elsewhere because I didn’t want to spend my “boredom” time in the house due of distractions and of my jobless elder brother who, I know, would be calling my name again and again (just like a goat) while I was in the house. Suddenly, I just reminded that Gee would go to the church in downtown Santa Rosa for Sunday mass, so I decided to go with her. After talking with Earl and Anna at SM City, I went on and approached Gee outside to accompany with her going to downtown Santa Rosa. Later, we decided to take a pedicab via “shortcut key” (having a short cut going to Santa Rosa de Lima Parish Church). When we arrived there, we came just before the mass started. It was my first time to attend a mass at Santa Rosa de Lima since baccalaureate mass way back in my college days (in 2010 just before graduation) and first time attending Sunday mass in the said church since 2004 (just before leaving for United States, and it was the time when I spotted my mortal enemy attending with my former Chemistry teacher and some deaf students which made me so upset). This was also my first Sunday mass to have accompanied with someone attending since last February when I was with my then-girlfriend in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija (but sadly, I’ll never do this anymore because I have been no longer with her going to the church together). Because of many people gathered to attend Sunday mass, Gee and I stood up far from the altar for the whole session with some sweat because of crowded condition. When the mass ended, we slowly walked going to the exit due of crowded people exiting from the church. Gee reminded me that we went to buy some refreshment for us (as she bought these because she needed to have small amount of money to pay for her tomorrow’s allowance for commuting). I was so thankful to her after she gave me one of her two refreshments that she bought. We went home separately after that.

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I was so tired to have my activities while I was not in home for the whole weekend. Although this may be not enough to take my full resting day at home, I really enjoyed to explore and to stay away from the distractions, bullying (from, again, my jobless elder brother) and “negativity” at home. I’m hoping this coming weekends (and even holidays or long weekend) that I will have a full comfort and a nice rest from work at the office Mondays to Fridays and without any distractions from the “toxic” house where I’ve been still living with my family for many years.


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