Magandang gabi! コノミです。
This is about “That day” 12/16/18
December 16, 2018 it was a sunny Sunday I came back from my work far from the city. That day I felt motivated and woke up early, I felt like I can do anything. I felt so energized like a man that just moved on from a break up. Feeling pumped up I decided to drive our taxi and gave free rides to passengers going to churches.
I was wearing casual clothes, not the usual taxi driver uniform that you need to wear red shirt with collar so I didn’t look like a taxi driver that day, I was more like a gangster or someone who goes out partying.
Anyway, I started driving around the city picking up passengers, after a while I talk to them, having small conversations like the weather, some issues that concerns anything or about anything that could start any conversation because as you would think of it. Taxi drivers are lonely, people just come and go, in and out their taxis. That’s why if you notice, they are talkative people, they just want to have a friendly conversation every now and then. I felt the same because I’ve been a part time taxi driver for 7 years ever since I was in my sophomore years in college. I was driving my late grandfather’s taxi named Papa Lakay.
So enough with that, let’s start the story about what really happened that day. It was an hour before lunch, I was a little hungry but still I kept on driving hoping to find a passenger. I passed by a language school in Tacay road called Monol.
I saw two girls waving their hands fiercely. Seems like they’ve been waiting for a taxi for a long time. I looked at them and made a U-turn at the near police station. I said “good morning” and they said “hi”.
They seemed to be foreigners and so I spoke to them in English. Turns out they are students in that language school.
So they came in to my taxi and I asked them where they wanted to go. “We want to go to good taste, our teacher said it’s the most famous restaurant in Baguio” they responded. I said “okay” then we carried on to our trip.
As I was driving, I asked them how long they have been in Baguio. They said just two weeks.
In my head that moment.
“It’s a chance to make extra money”.
I asked them again.
“Do you want to tour around Baguio? I will be your driver, tour guide and photographer!” I said.
Unfortunately, they said “No, we’re hungry and we want to eat something”, I was disappointed. But anyway it’s okay since that time taxi driving was just for fun since I was working in the government.
I didn’t bother asking them again, instead I asked them their names and where they from.
They said they’re from Japan.
Konomi and Yuka are their names, I also introduced myself after.
Afterward, I talked a lot about Baguio and how great Baguio is. It’s my favorite city and it’s where I grew up. That time we were in the middle of a traffic jam at Queen of Peace, in front of a car repair shop called onyx. I still remember I was telling stories about how the flood came to be during typhoons. (To be honest I don’t know why I was telling them that. It’s kinda weird for me). We passed by Palma Urbano street, went down the road and arrived at good taste.
The line was so long!
I said “It’s peak hours and it’s Sunday so this is a normal situation here”.
The girl at the back of the driver side asked, “Do you know some other good restaurants near here?”
I said yes, and I took them to Canto. A bistro near burnham park. While we were nearing to the restaurant. The same girl asked me if I want to join them for lunch.
I said “okay, I’m also a little hungry” because I only had coffee and pandesal for breakfast.
I parked beside the road. I went out from the taxi, and that moment I saw them better since I can’t see them from my center view mirror. Yuka was wearing white plain shirt and skinny leggings with white Fila rubber shoes while the other girl Konomi, was wearing an oversized dirty white shirt, colorful leggings, O-shaped earrings and yellow havaianas slippers. (I don’t know why I remember things in detail and sometimes I don’t remember anything at all)
There were a lot of people, and so we fell in line and waited. While we were waiting we talked about a lot of things and most of them I couldn’t even remember.
Kuya called my attention and said there’s a vacant seat for us.
We sat down and ordered food and continued our conversation. We talked about ourselves, our jobs, our plans and other stuff. I told them that I worked in the government, I travel to far places in the province of Abra and provide people businesses for them to sustain and make a good income out of it. I showed them pictures of my escapades since traveling to far flung places are remote and difficult to access but the sceneries are magnificent.
For them, they just want to learn English to have better communication and since they travel a lot they think English is important.
As the conversation went on and got to know each other more, they mentioned that they’re going to San Juan next week, then I said “ah! If you do not have a car to go there then I can be of your service again”
We finished dining then they wanted to pay for my bill since they haven’t paid the taxi fare yet. I rejected their offer but they insisted, so I said okay let’s just settle it.
“You’ll pay my lunch and the taxi fare is free” I said.
The restaurant bill was quite expensive but I only paid 100. It’s okay they ate a lot and more expensive than mine. I didn’t actually like it because it’s too fancy for me and I wasn’t quite full. As an Igorot, it’s better to have a full stomach than to eat fancy food.
Anyway, we went outside the restaurant, they took picture of me together with them and got my social media account.
“So, Where is your next destination?”
“We want to go to a salon and get a haircut”
At that time, they showed me a picture in their phone. It was Maharlika. They said they wanted to get a haircut there. So I asked them “Are you sure you want to have a haircut there?” (Because it’s a little scary place especially if you’re a guy in Baguio)
Instead I recommended a better hair salon and it’s near their school. I took them to a salon shop in Cooeysan, Naguilian road. I didn’t ask them for money even though from the beginning that was my purpose.
After that we parted ways.
Currently that Japanese girl who asked me for lunch is now living with me.
It so happened that, that day they were actually waiting for a jeepney but five jeepneys passed them, they got really hungry and annoyed they decided to take taxi instead. And the taxi driver that time was me.
It so happened that, December 16, 2017 a year before that day I had a tattoo that means I will meet someone special for me. Because that year I was heartbroken from a breakup with my longtime partner.
Recently, we went back to that hair salon for the second time. I was telling our story to the ate who cuts hair. It so happened that, that ate who cut my girlfriend’s hair a year back was my godmother and it’s my first time seeing her all my life.
This is about “That day”.