Rant and Relaxation: Travel Galore Quick Review

Exclusive tour kami pero may dalawang hindi natuloy (pero bayad pa rin sila). Tapos Day 2 ba naman biglang may “joiners”, ‘yong isa taga-opisina raw ng Travel Galore at ‘yong isa kalandian yata no’ng driver. Bale naki-joyride lang sila at date na rin siguro no’ng driver at isang babae. Sabi no’ng taga-opisina itu-tour niya raw kami kaya sumama pero wala namang ginawa. And itong si driver hindi man lang muna kami tinanong kung okay lang bang may sumama sa EXCLUSIVE TOUR namin. Pagsakay namin nando’n na ‘yong dalawa. Wow. Nakalagay ba sa company policy na okay lang sumama sa tours ang mga taga-opisina?

Tapos exclusive tour kami ha pero lagi naming hinihintay ‘yong mga ibang van na tropa ni driver. So lagi kaming late. 10PM ang ETD sa Megamall pero quarter to 12 na umalis kasi nga may hinihintay pa. Sa bawat destination at stopover hinihintay din ‘yong ibang vans. Kung hindi pa kami nagre-request na umalis na saka lang siya kikilos. Lalo na sa Pagudpud. What if tapos na kaming maligo tapos ‘yong sa ibang vans nakalublob pa? So parang ang lagay pa pala joiners kami sa tour ng iba?

At ang nakakainis, downgraded ang accommodation namin. Gusto namin may pool at beachfront tapos biglang nasa downtown kami at wala pang pool. So nagrefund sila ng 200. Ang style yata kasi nila mag-abang ng ibang tourists at isisiksik silang lahat sa iisang hotel kaya idi-disregard na nila kung anong preference ng guests. ‘Yong unang hotel namin may pool eh pero hindi nila agad pinabook kasi malamang naghihintay nga sila ng mas maraming guests. ‘Yong kakilala ng friend ko na Travel Galore rin, gusto nila walang pool tapos pagdating ng Ilocos nasa hotel sila na may pool. Late sila magpa-book kahit pa exclusive ang tour, ‘yon!

Pangit din ‘yong resort operator pagdating sa Blue Lagoon sa Pagudpud. Pay CR lang ang meron. Alam naming sariling gastos ang cottage kaya we opted to just stay in the van na lang sana since hindi naman lahat lalangoy. Pero sabi ni driver “required” daw at libre na ang CR kahit hindi naman talaga. Malamang may komisyon kasi siya kaya ganyan.

Ngayon, readers, alam niyo na kung bakit hindi nare-review ang Travel Galore sa Facebook dahil puputaktihin sila ng bad reviews. Search niyo sa Facebook/Google ang Travel Galore o Travel Galore review/s at makakakita kayo ng bad comments about their services. Mostly tungkol sa poor communication, late departure, driver issues, at downgraded accommodation. Huwag pong magpasilaw sa maraming likes ng page nila at kahit pa ba DOT-accredited sila.

Happiness and Sidewalls

El Misterio de la Felicidad

“There’s the one who loves and the one to be loved,” said Laura who knows that her husband will never come back. She just needs to know why he left so she can move on. Meanwhile, Santiago seeks answers why his best friend, Laura’s husband, left while they’re at the apex (or so he thinks) of their lives–a booming business, a laidback lifestyle, and a happy friendship. Both just need reaffirmation that Eugenio is safe and happy even without them beside him. That Laura and Santiago are complete even without Eugenio. That by leaving, all of them can be whole again. If only that’s easy–to let go a part of you so you can be whole.

Medianeras

Mariana and Martin, stuck in the grayscale paradise that is the city, find the sense of living, and themselves, while recovering from their past relationships. In the urban canvas of Buenos Aires, it’s hard to find the space where you belong, how much more yourself? So the two just blend with the iridiscent landscape of the city while waiting for something magical, perhaps love–always love–to change their dull lives. They met each other, of course, but it took them years of self-doubt and loathing that they, as those who were left behind, deserve their suffering but not any answers. It is really hard to fit in when you’re not complete.

The one left behind bothers him/herself with explanations that, in the first place, s/he deserves. Why is the burden of truth should be carried by those who stayed? When someone leaves you without even hums and haws, the questions you ask are actually the answers themselves. So you just stay silent and disturbed. You let the pain find the answers within you. The search is so long that you become the pain.

Leaving someone is uneasy, a decision so big it makes one’s world small. Such event, as seen through the eyes of those left behind, is a blinding moment of betrayal. That by staying where s/he left you, you can find some answers. Yet when you sift through the border of your relationship, you see all things past and future, nothing present. Really, when you’re the one left behind, it’s not the incompleteness that pains you. It is the silence of the end.

Long Live the Marcos Monarchy

If I know, Imelda Marcos pushes for the hero’s burial of his husband at the LNMB for vindication. And Bongbong Marcos is testing the waters again for his possible presidential bid in 2022. The Marcos family will not stop until they’ve made it clear that they are just victims of dirty politics—but they are the dirty politics—and that the People Power Revolution was a mistake.

Marcos himself said that he wants to be buried next to his mother. He said that to Former Vice President Doy Laurel. Or would others still claim that Doy is a “bayaran at kultong dilawan,” too? For the record, Cory and Doy’s relationship turned sour during the latter part of their administration. So I bet he’s not just another propagandist spreading lies.

Really, who has a stronger propaganda but the Marcoses. After all, they’ve embezzled billions of money from the government’s coffers. A large part of that treasure is yet to be recovered by the government due to the family’s refusal and, of course, denial. So you want to ask yourself where did the Marcoses get their campaign and propaganda funds. And yet, there are those who insist that #MarcosPaRin.

Also, remember the four conditions of Former President Fidel V. Ramos before the body of the dictator can be returned to the Philippines? The last one was not fulfilled because of Imelda and Bongbong’s shenanigans. I wonder why FVR is mum about Duterte’s eagerness to bury Marcos as a hero. Welcome to the realpolitiks of the Philippines.

The country can always move on as long as the Marcoses admit the atrocities of their family against the Filipinos and against the nation; cooperate with the government to recover their assets that are illegally acquired; and, ultimately, apologize. There’s no moving on as long as there’s no accountability. There’s no healing as long as the Marcoses keep on revising the past.

The dictator’s burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani cements the fact that in the Philippines, apathy is a lifestyle and impunity is a national symbol.