(August 07,2011<–When I really wrote this, I think the trip happened around August 5th or 6th.)

I have been begging my mother to allow me to go to Baguio to meet my best friend, Dallia. She has been my friend for over nine years already, going ten years I believe. Dallia has been through a lot the past few months and since I planned to stay in the Philippines for three months, I thought it would be really unfair if I didn’t visit her.

I was so excited when my mother finally agreed and she started planning our trip to Baguio. She decided to rent a van and have Kuya Kenneth drive us there, kuya Kenneth is the best driver ever. I love how he randomly tried to overtake those slow trucks in our way. Elton, Elias, Mao, Kuya Pau and Kuya Cons also came along with us.

It was decided that we would leave at around 3am Saturday morning. It takes about 5 hours to reach Baguio from where we stay in Manila. I was so excited I couldn’t sleep, so I decided to stay up until 3am and when the time came I was all packed up and ready to go! We started off and everyone was snoozing in the car except Me, Kuya Kenneth and Kuya Cons. Both of them were seated in the front; Elton, Kuya Pau and Mao in the last row of seats; and then; Me, Elias and Mother in the middle seats.

The 5 hour drive was pleasant, we had sandwiches for breakfast and there were loads of snacks that we could munch on for the trip. I was really mesmerized when we got closer to Baguio, the scenery was amazing and I could smell the moist in the air, it was a different smell from being in the city for too long. Not to mention I haven’t had any sleep yet so I was kind of annoying everyone with my constant yelling,”Treeeees!!!!” “Green treeeees!” Well yeah, I tend to go a little crazy sometimes.

We visited a church in Pangasinan called Lady of Manawag. We attended the mass and took a few pictures. We had around an hour and a half more before reaching Baguio, everyone was awake by now and the van was a bit livelier. We were shouting, singing and talking amongst ourselves. I had my face stuck to the glass watching all the trees, rivers, lakes, mountain sides, fields and basically everything green!

We stopped to ask for directions and the very nice man told us about a place we could rent for the day! This was a really good deal. It was already 10am and we got settled in the place, I asked my cousin to text my friend and inform her that we arrived then I just hopped on one of the beds and grabbed a blanket and fell asleep, I don’t really recall what happened while I was sleeping, but I felt that they tried to wake me up twice and they didn’t succeed, I was really sleepy and tired.

I woke up at around 5pm and when I checked the place only Elias and Kuya cons who were sleeping. After about 30 Minutes they all came back, apparently they went around the place and shopped for food, they also cooked lunch while I was sleeping and stocked the place for the night. Dallia contacted me and told me she would arrive around 8pm.

When Dallia arrived, almost everyone was sleeping. I was so happy to see her I just hugged her instantly. We chatted with mother for a few and I introduced her to whoever was awake. I wanted her to sleep over and stay with me the night but she had other things to do and she asked me if I could go to her place instead. I felt shy to ask my mother to allow me to go so I just didn’t say much and decided to grasp whatever time me and Dallia had left when suddenly my mother told me to go sleep over at her place. I was so happy she suggested it and Dallia was laughing at how my facial expression turned so bright.

After I grabbed my belongings, me and Dallia set off and took a cab to the main town so she could pull out some money for her brother who was going on a school trip. We were laughing like crazy while walking down the road, it felt like the old days when we were back in Kuwait. We couldn’t believe that we were together in Philippines. We decided to go to a cafe after we shopped for a few eatables and waited for her boyfriend. Her boyfriend was really nice and I got along with him.

We ate sandwiches in the cafe and drank some milkshakes and just chatted and joked a lot. Dallia’s brother came to the cafe to collect his money and it was nice meeting him as well. After a few more talks and drinks we decided to go back to Dallia’s place. The area reminded me a lot of Lebanon, the scenery and the way everything was built just brought me back to my 2009 vacation in Lebanon. Dallia’s house was cozy and I felt at home. I made some noodles for the three of us then we watched some TV and talked a bit before going to sleep. When I got comfy on Dallia’s bed, she came in and gave me a goodnight peck on my cheek, for a moment there I felt like I was her little sister or something.  I realized she has been my longest and truest friend. Even the distance between us couldn’t ruin our precious friendship.

When we got up in the morning, Dallia and her boyfriend had coffee then they dropped me back to the place we were renting. I bid Dallia goodbye after introducing her to my cousin whom she missed the other night. I hugged her super tight and told her to take care. I felt a bit sad watching her and her boyfriend walk away from the place after our farewells. I would see her again in December when she comes to visit Kuwait anyway.

The rest of us packed our bags and got ready to go around Baguio. We went to the botanical garden, it was really lovely. Kuya Kenneth gave me one of his camera phones and I went crazy taking snapshots of nature. We also took so many pictures with this huge dog and most of the beautiful works of nature. We all had a great time then we set course back to Manila! On the way we stopped near the road for lunch. I was more focused on trying to suck the clean air and imprint the view of nature in my memory. When we set off again, everyone was snoozing and before you know it, we’re home! It was around 8pm, Sunday. No more trees! No more greenery! *Sadface* But it was a great trip. And it was really worth it…