By Aldrick “Chiki” Z. Agpaoa
I remember it vividly on a cold Christmas-season night of December 2016. I was all alone going down to Manila from Baguio with nothing but my bag and a pocket full of whatnots. I was readying myself to attend to a Christmas Outreach in Tarlac the next day but I decided to go to Manila instead to meet my other traveler friends there. It was very random of me to go to Manila early for nothing. I have not even contacted any of my friends there and I really don’t have anywhere to go. The meetup for the outreach is slated at 3 am the next day. I really had nothing in mind where to go and what to do.
It was cold; unusual for a humid place like Manila to be cold.
I suddenly had the feeling to open my Twitter account. You know, that browsing thing that I really don’t have any intention at all, just to kill time.
Out of nowhere, I came across this account where he (and his group of friends) is planning to host a Christmas Party, and it was on that same day I was going down to Manila!
Because of my pure randomness that day, I chatted the host of the party and asked if there is still an open slot. He said yes. I was really not thinking about anything that day as my feet just itched to travel somewhere out of Baguio.
Then the travel continued. 6 more hours left before the party, I felt giddy. And shit, I will be lost as hell for sure! (Thank God for the invention of Google Maps!)
“Where would I go? Sa’n kaya ako puwedeng tumambay (Where can I spend the rest of my time) while waiting for that 7 pm party?” I asked myself.
I rode a bus going to Cubao yet the party is somewhere in Pasay City. I decided to loiter around a nearby mall near the terminal and to drink a cup of coffee while finishing a blog post in a coffee shop. Oh, what a life! Bumming in the middle of a city with nothing to do worthwhile at all! I just laughed at myself. It is just another version of a “me time” aside from my regular solo travels.
“What the hell am I even doing here?”
“I don’t know! I just felt like traveling.”
“Oh well, que sera sera. Bahala na. (Come what may)”
My thoughts are not even congruent with each other. One word is for sure: it was all RANDOM. I did not even have plans that night. It was just a waiting game with nothing at all in particular.
It was 6 pm, an hour before that (random) party. I decided to go, ride the train and book a Grab Car after. I was not thinking of anything. Finally, I arrived at the destination.
As a social animal, of course, I greeted people I only met and barely know. It was more like of an “eyeball.” The party’s just getting started.
Then a guy approached me and seemed to want to have a conversation with me. I jumped in.
“Hi! I’m Aaron. And you are?”
“Hey, I’m Aldrick, but you can call me ‘Chiki.’ Kumusta? (How are you?)”
“I’m good! Are you alone?”
“Yup. I actually don’t have anything in mind. I just came across this party hoping to have new friends.”
“Woah! You must be one random guy.”
“Yeah, maybe. Random and spontaneous. What do you do? Where do you live here?”
“I’m from Bulacan. I also saw the invitation by “random” on Twitter. Serendipity, right? And you, where (are) you from?”
“Me, too! I was just randomly checking my Twitter then suddenly a thread about this party just showed up. I’m from Baguio?”
“Baguio? What brought you here?”
“Randomness brought me here. Actually, I have an outreach to attend to later at 3 am.”
“Where will you go after?”
“I have no clue. Maybe coffee somewhere?”
“Do you mind if I join you?”
My conversation with this guy continued as the night went on. We had a couple of drinks and danced the night away. We were both carefree.
I did not know but as the party went on, we shouted our lungs out as the music in the club was just too loud to handle. We were literally shouting (and drunk!).
It was 12 midnight and I suddenly realized I need to meet my friends back in Cubao for the outreach. Out of nowhere, I just pulled him and invited him for coffee. It was my first time in 25 years to invite a new-found friend who I barely know for coffee – at 12 midnight at that.
Good thing there was a coffee shop. “I need to drink loads for me to have energy later,” I told him.
I don’t know but all of a sudden, he held my hand and kissed me on my forehead while I was drinking my cup of hot chocolate. I felt chills running up and down my spine!
I asked him why did he do that. He just told me that it was a “spur of the moment.” I got intrigued, and giddy at the same time. It was a sweet gesture coming from a guy, but yeah, it was random.
I think it was love at first sight.
We exchanged numbers before we parted ways and his text was the first thing I saw the next morning.
“Hi! How are you?”
“I’m good. I feel tired. We’re on our way to Tarlac.”
“Okay, take care! Hit me up when you are done.”
My heart skipped a beat and I think it was just love. No holding back, it has been one of my happiest moments. I have never felt like this before. It was child-like, but we did not care. All we had was that click and it was sweet.
We met several times. We had movie and dinner dates, we traveled many times, too.
I felt he was “the one.” Maybe because I was just naïve as it is my first time to have a boyfriend. All were abrupt, all were sudden. I just gave into the moment.
There is no holding back.
It was unconventional for me as we were in a long distance relationship. We would call each other every night just to have an update on each other. It was all good. All good until it lasted. It was too good to be true.
The feeling was plain love and euphoric. He was my sunrise and my sunset, even my midnight star. It was the right love for now.
I had no apprehensions whatsoever. We were “on” and the game was playing smoothly.
Until I just felt “off” when he suddenly became demanding. I just did not like it. He would demand too much of my time every day. I value my personal space, I value his, too. There came a time where he suddenly gets mad at me because I lack time for us. It was my fault, partially. I cannot blame him entirely. I was too busy with my blog and with several family matters that I started to neglect our time together.
Like our first meeting at that Christmas party, my feelings for him were abrupt, too. My thoughts were not in place as we started to fight through phone call every night. I cannot even concentrate on my personal stuff when we started fighting. It became unhealthy all of a sudden.
True enough, it was the right love at the wrong time. We were soulmates meant to meet each other in the most unconventional way. We fell in love with no reservations but I had to say that our relationship, though in a long distance setup, ended abruptly as well. I felt sorry for that tragic ending.
I often ask myself if I was ready to enter into a relationship and be serious with what I got in or will I just let serendipity do its job in finding the right one for me. I don’t know. I cannot see the light at the end of the road. All I know is that I am sad that our 6-month relationship ended in a jiffy.
On a lighter note, we still hang out with each other as we have common friends living in Manila, too. If we would plan overnight stays in one of our friends’ condo, we still greet each other. No either awkwardness or bad blood. Everything seems normal.
This story is one of the major highlights of my travel stories in my 25 years of existence. At first, I really do not want to talk about it but as time goes by, we both got more comfortable as friends. We still chat, we still hang out.
“Time heals all wounds,” as the cliche goes. I honestly have not yet gotten over that feeling where I would wake up to his sweet text messages and long conversations at night. I just divert my attention to other hullabaloos.
I realized, too, that maybe because I got pretty preoccupied with everything outside the four corners of my office. He was just busy with their family business.
Maybe the thing that we lacked was time. Though if there’s a will, there will always be a way. I was just surprised of the thought that everything happened so fast. When I arrived at my destination, it was not totally a happy place. Like traveling, the journey is what makes your adventure exciting. It is totally up to you what you would do when you arrive at the destination.
As a young-at-heart in love, I still have a long way to go. I would still have to experience a lot of things to master the art loving. No relationship is ever perfect. My experience with him would just be one of the stepping stones for me to grow fonder in love.
I then suddenly thought that every love that we experience is right. Right in every sense that would make the world go round. Just learn from it, and everything will fall perfectly into place.
It is love after all.
About the author
Aldrick Agpaoa likes it more to be called as “Chiki.” He’s an up-and-coming travel, food, and lifestyle blogger from Baguio City. He loves to eat (and doesn’t get fat), he loves to travel a lot, and he loves learning about different cultures. Chiki is behind the blog Turista Boy and aims to travel to all the 81 provinces of the Philippines and show its beauty on a budget!