STORY: Spontaneity

On our way to church, Jose suddenly asks me if we could visit his Lolo's grave instead and have dinner after (since it was my birthday tomorrow and All Soul's Day was just the day after -- that didn't sound very nice, huh?). I agreed.

As I felt the adrenaline of doing something so spontaneous, I looked out the car window and saw the passing lights that appeared to form lines in the air as we quickly drove by them. Unfortunately, the excitement died down when we met face to face with the bumper of the car in front of us -- oh, traffic. Apparently, a lot of people decided to visit their departed loved ones earlier to skip on the traffic but still ended up with traffic... and unfortunately we got caught up in it, too.

Since the traffic wasn't getting any better, Jose took a right turn and we decided to just have dinner. We were still pretty pumped about being pretty far and just being there for dinner. However, the excitement died down again when couldn't find a place to eat. I wanted to eat somewhere we couldn't easily find back home but we ended up eating at Conti's (and the branch we dined at was terrible. It was small and not very clean looking... if we wanted to eat at Conti's we should've just gone to Greenbelt. But then again, where's the adventure in that?)

The place had full parking so Jose and I ate an Oreo cheesecake in Starbucks across the street just so he could park there then ditch to eat at Conti's. (This was the reason he bought me a whole Oreo cheesecake the next day for my birthday because I kept raving about the cake. Read about it here). Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy its yumminess that much because I had to swallow it down quickly if we wanted to eat dinner anytime soon. 

So here's what we ordered:

I am not a fan of seafood but I absolutely love munching on this crispy squidlets!
I had the Grilled Salmon Head since  I was feeling a bit "healthy" this night (that is if the meal is healthy, it just feels healthy with the absence of the words "fried" and any kind of meat in the description in the menu)
Jose, still on his uber strict diet, ordered the Herb Crusted Fish Fillet which from the looks of it, isn't that appetizing. He had rice on the side by the way, just so you won't feel too bad for him. 
It took us a while to get seated so we were really hungry at this point. So, sorry if we (actually just me) look unhappy in this photo but we actually had a nice time this night.

On the way home, we noticed that the traffic has subsided and that the road towards Manila Memorial has cleared out. We then decided to continue on our original plan and visit his Lolo.

It was my first time to be at a cemetery on All Soul's Day. All my immediate family members are still alive on both sides so thankfully, we still do not have someone to visit during this occasion. So as we walked towards his Lolo's "spot," I was surprised and amazed by how the place looked like. It was filled with tents (bigger and more creative than the next), flowers and candles (that were very beautiful to look at from a distance). There were also a ton of food stalls which I wasn't really expecting to see. The abundance of food stalls actually make you want to eat something even if you aren't hungry just because. It was like a fair or something. (By the way, I caved. I had a snow cone with Jose)

Jose and I sat in front of his Lolo's "something" (pardon me for not knowing what its called) and we kept quiet. I really felt we had a moment there. As I silently prayed I felt the beauty of the place. Cemeteries are always depicted as scary and dark places but it actually felt very calm and serene and sacred. It was breezy and just the right kind of cold. I could see some stars while we were sitting on the grass. I have always nagged Jose about doing this "romantic" thing (looking at the stars at night with your loved one on some green grass) which romantic movies have constantly included in their shot list... but we never actually made that happen... until today. Who would have thought that his Lolo would be the one to make this wish of mine come true? :) I've known his Lolo for 3 years before he passed away May of this year and he always spoiled Jose with gifts (without the other apos knowing about it) but this night, I think his Lolo might have given me a gift instead.

Rest in peace Lolo (if I may call you that) and thank you for "spoiling" me, too. :) 

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