Alay Lakad

I originally planned to leave at 8 pm last Thursday but the kids I went with wanted to leave earlier so we agreed to leave at 6. But of course one or two arrived late and it was almost 7 when we finally left.

The bus ride to Crossing was so fast. Sitting at the back seat of the bus, we could feel every hump of the road, and every turn was so magnifide it was almost like a carnival ride. Passing by Magallanes, we saw groups of people already walking from that point. I didn't wanna walk on EDSA, though. It's too dangerous for me, especially with vehicles going so fast on the very light traffic. But then I kinda wished buses went that fast on normal days.

We were already at Crossing a few minutes past 7 but walked to Ortigas when we realized we were alone. LoL!

We found more people as we went along, until everyone had to stop at one point and look how thick the human traffic was!

I found it sad, though, that videoke bars were still open that night blasting off worldly music. So-so fraternity groups were even at the road side offering free water, which people didn't want to drink. LoL! It's better to be safe than sorry. And unless it's sealed bottled water, don't accept water from strangers.

We reached the intersection where we had to choose the route and of course we chose the Heaven Route. It's longer than the Hell Route, and it had the complete Stations of the Cross unlike the other route. As they say, the way to heaven is not that easy. And since we've already walked almost four hours at that point, why not make the most of it and walk all the way towards the end of the 14th Station, and eventually, the church.

After the twelfth station, though, we had to make a turn and visit the White Cross, although the White Cross itself was closed for public at that hour so we just rested there, under a mango tree (with all the mosquitos and garbage) where we were charged 5 pesos each for staying. I should really have asked for a receipt but when you're tired, hungry, and thirsty, being smart-ass would be far from your mind.

By 4 am, we got out of the mosquito den and found a place to eat. The kids wanted lugaw so we had lugaw before continuing the walk to the church.

The stream of people still hadn't changed by that hour. By the time we reached the church, we found out it was still closed and people could only go up to the church's door to throw some coins and make a wish. As much to our surprise (and luck), the church's doors opened while we were throwing our coins. It was a stampede as people from behind us tried to enter the church. I was really no good on circumstances like those. Buti na lang the kids were all excited to sit down and they occupied one whole pew and saved a space for me.

We didn't wait for the mass to begin, sadly, because the kids were already complaining and wanted to go home. They all kneeled and prayed, anyway, before we left.

Getting a ride home was another thing. We had to walk from the church back to the sixth station before we were able to ride a tricycle to the town proper. Getting a bus back to Crossing was easier, though. Really, really wanted to get a taxi but I couldn't, for reasons I can't say here.

It was a great, great experience and I think I lost a few inches in the waist. LoL! We promised to do it again next year.

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