I was with the girlfriend this morning, walking along the rehabilitated stretch of Roxas Boulevard from Pedro Gil to the Manila Yacht Club. We were walking towards what was hoped to be a decent breakfast "by the Bay," to use the words of Manila Mayor Atienza. To his credit, he's done a wonderful thing rehabilitating the area. You can bring your family or your best gal/guy to this place, have a proper meal and enjoy the clean tiles, the eateries, the jogging, the view and even the fish. Side note: wish I was there when Atienza was promoting the strip with the able help of the Sexbomb Girls.
At the eatery nearest her car, (Adriatico by the Bay, I think) we talked about this and that over tapsilog and coffee, paid the bill and left for buko juice in front of the Philippine Navy edifice. We were commenting favorably on the aged attendants of the strip's comfort room when she realized we'd left her umbrella back at Adriatico by the Bay. She said she'd wait while I ran back to pick it up.
No doubt, the old couple eating at our former table probably thought the long-haired visage reaching a hand into their personal space was that of a thief and cutthroat. They did not give chase because they probably realized that the umbrella they did not notice before was not theirs. I did not have the time for the debunking of stereotypes; If I ever see that old couple again, I will apologize only for startling them.
I reached the spot where Honey was supposed to wait for me. I found to my great dismay that she wasn't there. I walked to the Navy building-- no girlfriend. I returned to her waiting spot-- still no girlfriend. I tried reaching her via my dyolog (Nokia) celphone and got only endless ringing. After walking what felt like miles retracing my steps thrice, I was angry and very frightened for her.
A sample of my SMS messages sent when I was beginning to panic:
TAKE YOUR BLOODY PHONE OFF SILENT MODE AND TELL ME WHERE THE HELL YOU ARE. NANGALING NA AKO SA NAVY. NASAAN KA?
WHERE ARE YOU? ARE YOU ALRIGHT? IPAPA-APB NA KITA IF YOU DO NOT RESPOND
I found her near her car, felt the wash of an angry relief. Her phone was wrapped up in so much leather she probably could not hear it. It had died on her when she tried to reach me. I hugged her close to me.
I now know the full extent of the little hells my parents went through when I was young, self-absorbed touring liability.