On A Bus Going Somewhere North

Around 2:30 AM, Sunday I pressed my phone’s alarm to Snooze. My brain’s telling me please just few minutes more. I can’t remember how many minutes I’ve put on snooze my alarm for that. The alarm went on again. I rolled on my side and felt for my phone by my sides. I grabbed it. Held it up on my face and pressed Snooze for the second time. I closed my eyes and freely dropped my hand with my phone in it on the mattress.

This was my alarm tone that time.

It struck that time I even put in on a repeat loop for an hour of bus ride going home from the nearby city at my hometown. Pure bliss, I was completely detached from the ride I didn’t get the chance to see any face of my fleeting seat mates. The headsets were stuck and pinned in my ears. My sight was overlooking at the changing scenery, of course I was seated near the window. Just enjoying the cool breeze.

Back to my alarm time haggle. I opened my eyes the third time my alarm went on. I hushed rolling back on my other side to check if my Big Sister cousin was already awake. She’s not. I didn’t expect her to. We hit the sack almost at 10 PM already so it’s obvious. The sleepy crawlies were still very much alive in our veins and bloodstream.

I whispered calling out to her “Hey, Ate Nin. It’s 2:45 AM. Are we going or what?” She didn’t move. She didn’t hear me for sure. I called on this tone for four times. Nothing happened. I raised myself and was now sitting. I called her again. She turned to her side, I think she heard me. I stood up and again called her. “Ate Nin, wake up, it’s 2:50 AM.”

She woke up and asked what time was it. I said, it’s 2:52 AM. Or so I remembered telling her. I proceeded to the bathroom. The water’s cold and had a quick shower.

After a couple of minutes we were prepared to hit the road up north. I, Ate Nin and her son, Bigboy rode the 4:30 AM trip by bus to Manaoag, Pangasinan. We are to visit the church and see Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag.

hi-wayAnd so our ride began.

While our ride headed off on the main highways and expressway, I found time to catch my sleep and I was off to dreamland again for at least an hour. I programmed myself to wake up at a point in time to catch the sunrise on a bus window. Unluckily, the bus was just on the expressway’s interchange, so I can’t figure out for some minutes or so where is the east. The sun rises in the east. Or so I think in my inside mind map.

The sun was rising on the south. The bus was heading west-north-west to my dismay that’s why I didn’t see it.

That dismay put me back to my bus ride sleep moment. No more alarms at this point. I made sure of that.

We’re on the road for four hours before we reached our destination, Manaoag.

manaoagAfter four hours, finally, we made it to Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag Church. I’ve been here and this was my third time going up here. Literally up because a plight of stairs needed to walk on to reach the patio which was on that time was being renovated. It was white with dust. It was my first time to see the front of the church from the last two visits I’ve been here. The belfry was being repainted too. That’s what the bamboo poles were for.

We arrived at 8:30 AM just in time for the 9 AM Mass. It was a Sunday so a lot of people were packed inside the church. My eyes caught the ginormous rotating blades, giant fan to ventilate the jam-packed shrine. It was one of the new things that I noticed.

We were able to find an empty pew to seat on during the mass. I was quite distracted of all the faces surrounding me. I was expecting it but I haven’t zoned in to what I would like to hear from the Mass to somehow reconnect me. Aside from the many people, the church has bad speakers. It added to my distraction, not clearly understanding anything.

I was a bit winded maybe of lack of sleep still.

candleI survived the Mass. I snoozed for a minute or so during the homily. Then the priest gave his final blessing. We headed at the back of the church to let my nephew take a leak. “Mommy, I need to “weewee”.(pee)”

Another new part at the shrine was the candle house where you can light candles that you can also buy inside and offer your thoughts and prayers of intentions. It was also jam-packed.

bigboyThis is Bigboy. My adorable and intelligent nephew. Her mom’s ever Boots’ on the side ready to accompany her anywhere she goes. What a great kid to bring along with because he’s never cranky on bus rides, he just sleeps the whole trip.

I looked for an empty bench after we lighted some candles. Ate Nin decided to get in line to kiss the image of Our Lady of the Rosary. Bigboy and I waited for her for half an hour and what better way to kill time than to munch on the food we brought. From cookies to corn chips to chocolates, we gorged our boring moments. I was people watching. It was a good view from where I was seated. I also taught Bigboy to take pictures but his dexterity wasn’t at par yet to handle quite a sensitive camera. He enjoyed it and I felt how it boosted his confidence as a kid having the chance to hold a camera and see for himself the pictures he has taken. (I’ll share it on another post.)

walkfountainWe also had time to explore the garden.

It was time for lunch and there were quite a number of fast food chains around the church now where you can comfortably dine anyone you’re with, friends, families.

skyWhen I looked up I knew it was a good weather but how fickle the weather can be, right? But I made sure to check the four days forecast before the onset date of this trip. So for this, I told Ate Nin that it’s going to be a good day.

And fickle it was. The clouds came converging. Shadowing the bright lights with soft hues, gloom and dark edges.

Drizzle. Drizzle with olive oil, I mean it was drizzling. Drizzle it is.

While waiting for the bus ride home, again I made myself busy with people watching and observing the place. Quaint town. Humid air started to blow making little sweat pools on my forehead. I was hoping that that air-conditioned bus would arrive soon to confine us away from the oven-like heat.

trike alleyI saw this alley. Entered.

treeThis tree, old and grand greeted me. I stared at it for some time and after realizing it I hurried back to meet Ate Nin and Bigboy to check and see if the bus has already arrived, ready to cradle us comfortably in going home.

Which wasn’t the case. A bus indeed arrived but it wasn’t air-conditioned. The bus we saw earlier before we ate our lunch was the last to depart. We don’t have any choice and hopped onto it, at least we could get home. Staying overnight wasn’t in our plan.

And so our ride began again.

I slept most of the time on our trip back home. It was a reconnection with my journey to dreamland.


We reached our homes safely. Peace.


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