A SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY TO THE PHILIPPINES
I had an epiphany, it will be two years to the day this July 18th. This came in the form of a code blue experienced the day after what was supposed to be a routine but major surgical procedure of my right knee. The recovery was prolonged and punishing because of additional unforeseen circumstances, at which time I did vow to myself that as soon as I was able I will make a trip to the Philippines, the land of my birth and perhaps enjoy other inter-islands, places that I always wanted to visit. There was a longing and hankering that beckoned to do the trip.
So it did pass that my wife and I, and Susan, a hired travel aide came to take on the trip for 18 days. For some unplanned reason we flew by AIR CHINA which stopped over at Beijing, then to Manila (for five nights at the Peninsula in Makati), sidetracked by a trip to Taipei (after persuasion from a dear cousin, where we stayed for four nights) then back to Manila, stayed for two nights at the same Makati Hotel, flew to Cebu City where we stayed for three nights, then on to Puerto Princesa for the next three nights, back to Manila at the Peninsula again for one day and one night, then back home to New York. On our fifth day in Manila. Pampanga the province of my birth was scheduled for a day. The overall itinerary was not planned or was poorly planned but the events like pieces of a jig-saw puzzle fell into their places.
On the day of our departure there were two personal events which lay heavy in my mind. I received an email from my niece in Hong Kong that my only living aunt passed away on March 29, 2015 at age 102 and that the funeral service was scheduled for April 17 which would be the 18th our time. There was a logistical reason for the long delay for the final rites. Also on April 17 the wake for one of my closest friends was to be held on the day of our departure who passed away at age 92 a week earlier. To be present at either was not possible because we were airborne enroute to Manila on the 17th which was the 18th by Manila time. Sometimes it seemed significant personal commas had a way to crowd and lumped into space and time. I had no option but take the events in stride.