Firsts of all First

Many would have said that firsts are and will always be remarkable. The firsts would set the standards. The firsts will be the first.

The Imus Institute Cultural Exchange Student Program in Thailand (part of the institution’s preparation programs for ASEAN integration) last May-June 2014 was the best time of my college years. It has brought me so much emotion especially joy and excitement. I’m sure that a lot of people would want to switch places to mine but I won’t. I won’t trade anything in the world to what had transpired me in those times. And now one year had past, looking on its third batch is bittersweet. It feels so fresh, like it happened just yesterday.

The feeling of a first-timer who happened to be a chance passenger for the first time, the first-timer who freaked out when she found no luggage at her hand and realized it was checked-in, the first-timer who sat alone on the plane feeling all nervous.

The first step out of a plane finally in Thailand and seeing the most marvelous Bangkok Airport, the double decked air-con bus,the 5-hour drive to Phitsanulok and the worry we carried because some of us are left behind.

The feeling of finally stepping on the 507.56 acres Naresuan University, the dorm, the towel/blanket/dress, the split-type air-con, the unbelievably large lizards, the scorching weather, strong rains at night, several skype calls, the impalpable martial law, the buddies, the motorcycle of our buddies, famous omelette stores, the 7-11 stores and coffee shop every corner, Coffee Space, Betagen, Lays, Mama, the convenience of laundry works, the most inexplicable feeling riding a motorcycle by four, different dinner menu every night, smirnoff vodka, videoke nights, riding the wrong e-bus to classes and getting late, the green bikes, the olympic-sized university pool, street foods, street fruits, night markets, losing slippers, forgetting about wearing bra, oc boy roommates, sober late night talks, sleepless nights, the fastest internet connection I’ve ever experienced, pesky insects of all kinds flying all over, bidets, the large frog at the shower, tuktuk, visiting majestic temples, lighting incense, cheap good food, the truly comforting comfort rooms, some food that really challenged my stomach, feeding fishes, eating the food for feeding fishes, crying after feeding fishes, my crying habit, my sleeping habit, my yawning habit, the songs Daylight, Huling Sayaw, Laging Naroon Ka, Piliin mo ang Pilipinas, Yoo dtor loey dai mai, Your heart for my Number and Dok Salou, Circle dance, Happy dance, Sukhothai Historical Park, my first swimsuit, spices, the how-the-hell-happened-three-minute bath and getting dressed, planting a tree, Hearing the Sunshine, first-time-in-forever yoga class and sleeping after it, the unexpected calls from mother nature, witnessing most vulnerable moments as well as my own, the blusterous overnight of fun with our buddies, the cooking show, the aftermath dinner of the cooking show, dogs that seldom barks, close encounter to elephants, the largest Krabak tree in Thailand: its way down and seemingly unending and tiresome couple of hours way up, slugs, superb fog, losing all my money and passport, Philippine Embassy at Bangkok and Bangkok taxi.

The feeling of the first-timer leaving the place of her many firsts, giving tightest hug she could ever give, sobbing worse than a kid, the piercing melancholy seeing them leave, the hefty steps I grieve and tears my eyes could never halt.

Heartbreak After Heartbreak

August 3, 2014. I never expected this day would be the day it turned out to be. Yesterday we went for swimming and I was so pissed off for reasons. I was tired, I was agitated and the hollow hole I was feeling in my heart was still there.

Bee woke me up early for church because she was invited to and I don’t want her to go alone. We got back home for Kik, went to SM for God knows the reason and I went back home again for their IDs and then back again to ride going to Star City.

And then I found myself alone. I was left alone by my buddy. I felt a stinging hurt. I wanted to be mad all over but I don’t find it reasonable enough. I am not that selfish. So I just let myself feel the enjoyment the amusement park brings until its last minute.

I was losing myself, I forgotten who I was then until our ride home. I just got back (right there on my tiny space to sit) to myself. Here I am again falling so deeply for a man who’ll never be mine. Yes. I love him. I was staring at him asleep, wishing I was the one who was sitting beside him, hoping for him to feel just an inch the same of me. Heartbreaking? Indeed yes.

I felt so tired the moment we stepped home, I suddenly felt my need for bed to rest. I was lying down silently upset when Bee started playing a song, Sometimes Love just ain’t Enough. It burst my bubble, it was overflowing, I can’t even contain it, I felt the need to release it so I asked her, “Bee, is Nheslyn upstairs?” she uttered “I don’t know” but still I got up to look for Nheslyn and luckily I found her lying down on the bed and I hugged her crying. I was crying helplessly, I hated myself for crying because it was no use, I was crying because I was crying for no reason. Maybe it has but WTF, I’m crying for a committed man, who is sinfully in love with his girlfriend living with him at dorm back home and whom he plans future with.

I knew it. I love him and I am such a moron. I know, I know. I have and I have already listed many reasons in my mind to not like him rather love him but still, here I am, loving him, feeling heart broken and standing still.

I remembered our ride home from our last province tour in Thailand, Benedict was crying rather wallowing about us leaving our buddies. Then, I was there in his shoulders with my tears running down quietly, I was leaning onto him and not moving. He told me that he had only two moments he let himself cried. First was for the death of  his father  and the second one was of his aunt’s death and he thinks that he will have his third when I leave Thailand.

He did not cried. He didn’t. Instead his third time happened on their departure from Philippines. I was never planning to cry on the airport that day, that I’m sure I built my wall strong enough for this moment but I knew I’m wrong when I saw him crying and I knew it wasn’t for me.

Why it have to be me and again? Can’t it be some other else? Why is everybody around me were happy? I’m just wondering if when will the time come that I will experience it first hand, that kind of love? When?

RE: Bus ride to never Home

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Good News: I got my passport back!

Bad News: Not with my wallet and a month after I arrived Philippines.

After looking for my passport everywhere. After 4 days of no money.After that days of excruciating pain and endless worry of how will I get back without my passport. That whole night of crying because we’re gonna leave Thailand and we’ll be missing everyone, that heavy feeling upon entering Suvarnabhumi airport, that smile I tried to be real every time we take photo, that most quiet, awkward and disappointing taxi ride to Philippine embassy at Bangkok, the longest two hours or so of my life waiting for my travel document and having insufficient money for it and most of all the stress and dismay I caused to everyone especially DID officers of NU and of course Sir Parcero. After all the tears I’ve cried I got my passport back.

Though I would be so fake if I will say that I never expected my passport to be returned up to the last minute, at the back of my mind I knew it will never be back. And a loud hurray for that someone who found my passport and passport alone not with my wallet and cards. My passport was said to be surrendered to the police station and then to Office of Student Affairs of Naresuan University and at last to the hands of DID officers. Every person that I would talk to about this dilemma was imposing that no one will get it aside for us, Filipino buddies.Thinking of that makes me really sick, I mean who among us would do that? We are all friends there, in fact a family. I cannot think of anyone of us who would do that to me and I honestly don’t want to think that he/she was one of us.I know it really suck.

Whatever.

At least it has been returned to me. I asked one of my friends one day in Thailand, Aerolyn, “Why it have to be me, why it has to happen with me?” I know at any moment that time tears will fall then she answered, “Because God knows you will discover who are your friends through this, you will be assured that whatever happens to you we are here.” True enough what she said is true, they never really left me.

To Benedict, Nheslyn, Stephen, Reana Joy, Brenda, Arman, Broom, Jet;

To our buddies, Aisaradet, Chayanee, Supakorn, Karnwisa, Wimonrak, Chompunut, Sutida, Tawisa;

To my Ajarns, Sir Romy, P’Jeeb, P’Kob, P’Jo;

To Filipino buddies, Aero, Regine, Mich, Vierra, Tet, Ayra, Russel, Dayan, Ivy and Via.

To my moms, Ms. Johanna, Ms. Benny, Ms. Loida, Ms. Aimee, Ms. Jenyca;

And most especially my parents,

Allow me to offer sincerest thank you to all of you who have helped me get through this. I love you.

 

Bus ride to never Home

 

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June 13, 2014

At this moment I am riding a bus, a different bus this time. I am on a farther place than the usual, a place that I’ve never been before, the land of smiles, Thailand. And right now I’ve discovered a different kind of fear , fear that I’ve never felt before. I became frightened of coming home, frightened that the bus would stop moving and we have to go down because we are nearing the end of a stupendous, extraordinary, once in a lifetime journey.

Aside from that bitter fact, I lost the most important thing I have here, like the blood I have on my veins, the air I breathe to live, my wallet. And inside that wallet is my passport. As a matter of fact I don’t really know how I lost it, I just learned that I’ve lost it.

I am not the kind of person who easily losses faith and determination when it comes to the things I want. But the other night was different, I hardly felt an inch of faith in my heart, I felt so numb, nothing at all. I don’t know what to feel about finding my wallet. I felt desperate that night when we were searching for it, that I wrote on the wide white board that whoever found my wallet should return it.

I want to trust this land because since the time we’ve been here I never heard or seen of any crime. Its like a little part of me wishes that someone would return it back to me. I don’t know, I honestly don’t know. I don’t want  people around me to worry or fuss about me. If I worry about them it’s all okay but I don’t know why I don’t want them to worry about me, end of story. I don’t know if I should care about if I don’t find my wallet, not until we go down this bus, I don’t really know.