Not really—I mean coordinating a tour. But this one was the first that I did “professionally”. I pestered my friend Violet, who owns a tour company, to assign me in one of her Visita Iglesia. All the time I thought I’ll be assisting someone. When she finally agreed, I learned I’ll be alone! Oh my goodness. For some reason, Violet believed I could do it so I swallowed my fears and allowed my excitement to win.
And excited I was. It was my first time to handle a tour or Visita Iglesia. It was my first time to tour all the places in Laguna all at once, seven churches all in all. It was my first time to do all these in a professional manner.
The night before, I couldn’t sleep because I was afraid I’d oversleep. Since I texted the participants (eight groups all in all with a total of 23 persons) that “In consideration of others, please be at your assigned pick-up points on time,” I couldn’t afford to be late! But I was able to arrive at the first stop before 5am. Whew!
I realized there are a lot of fears to contend with. We had several pick-up points. At our last pick-up point, at McDonald’s in Alabang Town Center, before we would finally leave Manila behind, I was supposed to pick up two groups. One group met me immediately and went off to the bus. The other group I had to call and wait for a time. In the meantime, a number of those in the minibus went down to use the CR of McDo. When I was back in the bus and had seen them back in, I checked them off by groups and even counted them. Okay, we were all total 25, including the driver and me. “Okay, Kuya, we can go,” I told the driver. But while we were breezing our way out of Alabang, my mind kept on wondering, “Oh my gosh, was that first group we were supposed to pick up in Alabang inside? What if I left them? What will I do?” My fear was calmed down only after we picked up breakfast in SCTEX and I called each of them by group again.
The other fear that I had to face was my lack of knowledge in medicine or first aid. The lady sitted beside me in the bus apparently felt like throwing up while we were still on our way out of Alabang. She removed the cellophane containing their burgers and used it as throw-up bag. I realized that I have almost no first aid knowledge and no first aid kit. Good thing she didn’t throw up at all. She explained later she had a drink the night before so it probably affected her. She just slept it off and she was fine.
There was also the fact that I’ve never been to the churches we were going. I researched on the churches and took down my notes but what if it the actual is very different? I also couldn’t tell the participants it was my first time there. I had to rely on my research and to make sure I chose my language carefully. And even at one point, I’m sure I was found out. One participant asked me how long it would take to go from Liliw to Nagcarlan. Our driver said double the time we spent going from Pagsanjan to Magdalena which took around 20 minutes, so I told her the same. But it turned out it was much faster than expected so the woman asked me when we arrived. I said, “Oh, that’s what the driver told me.” That’s what you get when you’ve never been to the place you’re touring people.
Add Comment Always an Adventure 02/13/2012
I love travelling. The idea of going from a known to an unknown destination is always invigorating for me. And I love the means towards that end. Whether sea, air, or land, they have their own particular beauties, so to speak.
I love riding by bus especially before the advent of music inside the bus. Back then in my high school and college days when I studied in Cebu and would go home to Bohol for vacations, riding the bus meant time to savor the countryside—its fresh air and its views—and time to listen to your thoughts, and to silence. I love that very much. Today we ride the FX going to our hometown in Bohol because it’s faster and cleaner. I think we’re missing out on something for the sake of immediacy. I love it when I ride with my father coz we can open the car and breathe in fresh air. And I love how my father drives any vehicle. There is no better driver I know than my father whom I feel very safe when driving.
I love riding the plane because it’s quick and I can work. I can watch movies no end too for long flights abroad. Sleep, yes, there is that advantage in the plane too.
I love riding the boat long distance because of that sense of suspension. Being in between places for a prolonged period of time compared to the plane gives me time to enjoy the boat and its amenities. It also gives me time to think. It has been a long time though when I’ve taken a ride by boat to a long distance. The only boat travelling that I do nowadays takes just two hours—between Cebu and Bohol, usually. Again, times have changed.
I love riding the train because of the time it gives me to pray, to read or to sleep. I commute going to our community’s prayer meeting weekly so I get to ride the MRT or the LRT often. Cuts the time into half between two points in the ever-busy Manila traffic situation so it’s very convenient.
Adventure implies movement and for me, travelling is always an adventure. Let’s go!