My Manila – Clark road of new beginnings

Categories Places
Passengers photographing themselves
At the DMIA tarmac

I hastened my steps as I rushed towards the Victory Liner bus terminal in Cubao. My destination: Dau (Mabalacat) for my Clark – Cebu flight scheduled late that night. But something was racing in my head. While I was not in the best of spirits the past few weeks due to a breakup, I was unusually lighthearted and bright eyed as a wonderful thought came to mind, something that I picked up from a free talk I attended a few minutes earlier.

Dau po. I politely told the plump lady at the ticketing counter. Paid 144 pesos including travel insurance and rushed to my seat number 41 of bus 833 bound for Baguio. It was hot. The airconditioning was weak at the back rows and the bus was full of people. The free in-vehicle wifi signal was also marginal. But I didn’t mind.

Tricycle and DMIA jeepneys beside the Dau Bus Terminal

Mindset. It’s all in the head. The lady from Global Pinoy Remittance and Services (GPRS), a networking company where I just signed up told our group. And that imprinted well in my mind, especially that I’ve been at a nadir. Is it possible to get rich and have all these material things and possibly happiness through this product? But I was more excited of thinking: I want to be happy. And I decide to be happy despite everything that has happened. Mindset.

I needed a break. I want to go home to Cebu to just lie low. In Cebu, I can just stay at home most of the time or travel within the province. Or just have my usual massage or coffee fix.

Flooded riceland along NLEX due to the southwest monsoon downpour
Mt. Arayat in the background

But Cebu is also home to several beaches and islets. Lush coral gardens filled with colorful fishes and other denizens of the sea. Being a commercial hub in the region, tourist facilities and sites are in-place and are just near to where business is.

But I just want to be home.

Traversing the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) was smooth. But the sight of flooded fields near the border of Bulacan and Pampanga was disheartening.

Passenger of a broken down bus along NLEX.

Habagat, the southwest monsoon really brought in the rains just a few weeks ago. Where once lush ricefields that stretched to the horizon was now a lake.

I really like doing the bus trip here at the NLEX. Smooth, wide roads, a major artery to interesting places and provinces in northern Luzon. Mt. Arayat, a dormant volcano, looming in the background has always intrigued me because of its isolation: the only mountain in the expanse of the central plains.

At the Dau Bus Terminal

Mindset. Think of it and it will happen. Yearn for it. The thought of feeling the pain of a loss, followed by forgiveness of the other person and of the self, and then just letting it all go to move on and be happy was just overwhelming that I was feeling good already.

Stopped for a snack.

Dau bus terminal was abuzz with buses and passengers and the smoke of barbecued bamboo skewered pork filled the air. Grilled hotdogs in one side of the walkway while bus conductors called on passengers to board for a Pasay bound bus.

I took my time to have early dinner at a fastfood and boarded the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) jeep, waiting for three more passengers before it will leave.

The trip to DMIA was fast, passing past a big mall and military structures inside the base. All the while I’ve been thinking of the past events. There’s this still lingering question of why, of loss. What if’s and How come’s? The sun has already dipped into the horizon and dusk has set in.

At the DMIA tarmac

2030H, I stepped out of the Departure Area and into the tarmac. We had to do a short walk to the waiting plane as the line of passengers broke out into the open. Some were taking photos of themselves, of the plane. I was also taking images of the aircraft, of these people photographing.

In a few minutes, I was safely ensconced at my seat, 16C, beside two young Japanese women. But all I can think of is the hope that all will be well. That I will eventually find my peace and be happy as a single person. Hope springs eternal.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications.

He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces.

I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

Tell me what you think

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.