It was 12 midnight. I just got off from the bus at Mendez crossing and hurried at the other side of the road. Every establishment is closed except for the convenience store and a fruit stand where a few passengers were trying to catch the last bus to Nasugbu. I was hoping to spend a little time eating congee in a lugawan or sipping hot soup in a bulalohan but the place seems deserted. The only option was the convenience store to find something to warm me up. I decided to pass by Tagaytay route going to Talisay. Although I have been to the city a lot of times, it was an unfamiliar route since the usual route going to Talisay is via Tanauan City. It was my first time to pass by Tagaytay via public travel. Sungay road, a very steep downhill road going down to the lakeside town of Talisay is usually the route used by those with private vehicles.
Misadventure #1 – the ladies sweatshirt
I actually forgot to bring a jacket. It was colder outside the road than inside the bus. The cool breeze of the northeast monsoon is penetrating through my skin, and with my skinny figure it was at that moment that I was wishing I had extra fats to stay warm. My only option was a ladies sweatshirt which was given to me to be given of course to my lady. With no other choice, I had to wear it to avoid the chill. I even had to change my outfit outside the road. The sweatshirt fits exactly that I still had enough space to put back my polo and make my outfit look like a warmer.
Misadventure #2 – the hot coffee
I bought a hot coffee at the convenience store to aid my battle against Tagaytay’s cool breeze. It was the best alternative for missing the bulalohan or lugawan. My problem though was I forgot how hot the hot coffee is. I burned my tongue and insides trying to drink it like cold water.
Misadventure #3 – the wrong bus stop and the deserted road
Except for a few private vehicles from those who are spending their weekends in Tagaytay, the road was also deserted. I was trying to catch a bus back to Tagaytay Junction. I bypassed the Rotonda where some stores were open. I got down at Mendez crossing and when I saw the place deserted, I realized I made a mistake. The mistake turned into discontent as I asked some locals about busses coming and going to Manila and at 12 midnight, the hopes of catching a bus were dim. There were two men who were also stranded and we individually decided to wait and hope for a bus to pass by. We were lucky that after an hour and a half, there was one opportunistic bus with few passengers. I thought I would have to stay there until four in the morning.
Misadventure #4 – fast food, fast nap
At Tagaytay junction, I found myself staying at Mcdonald’s while waiting for the sunrise. I was trying to look for a place to stay for only three hours maximum, but decided not to incur more expenses and just stay awake wherever allowed until sunrise. Bought another cup of coffee, though. The tongue was numb, and the whole body was a little cold so drinking another hot coffee after a burned tongue was never an issue. Unfortunately, both coffees never helped in helping me stay awake the whole night. It was a good thing the place didn’t have a lot of customer so I was able to take short naps at every opportunity I got during my stay. I thank the guard for not taking notice!
Misadventure #5 – the hundred pesos short ride
At 4AM, I left Mcdo to watch out for the coming sunrise. I was too early though so I spent warming myself inside 7/11. The wifi at both Mcdo and 7-11 kept me busy at times. At 6AM, I was being convinced by tricycle drivers at Tagaytay junction to bring me down to Talisay for 250 pesos, which I repeatedly declined. I only asked to be brought to Ligaya Drive, as I was trying to catch a jeepney ride at Sungay . The jeepney fare costs around 40 and up to 80 pesos depending on how many passengers are on board. Since only a few commuters passes by this route, they are sometimes forced to give additional fares to compensate the lack of passengers so that the jeepney can leave even with less people. I was approached by business-minded folks and offered a motorcycle ride for a hundred pesos. At first I was hesitant but the notion of having the best picture-taking opportunity while riding-in-tandem got me interested. I haggled for a lower price as a formality and we agreed on the ride that will take me down with the best back row seat. I wasn’t really expecting to spend as much as that; I think I spent much more than the usual fares doing the regular route going to Talisay. It was chagrin every time I reach for my pocket to pay for the additional and unexpected expenses.
The end result
I was awake at most the whole time, I was a little cold, I was a little bit hungry due to the cold breeze, I was agonizing a little from a burned tongue, the expenses from the trip costs me more, but nothing is more rewarding even with all those misadventures than getting to see what I wanted to see for a very long time.