Saturday, October 1, 2011

My Chance Encounter with Journeying James

What's the first thing you'd probably do if and when,  in a rare moment, you will be given a chance to meet one of your favorite celebrities, a tv personality perhaps or a politician, or maybe one of your favorite bloggers?
Well, an instant photo-op is more than enough.

SEPT 21, 2011
NAIA Terminal 3, Gate 118

We're set to board at around 7am, but we were at the gate as early as 545am. It was the very first time that we arrive that early, as we always love the just-in-the-nick-of-time moment in the airport for most of our travels.

We're flying Airphil Express, but at that time, Gate 118 was for Legazpi-bound passangers of Cebu Pacific Air. So we wasted time near the boarding gate, J tirelessly playing his psp while I was trying to get some wifi connection to kill my own time.

While checking my FB mobile, I saw the latest post of my fave blogger Journeying James. He's off to Legazpi.

I wasn't pretty sure if he's already in Bicol, heading to Legazpi town or he's just about to leave the Metro for his  Bicol adventure. (My bad, I wasn't able to check his post about his September-October plans).

Nevertheless, I tried to look around, hoping he's one of those passangers checking their high-end laptops and Ipads.

Past 6am, passangers bound for Legazpi started to board the plane. The queue was a bit long, some passenger were just too excited to get to the plane and settled in.

Then I saw one guy sitting few empty seats away from me. Wearing sun glasses almost the same as J's. A normal looking guy, with a normal looking backpack in hand. Something somewhere inside my head was telling it me it could be him. But my eyes weren't convinced. They're more familiar with the long-haired Journeying James which they often see in his blog photos. The one I was starin at was a little more trimmed up, and he was just carrying a normal sized backpack. How can he travel in months with that luggage?

As I was starin at him for few more seconds, I suddenly felt something indescribable. Wasn't even sure if he noticed me starin at him, though I was keen not to be noticed. Haha.

Most of the passengers were on their way to the tube, seats at gate 118 were almost empty when this guy I was starin at suddenly stoop up his ground, and went near the boarding counter.

Then, I saw the sign. Good thing, he was wearing a shirt with his name on it at the back, otherwise, it will just be another ordinary day for me.

I hurriedly checked my pouch bag, hoping for a pen to popped out, just to realize I didn't have one. I grabbed J's bag where I placed my camera. I was totally cramming. Then, I confidently waved my hands with a brilliant smile on my face, and went to him. 'Hi, Journeying James?!' were the only words that suddenly came out my lips. He smiled back and said 'yes.'

After hearing his resounding yes, I forced my deadma-clueless partner to take our picture. Even JJ was a bit hesitant about it, but I can't afford to miss this once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity. Haha. And so there I was. The much-overwhelmed fan. Haha. (buti kunti na lang tao sa boarding gate, haha)

The last time I did this very unusual behavior of mine was I think, three years ago, when Sen. Ping Lacson visited my former office, DWIZ which is a few minute walk from my  house. Straight from bed, I took a quick bath and went to the office to have a very special photo-op with him. Haha.

We chatted shortly and bade goodbye. Just when he reached the boarding counter, his name was called for final boarding - James Betia - then I was really confident he's the one. Haha.

More on Journeying James:

JJ didn't just inspire me to start blogging, most of all, he inspires me to travel solo and travel cheap.

I first encountered his blog when he was still doing his Western Visayas solo backpacking challenge with 250 peso-budget per day. Got hooked up with his stories, how he pulled it through until the last day of his 14-day-solo travel.

Then he had this very romantic love letter to Batanes, that earned him an all-expense-paid vacation up north.

Just last June, he made another achievement on his 400-a-day Mindanao challenge, which includes his remarkable trip to Camiguin where he swam the sea to the sunken cemetery and climbed the white cross in it. Really amazing!

He never fails to amaze me with his travel undertakings.

On our way back to Manila, we boarded Cebu Pacific Air, and the first thing I did when I got into the plane was to check the in-flight magazine, SMILE..and charaaan!

Note: I'm not a stalker, just an avid fan..Haha!

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