Episode 67 – Monday, May 30th, 2016 (7090)
Before the summer ends, I forgot to share our “field trip” with my officemates last May 6th. We went to Balite Falls in Amadeo, Cavite, about 20 miles (or 33 kilometers) away (or almost two-hour drive) from our office in San Pedro, Laguna. We had already planned our “company” summer outing as early as March. And we supposed to be ready for outing last April when one of my officemates got ill. But after a month (and coincidentally we finished our latest issue for magazine), our outing was finally granted.
Last May 6th, Friday, we arrived at the office just before 8 o’clock in the morning for our preparations. Then, we left from San Pedro where our boss (and officemate, too) drove his car going to the destination. At the time, I was so hyper (and somewhat crazy) because the music that he played on his car. I was sitting between two of my officemates. During our trip, we were almost stuck with traffic because it was Friday, but we’re able to pass the traffic. We passed thru Halang Road in Biñan then Southwoods and Carmona, Cavite where we passed a private golf club. I felt asleep on that time, but I just felt the excitement though. We traveled along national highway going to Dasmariñas, but we turned left going to Silang. I and my officemates just wondered how our boss knew the way going to Balite Falls. He told us that he already checked the roads that he would pass going to the falls thru Google Map prior our trip. And he did it from his memory. Finally, after about two hours, we arrived at Balite Falls with such an excitement.
We took some pictures before we brought our things going down to the very nice falls. When we arrived there, there were only few people heading for their swimming. And we’re just lucky to arrive the falls so early before the other visitors arrived later. We found the cottage that we would use to set up our lunch and to put our personal things. Our friend prepared to grill up for our lunch – milkfish and porkchops plus we had some beverages (softdrinks and beers) to drink. Just minutes later, I was ready to take my first bath at the falls where the water was so cold making me so chilled.
The falls was wonderful and clean (looked like a river came from the mountains) despite of many stoned and slippery surface beneath of it. I was the only one to take a bath on the falls while my colleagues were still preparing for our lunch and not yet ready to swim. Later, my boss and officemate was ready to take a bath. We felt so cold when we took showers at the falls, as he said that they’re from the nature (not a man-made that we thought). After my boss, our friend and one of our officemates came next. Our friend was so eager to swim on the falls although he was not an excellent swimmer. Minutes later, I and my colleagues held the rope near the falls where it was too deep to walk going to the running falls. They encouraged me to go near at the falls, but unfortunately I didn’t know how to swim even our friend didn’t swim so deeply either. I was afraid to be drowned on the deepest part of the river (or falls) because I was not a nice swimmer. My boss let me to rent a safety vest to make me float. Although I could be float on the water after wearing the vest, I couldn’t come closer to the falls because of the pressure that I could be drowned. One of my officemates spotted a nice beautiful lady who also swam nearby as he wanted me to meet her personally while we’re on the river/falls. As he knew me to look for “One True Love”, I couldn’t do what he and my boss wanted to meet her because I didn’t want to have some publicity (it might be shameful for me if I would do it), and besides she accompanied with her father (and her family, I think).
Later, we went back to the cottage to eat our lunch. Unfortunately, we forgot to bring our eating utensils (spoons and forks), but instead we just used our own hands to eat our delicious lunch with some beers. After our lunch, we went back to the falls to take our bath once more. We also explored the place around the falls where we climbed on the top and a private pool on the far upper site (where the lady that we wanted to meet was there). After that, we went back to the cottage to take some drinks and eat some more food.
Around 2:30 in the afternoon, we decided to repack ourselves to leave from the falls as we’re heading back to the parking lot, and we rode our boss’ car to go back to our office in San Pedro.
My First-Ever Outing in My Career Life
Within 6 long years after my college graduation, it was my very first time to be part of the company outing with my work colleagues. Although our recent summer outing was not truly provided by the main company based in Macau, we decided to take this for our fun, relax and experience. This, somehow, was a great pleasure after our cancelled trip to Macau last December 2014 where we decided to not go there for some reasons (one of our officemates has never been rode in an airplane).
In the 6 years of my career life, I had never had any summer outing provided by the company with my fellow officemates until recently last May 6. Every time when I read some news feeds on Facebook, some of my friends, as well as my former college classmates, working for some “big-time” companies, took their company outings with their officemates. Not just a simple company outing, they intended to go very far places (either in the beaches or hiking in the mountains) such as Boracay, Palawan, Ilocos and many places outside the metro for experience, fun, and team building (some company outings have overnight stays for their employees). Some of them had their own outings with their friends (as they filed for their vacation leave or whatever). I’m not envy to see them going to the far places to have experiences from their company outing.
And do you wonder why I didn’t have any experience about company outing during my career life? During my first job stint at ASEC Asia, the company didn’t have summer outing as, I know, I and my colleagues were so busy doing deadlines back then (although we frequently had force leave). I stayed there for almost two years without experiencing company outings (with the exception of May 2012 where I joined with some of my officemates to have our overnight swimming provided by the team and not by the company itself following my resignation (or despidida)). I left the company and transferred to RR Donnelley (RRD) in Mandaluyong. Unfortunately, when I was already at RRD around early 2013, ASEC Asia (then renamed as AGR Operations, now Personiv) had finally provided their summer outing. This was after I spotted some of my former colleagues working at ASEC Asia posting their summer outing pictures (I think they traveled somewhere in Batangas) on Facebook. During my second job stint at RRD, the company didn’t have some company outings. There was an outing where I and my colleagues joined some rides at Star City in Pasay City with some “twist” where we coordinated as a team for the contest (that honestly I didn’t enjoy and somewhat bored), but it was not really considered as summer outing. I didn’t stay working at RRD so longer after a year because of some “irregularities” following my resignation in June 2013.
Summer Outings in the Past
I already mention about having summer outings (and vacations) in my life (see Episode 25). However, it has been a very long, long time when the last time I had summer vacation.
In my family, the very last time when I joined with my family for summer outing was happened way back in 2001 at our relative’s place in Batangas (I didn’t remember if I went to the beach to take swimming). But since then, I have never gone there for some vacation and taking at the beach. In the following years, we have never had our family outing in Batangas since except when some members of my family (mostly my father during his healthy years) went there for the funeral of some of his relatives at the province (wherein I’ve never joined to go there). I was still young (until teenager) when the last time I went there and took swimming at the beach. But when I became adult, I have never done to go there due of being busy (really?) at my work. I have no time and budget (even no girlfriend?) to go there for my solo vacation. And most of my elder siblings and my aged parents have no time for our summer vacation because of their busy works at home (and at work for my eldest sister).
Prior the summer outing last May, the very last time when I took summer outing with my friends (including officemates) was happened in 2012 (as I already mentioned above). I and some of my officemates from our team led by Romeo Enriquez and two of our closest proofreaders held our overnight swimming at Pansol, Calamba City in Laguna (about 10 miles or 17 kilometers away from my home) following my resignation at ASEC Asia. However, this was not the farthest that I had for summer outing. Aside of Batangas, the farthest place where I took swimming at the beach was in Candelaria, Zambales (about 180 miles or 290 kilometers away from my home) way back in 2002 where I joined with some Boy Scout members of Philippine School for the Deaf (PSD) for our Boy Scout camping. We stayed there for three days and two nights with a lot of experiences. (Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos from my participation in Boy Scouts camping in 2002.)
But the most distant place to take my summer vacation was way back from 2004 to 2005. Where? I stayed at the United States (southeastern part, mostly in Alabama) for almost a year as an exchange student. This was the most memorable stay ever in my whole life. Although I intended to study high school at Alabama School for the Deaf (ASD), my stay in the U.S. was possibly considered as my “vacation” (or “exile”), not just only summer, but all-year long. Indeed, this was my solo “vacation” for almost a year staying away from my family at home and my distractions around the PSD and the community as well.
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Well, the hot summer is going to end, and the summer vacation for most students out there is almost over. I wonder how about some college students who are still studying right now until they’ll take vacation early June due of the adjustment of school calendar in most state universities nationwide? I feel sad for them because they will never experience their nice summer vacation, but instead they will take vacation in rainy season where they will not go beaches.
Anyway, summer is almost over (but my friends in the Northern Hemisphere especially in the U.S. begin their summer in late June), and the rainy days are now in the place. I’m hoping in the future I will have a nice summer vacation either solo (alone), with my friends/officemates, or even my future girlfriend/wife and family.