In the Philippines, Holy Week – that long weekend from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday – is a time when people flock to the beach or go to the highlands to cool off. We used to do that for some time until it became a hassle to find flights, bus trips, ferry trips or resorts at a time when everyone else was trying to do the same thing. Or to go to a beach where there was hardly any breathing room.
Nina and I had taken far worst rides before but to get packed like sardines with fellow passengers while cradling a heavy backpack on your lap doesn’t help when you’re just recovering from a bout with lower back pain. To top it all the van we were riding wasn’t air-conditioned. But as we began to drive farther away from Koronadal, fields of verdant green began to sooth our eyes and take our minds off our cramped sitting arrangement. In less than an hour we were feeling the cool highland air as the van made its way to the outer fringes of Lake Sebu town. We did not really need air-conditioning on this ride after all, we thought.