After hours of running wet the seven of us finally found refuge in a total stranger’s house in Merville. We deserved to be in that predicament because none of us listened—we were too excited to push through with our once-a-year weekend off from the hospital that none of us was rational. We were more like insane. By the time we left PGH there was already a massive downpour, but all we could debate about was: La Luz or Nasugbu? For three seconds we actually thought we could get there unscathed—“Tumigil na ang ulan!!!” I screamed crazily, until we realized we were only under a fly over. We only admitted that total morons we were by the time flood waters were rapidly filling The Great Mutato’s car. We immediately left it and ran through the flood in SLEX opposite the direction of the traffic—yes, it’s Deep Impact or Godzilla or any B-movie minus the rampaging monster. Of course we were all in summer wear—The Great Mutato’s was thin and white, and with a few raindrops it turned in to a transparent magic kamison. “Pohtang pekpek shorts ‘to!” Vampirella screamed out. Of course no one could let that near-drowning opportunity pass—we had to take some peeeekchurs of ourselves on the street. Misery is temporary, but peeeeekchurs are forever.
The 7-11 in Merville was filled with people clawing at each other for that last piece of hotdog in the warmer. Tessieloopagoop crossed the street, ran through the rains and got all of us some doxycyclines. Everyone in 7-11 was calling everyone on their cellphones—some worried about their loved ones, etc etc etc, but most importantly, everyone was trying to one-up each other on who was more miserable.
One of our batchmates, Jondi, who was already in Batangas informed us that he knew someone living in Merville who would let us stay the night. After a season’s worth of reality TV competition misadventures such as getting in the wrong house, staying under the rain for hours, watching a house burn, failing to complete a Road Block since it’s a task only one member of the team may perform, contracting leprosy, and such, we finally found the house. We were afraid the owners would require us to declaim “Alms, alms,” in the rain before letting us in, but they were extremely nice and accommodating. While dining with the extremely nice owners I was trying to assess just how close Jondi was to them. “Ah, si Dondee. Oo mabait na bata yang si Dondee,” extremely nice mom told us.
To our contingent’s credit everyone was still extremely funny and giddy despite the lingering stress. I ran out of punch lines and witty remarks by the time it was dark. "Magpatawa ka," Tempus Fugit demanded. "Wala! Naubusan na ko," I whimpered. At one point I was unaware that my repertoire had already turned to repeat mode. Prior to being fed, in sheer hunger I told Fulet Esplana, “Hey Fulet, napanood mo na ba yung movie na Alive?” I asked. “Nakwento mo na yan 30 minutes ago!” she harrumphed.
During our batch outing last year there was also a massive storm and blackout but we managed to get to Subic. This year we haven’t even gotten past Bicutan. So for our batch outing next year we’re watching a movie. In Robinson’s.