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An Opportunity To Love More ♥

Chronicles of my three-day "retreat" in Mindoro. :)
Source: My Journal

12.23.14
So we're stranded here in Roxas, Oriental Mindoro for 12 hours now (and counting). On normal conditions, I would have already arrived in Iloilo by this time. I don't know what's wrong as there are different speculations but I'd like to believe the explanation of the bus conductor that the Coast Guard does not allow boats to sail due to strong waves. Both my phone and my laptop are already drained and I am so tired already I just want to lay down on a real, comfortable bed. 

This is the first time that I experienced to be in this situation. It's not my first time to travel alone by RORO but this is indeed the worst, and because of this, I officially dislike travelling by bus during peak seasons. I couldn't be left with no other choice next time. I have to be prepared and I have to book early to secure cheap air fares. 

Yesterday, I was so stressed and exhausted that I wasn't able to keep myself from commenting when one of the Valisno staff told us that our designated bus is scheduled to arrive in a "short while." We have been waiting there for hours and that's what they have been telling us all those times. Thank God I was somehow able to make up for that act by giving out polvoron cupcakes to the kids sitting beside me. The smiles on their faces calmed my senses. Truly, it is in giving that we receive. :) 

While I may be in a difficult and unfavorable situation right now, I can still choose the better response: to take the opportunity to LOVE MORE. How? I suggest the following simple yet deliberate acts of kindness based on my experience: 

1. Talk to strangers.
I met a lot of them. In fact, all of them are strangers and choosing to interact with them makes this journey easier to bear. It helps to know that you are not alone. :)

2. Entertain the kids.
We have a lot of kids on board and they easily get bored. And when they're bored, they do annoying things. Thus, before they get into that point, they need to be distracted with either food or games as simple as peek-a-boo. Maybe it's just me, I don't know, but I guess laughter indeed is therapeutic, especially the laughter of little children. 

3. Share what you have.
As what I have previously mentioned, I gave out my polvoron cupcakes to the kids I saw at the terminal and here inside the bus. What I didn't expect was that, and boy was I truly overwhelmed, I would be a recipient of such kindness too. I haven't eaten rice or any heavy meal since yesterday. Aside from the fact that I have limited budget, my stomach is also not doing very well, thanks to the strong waves that we had to endure from Batangas to Mindoro. Though I ate quite a lot of finger food, I must admit that it's still different to have rice. In fact, I've been dreaming to eat native brown rice, kadios, tambo, and dried fish when I get home. And so, this evening, God granted my wish through my very gentleman seatmate. His brother bought rice and dinner for dinner. As any normal guy would have, he had two orders of rice but he generously gave me one. Thank God for him I had a decent dinner. It was also very kind of him to give me the plastic hand gloves which was supposed to be his. He just used the plastic where the rice was placed. He also held the plastic containing the chicken so that I can eat comfortably. It was amusingly gentleman of him. I am truly amazed because nowadays, he's a rare find. :)

So yeah, being stranded for one reason or another is totally unlikeable an experience but it could be worthwhile and meaningful if you don't miss the opportunity to love more and be loved more as well. Once again, God has proven that His love never fails. :)

Photo Credit: Etsy.com
12.24.14
It's our second day here in the bus. I have a strong feeling that we would spend Christmas Eve here or at best, on the road. I'm already running out of cash and I don't see any ATM nearby. Well, I could only hope for the best and while it's already too stressful, I'm struggling to respond calmly. 

The other passengers are already irritated but all they do is nag the driver and the conductor, and that doesn't help at all. I chose to just be silent, behold the experience, and ponder on the hidden messages that God is sending. I feel like I'm in a retreat. End of the year na raw kasi sabi ni God. He knows that I need this time to be silent and to just rely on Him. Yung tipong wala ka ng ibang magawa kundi umasa sa grasya ng Panginoon.

We were given the option to refund a portion of our fare (Php305) and just secure our own boat ticket which costs Php480. For one, there is no guarantee that we'd be able to get tickets. Second, I have a lot of baggages which I already paid for back in Manila. 

So here I am waiting... for God's blessing, for the time to finally board a ship to Caticlan. 

.......... 

As for me, I'd like to believe that God is just revealing to me what I long for and truly desire. It has been a journey to the deepest recesses of my heart, to the core of my being. :)

12.25.14

Spent Christmas Eve until 12PM of the 25th with more than 70 strangers. And God spoke through a song I've been hearing everyday since Day 1 of this one-of-a-kind retreat. :) 

But that would be another post. :D

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