I faced my fears, packed up the kiddo and hit the road for a weekend getaway. It was really good to get away. Work has been busy and I was looking forward to checking out another resort. This one did not disappoint! It was lovely and quiet, the food was great and we went yaya-less and it was completely manageable (a huge plus in my book).
My friend and I planned this trip back in December. We decided to survive working and living in Manila we should aim for getting out of the city at least once every three weeks. This time went to Eagle Point in Aniloa which is only 112 kilometers from Manila (70 miles). Back home that would take an hour and even though we left before 6am it took us closer to 3! Sure, we stopped four times I think–for food and directions and to buy beer–but the roads were also a factor. About half of the trip is on the SLEX, the South Luzon Expressway, which is a perfectly fine modern highway but the other half you are wondering through towns with lots of pedestrians and kiosks and cows, and of course tons and tons and tons of traffic. Navigating the narrow streets trying not to hit anyone is tiring and stressful and I although the sights were interesting I didn’t enjoy it one bit.
But this is not to say that the SLEX was a piece of cake. Not by any stretch. Yes, it’s modern and feels like you could be driving on any interstate in the US (although the toll tickets are plastic which makes so much sense!) but you can never truly let your guard down. The worst part isn’t that people are driving like maniacs and constantly trying to ‘overtake’ you (as they say here) but at parts it’s one lane in each direction and people are still trying to pass. Adding to the confusion and the stress is that during a lot of this stretch the lines on the road are white, dotted lines which in the States indicate the traffic is moving only in one direction. You could find yourself on the wrong side of the road if you weren’t paying attention.
Since I am terrible at reading maps I was the one following my friends and there were a couple of times where they passed someone and I had to do the same in order to keep up. One time I didn’t judge the amount of space and time I had to pass very well and almost met my maker. I was completely shaken and thanking God over and over and over again afterwards for allowing us to see another day. But the worst was yet to come. Without going into too many details, let’s just say that someone else wasn’t so lucky. We were driving and the traffic started to slow down a bit but the road wasn’t shut down or even blocked off and we drove right past a gruesome accident scene. I was very, very disturbing and we were all very shaken.
Suffice it to say we were grateful when we arrived in Aniloa and were able to unwind and hug our children and enjoy each other’s company. And, although it sounds harrowing, after driving the same route back and having it be uneventful, I know I can do it again. And the resort was really, really lovely and, in the end, worth the trip.