This should be a familiar scene for all of us.
You and your barkada (buddies) spend days, weeks, or even months planning a trip. It's all laid down from what time you'll leave your houses, right down to where exactly you guys (and girls) will go for a restroom break.
Then days before you're all raring to go, one of your friends back out, followed by another, then another. Well, you know what they say, pag pinaplano, di natutuloy (when you plan, nothing happens). Frustrating isn't it?
But here's a way to make it happen: make it spontaneous.
The thing is, we've been planning to go out of town for months now. Sure we made plans, but it all fell through. So this time around, we just went for it and went for a road trip. Besides, what's life if there aren't any surprises, right? And so off for a road trip, we went.
Where were we headed? Well, in this case, wherever the roads took us.
From the start, only a few of us knew where exactly where we were going, but that's part of being spontaneous. But one thing several of our friends knew was that we were heading North, as we had taken Balintawak to head out of the busy, buzzing metropolis. Next thing we knew, we were along NLEX already.
As most of us were into cars, we couldn't help but talk about the car we had brought. Our steed for this impromptu getaway was the Subaru XV GT Edition. Yes, the name's a bit of a mouthful, but we're actually amused by it had on board. It was Subaru's EyeSight system that made the drive up the country heaps more relaxing.
The XV we had came equipped with adaptive cruise control so we just let it do its thing and let the miles roll by. It sped up when it needed to speed up, slow down if it had to, and even stop when needed. The only thing we needed to do was steer the Subaru but, of course, we still paid attention to the road. It's not fully autonomous after all.
With half the task of driving being handled by the car's brain (and eyes), we just kept rolling out the jokes and stories, washing away the stresses of the past couple of months. Laughs were being passed all over the car and if this XV could talk, boy does it have a lot of things to share. That's the thing about being with your friends in a car for hours: part of the fun is getting there.
Of course, it's impossible to just keep on talking and laughing for hours on end, so some of us began falling asleep. At least we were all still together. Besides, the XV GT, despite the sporty appearance, was rather comfortable to be in. In fact, the driver had become jealous of the sleeping passengers. You can probably guess who drew the short end of the stick. Here's a clue: it's the person writing this story.
With (almost) everyone asleep, we just kept going and going, deliberately blowing past exits and just following the road to wherever it led us. The next thing my sleeping passengers saw was a sentinel waving us through. If the word 'sentinel' wasn't enough of a clue for you, we ended up in Subic. Yes, we decided to go all the way up there on a whim.
It was totally worth it though because there were a lot of roads to explore around the former US military base. Sure, there are the usual spots but if you venture a little bit further, the roads get twistier and a whole lot more fun. We didn't need a set destination at this point because the sights and sounds were wonderful to soak in. It was especially quieter as we went to the city on a weekday, and it made us appreciate the views of the bay even more.
But eventually, we ran out of road to explore. The Subaru may be an all-wheel-drive but there was nowhere else to go by this time. We somehow found ourselves in the parking lot of Ocean Adventure and anything beyond that was, well, the sea. It was a nice view though and it felt relaxing to be by the waters of the bay. You may argue that there's nothing to do in a carpark, but we disagree. We took photos of the view, soaked it all in, enjoyed chatting even more and basically just hung out. The difference here was, we had a scenic backdrop.
Tambay (colloquial for stand-by, or just hanging out doing nothing) was over so it was back on the road for us. By this time, we got a bit hungry so we needed a place to eat. In tune with the whole spontaneous theme, we just went to where there was a nice view.
We ended up at a burger and pasta joint along Argonaut Highway. There, we could see port activity, the mountain ranges and the golden rays of the sun setting down on our day. But just because the sun was going down didn't mean we were going to pack up and go home.
With our appetites satisfied, we drove near Lighthouse and did our best to capture the final moments of the sun that day. With the car in the foreground, we did our best to take a dramatic photo as a fitting remembrance of this little spontaneous road trip. We say we capped it off quite nicely.
Sometimes, life's most fun moments don't come from a set plan or a rigid time frame. In moments like these, all you need are your friends, the open road, a car (preferably with a full tank of gas) and a whole lot of laughs. Where you're going isn't always certain and concrete, but getting there and being in good company is the fun part.