“Ang Aking Balikbayan sa Pilipinas ay cancelado na ngayon.”
(My return trip to the country, the Philippines is now cancelled.)
Today I have made a drastic decision not to attend our coming class reunion in 2015 at SMA in the Philippines and my travel plans have now been shelved. It has become just another one elusive dream travel. The biggest problem facing the organizers of that said event is the exact date to commemorate our class reunion in Dipolog, Zamboanga del Norte. If the organizing committee and the attendees cannot make up their minds and decide as to when the event will be held then the plan to attend is considered a waste of time and effort on my part. In order for me to attend the event, I have to plan ahead of time and I need the exact date of the event to be able to work around it in planning and making my travel arrangements, reservations of hotels and synchronize my other activities for the occasion and the visit to the Philippines.
It’s not going to be an easy task especially with the plan when I am travelling all the way from Canada. Travel from Toronto to Manila via Vancouver and back (the direct flight by Philippine Air Lines – PAL) since they started their inaugural flight on November 4th, 2012 which was attended by some Pinoy Travel Bloggers. My travel Agent have temporarily cancelled my reservations for the flight but told me that I can re-book anytime I changed my mind. The hotel reservations are not done yet since there’s no definite date so there’s no problem there for now. Should I decide to go inspite of the indefinite date of event, I have chosen to just rent a condo/apt that my nephew will arrange for me for the duration of two months stay either in Manila, Cebu or Dipolog. It was suggested that if I stay for more than two weeks, it’s better to just rent a condo/apt for a month or two and save in the expensive hotel rates which cost $100 to $150 per day whereas the rental for one month at a condo/apt would probably cost between $500 to $700 per month.
When I get there in Manila from Toronto, I still have to make travel arrangements to fly to Mactan Airport in Cebu and visit some friends. From there I have to get a flight to Dipolog via Dumaguete and attend the Class Reunion 2015 which was supposed to be held on January or February of this year but they moved the date of event to the third week of December, 2015 which is so inconvenient for me. The event’s date and venue has been in limbo for some time now. There was a vote that was planned to determine the exact date for the reunion. First, it was August, 2015 and then on May, 2015 to coincide with our town Fiesta. Then it was moved to December the 8th for the other town Fiesta day.
Some of my classmates suggested January instead that way we can have a class reunion and then go to Cebu to attend the Sinulog 2015. That’s for the Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu Pilgrimage, an annual celebration with such Pageantry and a Fluvial Parade, then culminating with the Grand Parade and the SM Pyromusical Show, the fireworks at night attended by hundred thousands spectators. And that is also one of the reasons that I wanted to vote for January 2015 as the possible reunion event date. Some of us voted for January and the others voted for May and August. But majority of our classmates who voted wants to have the reunion on December, 2015. It’s not even the 8th of the month which is the town fiesta day but on the third week of December just right before Christmas time to coincide with the other class reunions of 2013, 2014 and 2015.
For my classmates and other attendees who live in Dipolog and nearby towns and cities, it’s not going to be a problem to alternate dates of the reunion because all they have to do is reschedule their time to be able to attend but for the people who have to go there on purpose and travel from afar, it will be one huge headache to rearrange flight reservations, re-book it and then cancel hotel reservations for another dates which could mean more expenses to incur like penalties and service charges. As for others, it would mean so much inconvenience. And for me to go through all that trouble would mean such a waste of time and effort that it is probably not worth it so I opt out and cancelled the planned travel.
Will I ever visit the Philippines again? Sure why not, I’ve missed my native land for years feeling homesick sometimes and it would be fun to see all my good old friends and relatives who still live in my hometown. I will still visit the Philippines someday, soon enough but not this year or next year perhaps in a few years. As much as I was looking forward to attend our coming class reunion, I cannot afford to waste my time and effort for the preparations of the trip and find so much inconvenience along the way.
I will still probably change my mind and go through all that trouble if I really feel so homesick and just visit for a short period of time and for probably other reasons than attending class reunions. And this time it will not be a meticulously planned travel trip but a surprise visit with no particular plans, no hotel reservations and just wing it all the way from start to the finish of my vacation. Should I decide to change my mind and go for a short visit to the Philippines to attend some important functions and celebrations, I will probably just host my own class reunion dinner party and invite my old classmates, special friends and important guests.
To travel and just have fun with no set plans but to visit and go see places like El Nido, Boracay, Dipolog, Dapitan, Mactan, Cebu, Baguio, Banaue, Davao and the Batanes Islands. Just a spur-of-the-moment trip of a lifetime. Wouldn’t that be full of fun and surprises?!