Sunday, July 29, 2007

Ain't No Mountain High Enough

Nope. This post is not about Diana Ross. But I did think about her and this song when I drove for 3 and a half hours last Friday, July 27, 2007 with my 2 kids in tow, traversing chaotic traffic and rocky mountains just to see Leoncio, my elementary dance partner whom I haven't seen in 36 years!

When Buboy called last Monday inviting me for our mini-reunion in honor of Leoncio and his wife Myrna, I didn't think twice to say yes although my son was at that moment, terribly sick. Leoncio and his family came all the way from the States to celebrate the couple's Silver Wedding Anniversary in our hometown Marbel, South Cotabato (now known as Koronadal City). They were leaving Saturday so Friday night was our last chance to have a get-together.

Later during the week I suggested to Mimi that we meet at SM Megamall, being the center place for everybody. But since Leoncio's family was staying at Buboy's resort in Antipolo, Buboy was generous enough to invite all the batch mates living in Metro Manila to have dinner at Guillean's Place (you may want to check it out at http://www.guilleansplace.com/). Incidentally, Buboy is actually Leandrino--my ever loyal bully from Grade 1 to grade 6. How we became civil with each other will require a completely different post (maybe I'll write a sequel to this post--on second thought, I definitely will!)

Anyway, I knew it would be a hell of a drive from Las Pinas City to Antipolo, stopping over at Robinsons Place Pioneer Ave. to pick up Malou and then picking up Genevieve along the way. It was already raining at around 5 PM when we left home. I anticipated the ordeal that I was about to hurdle so I took 1 Biogesic tablet just to make sure I won't be dealing with one pestering problem--my migraine (which simultaneously arrives with my "visitor").

As expected, traffic was slow (it was Friday and raining). We were cruising along EDSA when I saw the Robinson's Pioneer Ave. signboard so I signalled to go right to pick up Malou at the entrance. All of a sudden, the engine died. I heard a deafening sound of horn at my back, then "BOOM!" I realized we were on an upward slope so I immediately pulled my brake shift. But I knew I already hit something when we slided back. I immediately called Malou to inform her of our unexpected predicament.

I was still talking with Malou when a man appeared beside my window so I had to go out and see the damage on his car. He was driving a white FX taxi. It was quite dark but I knew his front bumper was barely hit. I begged him with trembling voice: "Mama, pasensya na po. Maawa na kayo sa akin. Huminto po ang sasakyan ko, ayaw pa nga hong umandar. Patawarin nyo na po ako." These, I said while gently holding on to his arm.

He was stunned (probably out of pity for a lady in distress) so I went back inside the car. I stared at my mirror and saw him pulling back and then drove along. I thanked God after heaving a sigh of relief. I made several attempts to start the car but failed. I requested Ate Ella to pray the 'binding and casting' while I 'prayed over' the car so it would start. After what seemed to be eternity, I called Malou that we were already on our way to fetch her.

I was almost tempted to go back to Las Pinas after what happened but I thought of Leoncio--the reason for this trip. Then I thought of the mountains of Antipolo. It's risky to even bring the car up there, with my 2 kids at the back of the car. Then I thought of Diana Ross in the 70's: "Ain't no mountain high enough, ain't no valley low enough, ain't no river wild enough to keep me from you . . . " I smiled to myself and proceeded with extreme caution.

By God's divine intervention, Genevieve and her husband Rod and daughter Kring were travelling almost behind us when we passed by SM Megamall. We just stopped in front of Chow King at Robinson's Galleria and waited for them. It was almost 7 PM when the 8 of us finally settled inside the REVO.

If traffic along EDSA was slow, traffic along Ortigas was worse. I had absolutely no idea where we were going. Malou was the only person who's been at Buboy's resort. But since she was there only once, we had to stop in Antipolo to call Mimi/Elsa for directions. Malou told me that we will be passing through a rough road before reaching the resort but I didn't anticipate it was that rough. I prayed hard that everything will be alright and I praise and thank God that it did.

We miraculously made it to the reunion on the same day, at exactly 8:30 PM. Seeing Leoncio again after 36 years (and of course my other friends from Marbel whom I haven't seen for so long) was after all, worth the trip.

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