Spontaneous moments

Actress Judy Ann Santos has been on the news lately with her very public reaction to statements made by Senator Jamby Madrigal about political candidates and their celebrity endorsers.

Using Judy Ann’s name as a key phase to read other write-ups on the exchange between senator and former endorser, I came across an article about the actress’s plans to spend a few weeks abroad with her husband, actor and TV host Ryan Agoncillo, to celebrate their first wedding anniversary. She said they had no strict itinerary; kind of just going where their feet take them. Ah, I said to myself. The pleasure of spontaneity.

I tried to think of the last time we did anything spontaneous. I couldn’t. Ever since we had kids, every trip we took, we had to have detailed plans for. Where to stay, where to eat, where to go, what to visit, what time to leave and what time to start the trip home.

crispy pataI tried to think farther back and realized that the last spontaneous thing I could remember, I spent in the company of my girl friends when we were still law students. We were driving home from a party and decided the night was much too young. We were in the Pasay area, we passed by a motel with a huge billboard advertising the house specialty – crispy pata, I think it was. One of my friends suggested we should check in and try the crispy pata. And everyone giggled. All five of us.

Just to soothe your nerves which I might have ruffled at this point, there was nothing kinky about the suggestion. It was like a dare. We were five young women in our early twenties on a night out, we were looking for cheap but not trashy thrills. We just wanted a few more hours together to talk, laugh and bitch about people we normally bitched about.

To make a long story short, we all agreed that it was a fun idea, we turned and entered the motel grounds and was about to enter a garage when the security guard flagged us. He knocked on the driver’s window, the friend who was driving rolled it down. He did a head count and told us we’d have to take three rooms. And we said, “What?” He said they only allowed two persons per room and if we all wanted to check in, we’d have to take three rooms.

One of my friends, the most petite and probably the most soft spoken among us spoke in a very hurt voice. “But we’re not going to do anything wild, sir, we just need to see the inside of a motel room as part of our exposure trip – a school requirement,” she pouted.

It was very difficult not to burst out laughing but we managed. The guard, visibly unconvinced, started to say something. Then, another friend, the one who pointed to the crispy pata on the billboard, came to the rescue by saying, “And we need to try the crispy pata too – part of the school requirement.”

That was when we started to laugh. Hard. Like we were running out of breath. Without waiting for the guard’s reaction, we rolled up the windows and drove out of there fast. I don’t remember anymore where we went or how long it took us to stop laughing. But that incident would be told and retold whenever the five of us got together over the next twenty years.

Shallow, I know. But fun, anyway. We were young, we were carefree and we did a lot of things without really thinking. Sometimes.

But not all of the wild spontaneity was as shallow as that. The year 1986 was marked with too many spontaneous decisions, one of which would bring us to EDSA and the People Power Revolution. Classes had already been irregular for weeks because of the series of mass actions following the snap elections. Then, one Sunday morning, there was a call from a fellow law student saying there was a scheduled meet-up in the U.P. College of Law to organize the contingent to EDSA. It wasn’t like I needed five seconds to think. I said I’d be there, put down the phone, showered and got dressed. The rest was history. Four days later, we were still in EDSA when the radio broadcasts announced that Marcos had fled.

These days, I often think that spontaneity is a privilege of youth. It characterizes carefree days when responsibility rarely extends beyond getting passing grades to avoid the sermons that parents are prone to make when they see class cards with too many red markings.

It is nice to inject a little spontaneity into our adult lives. I am writing this column from Taj of Tagaytay; my husband and daughters are unwinding after a spicy lunch. We’re here in Tagaytay for the day on an unscheduled trip. The plan was hatched quite spontaneously the night before, over dinner, and everyone was eager to go. A change of scenery and a breath of cooler air never hurt anyone. I wish we could have more of these spontaneous trips in the future. It’s really refreshing to the body, mind and soul.

7 thoughts on “Spontaneous moments

  1. Those were the days when someone mentioned Baguio and everybody left early Friday, met at Pasay bus station headed for the north. Or when in Cebu, went across the island to Bohol and return back late Sunday.

    I think it was the ritual at that time. There were more than half of dozen of us in a car. I don’t know how we were able to squeeze and drove to the motel. The girls were already bursting laughing the moment the attendant told us we were just too many for a room. Then one quipped, “That is what orgy is for”. “And what if our professional clients would see us on the way out”? “Ah, wrong venue for seminar”. “Should we cover our faces?” “Nope, they should cover theirs coz we can rattle on them”. The cheap thrills continued throughout the night.

    Those were the days.

    1. I agree that spontaneity is a luxury of the young. I couldn’t even remember what was the last spontaneous thing I did since I turned 30. Oh yes, when Nitz asked me to go with her family in Ilocos Norte. My mother never had a clue where I was. Of course, there were a lot of times she didn’t know where I spent the night but three days? You can just imagine the tongue lashing I got.

    2. ahhh the pleasure of spontaneity. How I long for days when husband and I could just pack and go to Anawangin. With our toddlers, pati pagsundo sakin sa office, di na pwedeng spontaneous. Pag empake pa lang, pagod ka na.haha.

      So true, my glorious days of spontaneity were with girlfriends and buddies na kainuman. Oh, and crispy pata and pancit in motels are really good. haha. One election raket found us billeted in a motel.

      Re:showbiz mags–one of my cheap thrills too.I love Juday for her genius in re-inventing herself. We always rib my sister who used to scoff at her, now look at how she’s turned out.

  2. I love spontaneous moments. Just last weekend, a supposed trip to Subic brought us to La Union. We got bored with the calm and serene water of Subic and decided to head further north where the water is wilder. We bought a Northern Luzon map at the gas station then off we go to La Union without hotel reservations. And yes, the water is really wild, I almost drowned. Good thing there was surfer beside me who handed me his surfboard when he heard me shouting for help. Parang nabalewala swimming skills ko because of the waves.

  3. I’ve had plenty of spontaneous trips and adventures back in high school and a healthy dose now that I’m in college. The sudden idea of going to a friend’s house, to a bowling alley in Tagaytay or sudden rush for beer in the middle of a school week certainly made those days unforgettable.

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