It seemed like nothing and everything had changed. The last time that Michelle and I had taken a trip together was fresh off college when Boracay was still virgin-white, there were more coconut trees than buildings and the coastline was freer to breath.
Then, as it was in our recent trip to Coron, we had solo pictures since there was just the two of us. There were more pictures this time though since we were now each armed with a digital camera. But the poses were the same. In fact, a few shots into our cameras and we knew that we probably wouldn't have any decent shot to take home.
But it wasn't all fun. I had been the one tasked to show her around to demonstrate our High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) service in vacation hotspots. A very nice task since it meant spending time with your best friend, but a task nonetheless since I had been asked to write as well.
Older now and with time apart in between, we had different interests too. And more confidence to explore them on our own. I didn't think twice of leaving her to her scuba diving and she didn't hesitate about leaving me to pursue whatever it was I needed to do (which turned out to be a climb up the 719-step Mt. Tapyas, but that's another story).
Also, we were more solicitous of each other, bearing a night bathed in sweat since I thought she preferred the warm room temperature and she, in turn, thought I preferred the same.
But the ease of an old friendship was still there, making me glad she was the one with me when a tricycle ride to Maquinit Springs turned out to be colder, darker and longer than I imagined it to be. We were also quick to laugh and at the same things still, our humor on the same wavelength.
Time passed quickly in Coron, not only because it is a tourist haven, but because I had a good time with my best friend. I wish that not as many years have to pass before we take a trip again because it probably would have to be to a medical tourism destination.
(photo courtesy of Michelle)