Originally I planned to write about this special event the day after I got home from the retreat, but things and other commitments with school and “life in general” started to pile up and I lost the time for it. Thankfully I had documented some of it already from my planner-slash-diary.
Now let’s see if I can document this retreat properly while listening to La Roux’s songs on repeat. It’s distracting but I can’t bring myself to lower the volume and/or hit the pause button on my iTunes so I can have a sound state of being and blog in peace hahaha.
Feb 3-4, 2011, I attended this retreat part of the three-part religious seminars we needed to attend throughout college. The retreat is the last one of the three. I didn’t even want to go to this event in the first place but of course I had to and I had no choice because it was a school requirement. The first one we paid for didn’t push through (fine, it was our fault) and we had to deal with a lot of complications. In the end we gave up and just paid again and rescheduled.
I was not looking forward to this retreat to be either of the following: life-changing, game-changing, path/destiny-changing (lol), fun, memorable, or exciting. I expected that we I would have to sit through hours and hours of listening to the speakers and play along with whatever they make us do in there.
Boy, I was wrong.
Can you blame me? Back in high school, the only thing close to a “retreat” that we seniors received was a day out of school and went to the local church and everybody sat in a circle and the speaker entertained us with his inspiring stories and what not. It felt personal, sure, but I knew right then and there that it’s not THE retreat that normal people do. Also, there was a lot of crying involved in that retreat, whereas in this college retreat a lot of laughing was involved. I preferred this retreat, most def.
At this point I decided to cut off some unnecessary details like the stopover at the gas station (psh who wants to hear about that, so yeah I peed accompanied my friend at the store to buy flipflops, and then what?), and I slept inside the bus. Let it be known though that our group was the noisiest inside the bus on our way there. I was frustrated why it was like that, half of the people inside the bus must think we’re too narrow minded and immature because we were like elementary children.. I shrugged it off in the end and continued to pester my friends and laugh my head off, until I drifted to sleep of course. Anyway, these photos should be enough.
Upon arriving at the retreat house, I let it sink in. I’m far away from civilization, technology and I’m welcomed into the simple life again. But hey, at least the weather is cold/cool, it wouldn’t feel as miserable as I had been anticipating it to be while inside the bus.
When we got inside the house, we were given some brief instructions about the house rules and that we have a 30-45 minute break before the first session of the retreat seminar starts. People started to go in groups after that and head to their respective dorm rooms. My buddy and I got the room with a comfort room inside, lucky us! After we’ve settled ourselves in the dorm, we met up with our other friends and toured the retreat house.
That 45 minute siesta time for everyone was spent in taking photos around the area and just having fun with the people we were with. Enjoying each other’s company and enjoying the place in general. I was starting to have fun and appreciate this retreat. Here are a couple of photos from the break that we took.
Sorry friends, I’m too lazy to bother with the professional watermark and I’m not too sure anymore who took this and that photo. I’m not taking any credit for the photos anyway, haha. 😛
When I first saw this pic I took notice at the stuff Pat drew in the photo.. one of the things that struck me weird was “Huh? What chip? What’s so special about that?” and then I realized she’s talking about this student one of our friends acquainted at the trip, named Chip. Aside from that, that ‘noh’ remark looked off to me and I had to ask my friend hahaha. OH AND THE SKIPPY SPREAD! Skippy, you naughty naughty bread spread you. That photo probably summarized the trip all in all. It may not make sense to you but to me it means a lot. Heck, I laughed for 5 minutes straight when I saw this on Facebook.
Fast forward to the first session of the retreat seminar, a lot of personal stuff were shared with our group because that’s what the activity was about. Things seem like a blur now but I do remember some parts. I also remember laughing so much at that portion when we were supposed to be all serious and shit and share negative traits about you then your friends would have to share a couple of positive traits about you (to even out things, heh). I didn’t get to share much because I got embarrassed but I let out one trait that I shouldn’t have said, lol too late for regrets now. I just don’t do well with sharing personal stuff to people, alright? Read my blog/s if you want to know me personally~ shit like that I can’t say to your face, or admit to you personally. I’ve been down that road before and I refuse to go there again.. save myself from future embarrassment. 😛 I’m easy to google, you know, I practically live online. LOLJK!
We took a break, early dinner after that sharing-sharing part of the program, went back after 45 minutes and continued with the crey-creying and sad stuff we did aka reflection of what we’ve been doing with our lives for the past x years. One activity was to give the candles to people who meant something to us. When it was over, I silently let out a sigh of relief.. I couldn’t take this sad state anymore, I NEEDED AN OUTLET, I WANTED A FUN ATMOSPHERE AGAIN. I just had to have fun and laugh at someone something. 😐 Lol I am a horrible person, I refuse to deal with whatever it is I have genuine feelings for and act like a crazy person who doesn’t give a f—.
SO! After that session, my friends and I went back to that hut where we hunged out that afternoon (see photo with the Chip comment) for two hours we were just joking around, telling stories, laughing and more. Sometime in that 2 hours, another group of people joined us and suddenly we unknowingly (at first) started a mini party. Crazy dancing between friends (sans me because I don’t dance and I was mostly just looking and laughing), one of us took videos of the shenanigans that happened back there… I think that part made the retreat very, VERY fun. It sealed the deal, for the most part.
I’d like to think of it as pure mindless vandalism! Oh, good thing not many people took photos of that certain part of the retreat, haha! 😛 Mhmm what else.. right! After that crazy dancing chapter, we silenty sneaked out (LOLJK NO) of the group/party and headed to the cafeteria to have our hands on late snackage. And that’s when we met that ginormous jar of Skippy peanut butter spread. I don’t know why and I don’t know what made us do it but that Skippy jar was the butt of all laughs in our group in that particular time. I noticed the jar on the table, picked it up, showed it to my other friend and she said something about it and we all started laughing. Our coordinator passed by the cafeteria and heard us making fun of the jar and he mistook it as a cry for desperation to eat something at that hour.
He offered us a bag of Gardenia sandwich bread, that we kept denying when he was asking if we wanted to eat. Still makes me laugh uncontrollably whenever I remember it! So, he gave us the bread but the bag was cold, probably he just took it out of the fridge.. and somehow THAT set us laughing like mad men again. I DON’T KNO, I DON’T KNO. We must be high from the air in Tagaytay during that time that every small thing looked hilarious to us and made us laugh out loud.
We decided it’s getting late and that we needed to get some ‘rest’ because we’d have to get up early the next day for the next session of the ~*holy retreat*~.
I woke up late the next day but not to the point that there was no more food left at the cafeteria for me to eat for breakfast. What happened the other night was a thing of the past and here we are back to to reality, almost! In a few hours we’ll be back in Manila again and faced with schoolwork and deadlines. But not just yet.. one more session to go and a few minutes left for us to enjoy this quaint paradise before we head off.
The last session for this retreat consisted of a mass, confession (optional) and one more activity involving retreat letters. Yes, this part I took seriously and I took the time to think through what I had to say on those letters. So whatever I wrote there, I meant it. 😉 The mass made me feel lost.. haven’t been to church in months, okay, (maybe) years. Somehow after that mass, and the whole session thing, I felt more at ease. Hmm.
The mass closed our retreat session and things were starting to pick up back again. Our coordinator announced that after lunch we’ll have 15 minutes to sort our things and head back to the bus. At that point, I thought that it’s too early for this to end and I wished it didn’t have to end.. not yet. Just when you’re starting to have fun!! Ah, but what can we do? Nothing, duh.
20 minutes later, after sorting our things and saying good bye to our dorm room (it bugs me every now and then that I didn’t take a photo of myself somewhere in that room, sucks that I did not give it to my friends convincing me.. what? I did not think it would be of importance back then!!), we headed to the playground at the back of the retreat home and saw the kids (sorry not much of a kid person here, I just looked at the girl and looked away and ran to the playground LOL). One of the women taking care of the kids got mad at us for laughing so loud, that made us play in silence.. til we realized we’ve been there way too long than we should’ve and literally ran to the bus that’s already waiting outside the retreat house.
I almost thought we were going to be left behind, hahaha. Bummer we didn’t get the seats we sat in when we were going to Tagaytay because we came in late. Tsk, but at least sitting on the front would mean we can get out first when we arrive in Manila.
En route to Manila from Tagaytay we did two stopovers. At the souvenir shop where they were selling, souvenirs and other pasalubong treats such as buko pie and buko tarts. The second stopover was at the gas station (again), where we bought our snacks. The drive back to Manila was pretty fast, not so much traffic on that day. We were back in school 15 minutes from the promised time we’d hit it back there.
We said our good byes and thanks (for the time, for the bond, for adding in to the amount of fun I had in that retreat, etc) to the people we spent that retreat with when we got out of the bus and went on separate ways back to our normal lives. I hitched a ride with my seatmate-slash-friend-slash-room-mate to drop me off at the mall close to my area because I didn’t want to wait a few more hours before my dad can pick me up.
Post-retreat notes Show ▼