People my age have already been to other cities and even countries with their friends or on their own. I have always envied them for being able to travel as often as they want to with their peers. Since I have a heart condition, I was never allowed to travel far without a parent or a sibling or a close relative to accompany me.
I have had made plans to travel with some friends but all of them have been cancelled either because of lack of funds, conflict in schedule or I was too chicken scared of asking my parents for permission because I already know that they would say no. I understand why. Of course, even I wouldn’t allow my sick child to wander in far places knowing they could get sick or faint or something while on travel and what would hurt most is that I wouldn’t be there to help my child when it happens. So yeah, I completely understand them that’s why every time I get invited to travel to some place, I automatically reject the invite because I was considering the feelings of my parents.
I thought I’d never get to experience what it’s like to go on a travel with just a friend. No parent or sibling or relative. But there was this Korean speech contest I wanted to join and the semi-finals was in Cebu. I wanted to join the contest not because of the prize which was a free trip to South Korea with a 30,000 pesos cash and a 5-day language course in Kyung Hee University (경희대학교). I joined it because I was hoping to set foot in Ateneo on the finals.
On the night when I asked permission from my parents, my dad was a little drunk then. I have joined the said contest last year and managed to grab the 3rd place so there was a high chance he would let me go…. if I had a blood relative to go with me but the problem is I had no one except a close friend. With a soft voice, I asked him if I could go to Cebu to compete in the semi-finals with my friend. I held my breath as I waited for him to say no followed by a very long lecture but surprisingly, he said yes and even offered to shoulder the expenses. I was like… Wow. I certainly did not expect that.
And so off I went to tell my friend of the good news. I went to a travelling agency to book our tickets. It was my first time to book my travel tickets so I felt like a responsible adult that time. (I’m pretty immature for my age. *nods*)
I couldn’t sleep a wink the night before. I was so excited to go on a new adventure but I was also feeling nervous because of the responsibilities that came with it. Since I have no blood relative with me, I would have full responsibility of myself. I was so worried something might happen and they blame me or my friend and would never allow me to go next time.
I left the house early and went to pick my friend up so we could go to the terminal together. We got on a van and traveled for 2 and a half hours to Ormoc where we will ride a boat to Cebu. My friend is a year younger than me but it felt like I was a minor who had no idea about things. She was teasing me for being too excited. I was trying to hide it but she could tell because I was talking too much. I have this tendency to talk too much, sometimes in a high pitch voice, when I’m excited.
Upon arriving in Cebu, we went straight to her place. It was a 2-bedroom condo and I liked my entire stay there. We dropped our bags and went to the mall to have lunch and buy groceries because there was no food in the condo.
Then we went to Coffee Prince, a coffee shop owned by a Korean and most likely was inspired by the Korean drama “Coffee Prince”. Since I’m not allowed to have anything that has coffee in it, I went for the strawberry smoothie. By then, it was 3:00PM and I was trying my best to fight sleep off.
For dinner, we went to a Korean restaurant called Pearl. It was just a few meters away from Coffee Prince. We had samgyupsal (삼겹살), cold noodles (냉면), tofu stew (두부찌개) and a bunch of side dishes. Then we went home and I fell asleep while we were talking. Haha!
The next day, we went to Emporium Cebu, a shop that sells stuff by different online shops. It took me an hour to decide which of the wallets they had should I buy. Then we went to Ayala for lunch. We had lunch at a restaurant called Brique. We had pasta and their serving was big, we could barely finish our food. The taste was okay, nothing out of the ordinary.
Before heading home, we dropped by a Korean grocery store where I bought some of my favorite Korean snacks. Then we ate Korean ice cream while waiting for rush hour to end. Just as before we were about to leave, I got a call from my Korean friend who went from Tacloban to the airport in Cebu to get on his plane to Korea. But he missed it and he needed a place to stay so my friend offered to let him stay in her place.
When he arrived at the condo, I burst into laughter seeing his outfit. Usually, he gets all dressed up like some kpop idol flaunting their airport fashion but this time around, he was wearing a baseball cap, a short-sleeved polo shirt, a jogging pants and…. a pair of slipper. Not the flip flops that you normally see on magazines but a simple white slipper, the cheap ones people normally use at home.
He invited us to go out for dinner and some drinks. It was my first time to taste soju. I was forced. Haha! I took the shot glass filled with soju and dipped my tongue (like a dog would) in soju and I just shivered. It was too bitter and strong and I’ve only had a lick of it. He then poured it in my glass of beer. I don’t normally get tipsy with just one glass of beer but a glass of beer mixed with soju made my walks unstable.
When we got home, he asked me what I was planning to wear for the competition and I said I’ll just wear a shirt and a pair of pants. And he said no. He checked my bag if I had other clothes and he choose a dress but I told him I already wore it in the last year’s competition and he said it’s alright so I ended up wearing the dress he chose.
The next day, it was the day of the competition. My Korean friend left already since he didn’t want to miss his flight again. I went to the contest venue with my friend. I was the first to arrive so I was able to rehearse in front of the stage since there was no one except me and my friend and some staff. There were only 5 contestants but 2 didn’t make it. I was the first to deliver my speech. I was shaking and I was so nervous that I had a long pause because I was trying to remember the next line. I was able to recover and end the speech well though. But the 2nd contestant delivered her speech a little better than I did with mine so I was worried I’d lose to her. In the end, I was announced as the winner. I was so happy because I’d be able to go to Ateneo de Manila University for the finals.
After the competition, we went to the mall for some…. SHOPPING! I didn’t buy a lot. Haven’t had chance to take a photo of what I bought but I bought a white lacy top, a pair of black sandals (my friend got the same sandals but in white), some products from Etude.
A day before I had to go back, I spent the day with a friend from Cebu. She went to my place where we talked about our lives. I prepared jjamppong and we ate it while she waited for a friend’s text. They were supposed to meet up but her friend cancelled so we ended up going to Ayala to have milktea and Korean food. We ate at this place called K-Pub, a Korean restaurant with huge screens playing K-pop videos. We had yangnyeom chicken (양념 치킨) and ddeokbokki (떡볶이).
The next day, my friend had to stay for one more day so I had to go back alone. I was a bit scared to go home on my own but the experience wasn’t as scary as I had it expected it to be. It was actually quite fine being alone.
It was really fun travelling with a friend. I hope to visit Cebu again with her. It was really fun and I hope we get to visit the beaches in Cebu because I heard good things about them. Well, I have to save up for it first. Until the next adventure. Thanks for reading.