“Good morning and thank you for waiting, Cebu Pacific Air flight 5J 581 bound for Cebu is now accepting passengers for boarding.”
It was February 3, 2009, a Sunday. My boarding call was announced 30 minutes before my flight at 1:55PM. I wasn’t nervous; I was anxious. That flight was rather special—it was my first flight and trip alone, no Mom nor Dad.
I was 18, teenaged, and restless. Good thing, Mom and Dad allowed me to go on this trip alone. (Well, I told them after I’ve booked the ticket already.) It wasn’t my first time in Cebu, but it was my first time to actually explore the city alone, whilst relying on information derived from the internet at a time Google Maps wasn’t an in thing yet.
In two days, I’ve explored the entirety of Cebu City, armed with little broken Cebuano I’ve learned from Boholano relatives and previous trips. I visited Sto. Nino Church and Magellan’s Cross, pretended to be a student at UP Visayas Cebu College, ate a lot of sinugba (grilled food), had coffee at AsiaTown IT Park, marveled at the old charm of Cebu’s downtown, and simply just got lost in Cebu, walking and riding jeepneys to wherever.
Thankfully, that solo trip was the first of many. I travel to see, to experience, to escape, to think, and most of all, to appreciate our country. Every time a plane touches down, I feel so ecstatic at the thought of a new place, of new sights, of new experiences.
And of course, I feel so empowered. I’m proof that travel isn’t restricted to the rich and to the older ones anymore. The youth can travel, even with allowance money. It just takes courage, motivation, and passion that will eventually be developed. Remember, however, to never forgo your academics for the love of travel.
So Manila Kid, I challenge you to see the Philippines and beyond. You may start small by say, exploring Binondo’s cuisine or paying a visit to Jose Rizal’s old house in Calamba, Laguna. I can assure you, what you see in pictures don’t give justice to what you will see and experience in real life. Manila Kid, tara byahe tayo! (Manila Kid, come let’s travel!)
Photo from here.