Years back, we went on a road trip to Ilocos Norte. It was crazy/scary. Husband’s not wishing to put any other type of gasoline in the car tank meant looking for a Shell station that had Velocity. And while we passed a number of Shell stations, not all had it. So the search went on as I prayed the gasoline would not run out. We reached Fort Ilocandia past ten pm, passing unlit stretches along the way that made me imagine FPJ movies where suddenly, bad men would cut a car’s path and fire their guns. We got to the hotel after several hours of driving and intermittent prayers for safety and not missing the way. Prayers answered.
Holy Thursday this year. Stupid decision to go then, right? But I googled and saw an article which said traffic would ease up after noon. So we left at 12. Wow, traffic in Congressional to NLEX was so non-existent, we were hopeful the rest of the way would be as such. Wrong. By NLEX near Bulacan, after the Petron pit stop, traffic was horrendous. Something like 10kph. And take note, we hadn’t eaten, planning to eat along the way. Son was driving, missed the side road leading to the Petron pit stop, and the next pit stop, and the next. Some stops looked like parking lots or EDSA northbound around 6:30 am on a weekday, Kamuning area. After having missed so many pit stops, I told son we should really stop in the next, by then it was 3 pm. I wasn’t hungry really, but was worried about HHB. Finally stopped at TOTAL where there was Tapa King, Bon Jour, Tropical Hut, Burby’s. We opted for TH cheeseburgers. Lucky for us we were able to park but drove off as soon as husband got back with the burgers. We got to Morong Bataan at 630 pm, ergo after 6.5 hours, when normally it would take us 4 hours max. We’re scheduled to go back to Manila tomorrow, Easter Sunday but we’ll leave tonight, never mind that we’ll forfeit one night’s worth of paid accommodations.
Missing traffic will be well worth it. Or will traffic be bad tonight? I hope not as bad as it might be tomorrow.
Next year, we’ll go either on Wednesday or Friday, checkout Saturday or Monday. To avoid traffic, though as we were moving agonizingly slow last HT, it occurred to me that it was our penance of sorts. Will not pass muster among the truly devout, but the one who counts most will know, understand and maybe smile.
Below is a photo of the stash of goodies we were handed in the NLEX Congressional toll gate – from Regent. What a thoughtful gesture. And the snacks were good: mochi and fish crackers. Thank you, Regent.