"you're rendering overtime again?!"
was, my childhood friend, bianca's lines in a phone call two weekends ago after i dumped her proposal for an out of town dinner. i have lost a lot of time ever since i tendered my resignation in an IT company in exchange for a career in HR, which i told my boss was in line with my course in college. the reason for resignation was "boredom". back then, i thought that was the best decision. hr is a different world compared to IT where i spent half of my working years. in IT, work is finished with the set deadlines. i only get to render over time if i have to catch up calls with partners based overseas to know updates. afterwards, i go out of office to either at home or somewhere else without worrying about the next weekdays' workload on weekends (weekends were mine back then).
things changed ever since i started working for a petroleum company as a human resources advisor. every month i spend a minimum of 2 hours of overtime work and a maximum of 6 hours on meeting deadlines. since overtime work won't suffice, i go to office on weekends on a full shift. and so just i won't skip my outdoor training, i go to office and back to home riding my bike, which i discovered was more convenient as commuting would take me an hour and a half compared to cycling which only took me 45 minutes including pit stops for hydration (but i choose not to do this everyday so i won't drain myself).
bianca knows all this so she's bailing me out of work. yesterday, we met at starbucks. she happily told me that everything in the the trip was on her. as usual, we had a lengthy conversation about work and life over coffee before mark and mari picked us up at greenbelt. jonah told us that he'll meet us at tagaytay because he is still in office training and will pick up his girlfriend first once he's out. bianca paid for gas, for our lunch, for our dinner, basically for everything. i thought it was just myself. she said she just wants to see us because it's been long since we had this kind of trip... with me as the hardest person to persuade to go.
everyone gave me the task of looking for a place to hang out near the view deck because i'm the only one who gets to travel tagaytay more often than they do. i went there either for a bike ride or as a sidetrip to eat after a trail run at batulao in nasugbu. from home, tagaytay is a one hour and a half bike ride with longer minutes spent on pedaling uphill. what i bring with me to ride to the place is my rugged mountain bike which is far more slower than a racer. had i used a racer, i could get there in less than an hour, perhaps just 45 minutes. but i don't have one yet so i am saving for it *grin*. as we were feeling the cold temperature, i knew we're already near. later, i asked everyone where they want to eat. at that time i was craving for mediterranean with strong garlic sauce so i recommended the hole in the wall greek tavern along the highway. mark wanted filipino food but jokingly told us he wanted mcdonald's. "then we should not have been traveling this far if you only wanted mcdonald's!" bianca crowed sleepy and hungry. after 30 minutes of irreconcilable differences, she picked an american diner. 3 hours later, we moved to starbucks to warm ourselves with coffee. jonah then came with his girlfriend karlynn, who i just met for the first the very time since it's been long when i last hanged out with them.
as you may have figured out by now, most of the people i was with last saturday were all my childhood friends who i played, studied and grew up with. it was also my first time to go out of town with friends... real friends instead of traveling buddies who come and go out of my life depending on the frequency of the trips i organize. these are the kind of moments i treasure that i often miss because of busying myself too much with work and other stuff i pre-occupy myself with. i guess i should have more of this aside from my outdoor trips.