Tales From Summertime: Always On Time

Plan:
6 am – leave Tuguegarao
11 am – arrive Pagudpud
1 pm – go to Lighthouse
3 pm – go back to Tuguegarao

Reality:

6 am 

It was Good Friday and we were supposed to be well on our way to Ilocos when we found out that one of the wheels of the car was flat. We couldn’t borrow any other car from the parents because they stayed at our other house in the next town; no shops were open at the time – more so it was a holiday – and what were the odds of a vulcanizing shop open then? Zero to none. We were stuck.

 

The travel buddies all bummed out

My brother remained hopeful though and so he went and drove around, looking for tire services around the city. Lo and behold, 15 minutes later he drove back to pick us up with a new wheel in place. Apparently, one store around 3 blocks from us happened to open as soon as he was pulling up.

After taking out breakfast from McDonalds (which took around 30 minutes to get served), we went off. 

6:45

Ilocos, here we go!

  

   
At this point, I was a little agitated because I’m very time-conscious and it was only a day trip so I was worrying about how much time we’ll have to roam around since we also wanted to visit the lighthouse and we were supposed to be on our way back to Cagayan by 3 pm so that we won’t reach the dark night on the road. Apparently though, I didn’t have to worry. We were aiming to arrive at the beach 11 am, but we got there an hour early (thanks to my brother’s driving 😏) so we had plenty of time to swim before hitting the road again. 

10 am 

Touchdown!

  
  
There wasn’t enough water in the showers so we decided to have lunch already. We were already resolved that we won’t take baths anymore and so I just had a quick rinse and change in the hotel restuarant’s bathroom. However, as it turns out, the guys were way more particular than I was and decided to wait out until the showers had water again. Not only that, but they take much longer showers than I. 😒

1:45 pm

We hit the road again.

The car’s fuel was already running low and there were no gasoline stations in sight. We had around 10 km to go before we would have ran out. By God’s grace, we came across a station just before the engine died. And so we went on.

2:15 pm 

We weren’t planning on visiting the windmills anymore because we were told that it was further than the lighthouse. And so it was to our complete surprise when we passed by a sign saying the windmills were only 700 meters away. Winging it, we decided to follow that path. In doing so, we chanced upon the most beautiful sight.
  
  
2:45 pm 

I was honestly uptight at this point because we were supposed to be on our way back by 3, but my brother said we can probably make it so I turned on Waze. Cape Bojeador (the Lighthouse) turned out to be still 30 minutes away. We decided to push it.

3:15 pm

However, we weren’t the only ones who thought checking out the lighthouse was a good idea. The parking was full and there was a long line of cars. But since we were already there, we waited it off. To our delight, the car line started moving fast and by 15 minutes we were parked and in.

3:30 pm

It was extremely windy and the view was breathtakingly splendid. 

   
    
4 pm

Back to Tuguegarao!

… Or so we thought.

4:15 pm

We chanced upon an amazing view and decided to pull off to the side of the road and stay there for a while.

      

  

 

4:45 pm

Alright, now we’re off!

5:30 pm 

…that is until we saw the sunset and decided to pull over until it hid behind the mountains.

    

 

6 pm

My brother said so himself, that was the last stop over. The sun has set. No more sights.

6:30 pm

What can we say, God is full of surprises! We just HAD to stop over.

 
6:45 pm

Alright, God, whatever comes our way.

8:00 pm

We were entering Tuguegarao and were running out of fuel fast. All gasoline stations in sight? Closed. We were doomed.

8:10 pm

Turned out, not quite. A station was turning off it’s lights when we pulled in and they decided to service us still. The gas boy’s statement “sakto lang po kayo, dapat kanina pa nga kami magsasara e” (you’re just in time, we were actually supposed to close down much earlier than this).

If we had one conclusion from the entire trip that day, it’s that things won’t always go the way we plan them to – if they ever. God’s timing isn’t always going to coincide with ours. But at the end of the day, we realized that the “detours” and “side trips” weren’t considered delays.  Rather, we were thankful they happened.

If things didn’t happen the way they did, we wouldn’t have seen the things we did and experienced the adventures we had. If things went to plan, we would have missed out on so much fun. As it turns out, God had a different plan all along, and His was much better. Everything happened just in time.

P.S. Literally seconds after the guys got on a bus back to Manila the following evening, rain fell and the region was declared under Signal Number 3. 😏

“We’ve got to stop categorising time into minutes, days, months, years, ifs, buts, maybes and regrets, and instead, experiences, the things we’ll remember. It’s not life that’s short, but our passion for it. When you see a film, or read a book, do you skip straight to the ending? No. And why should our lives be any different? A good twist is essential to spectacular stories. It’s important to be surprised now and then — don’t you think?”
-Beau Taplin

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