WJ’s NYCM ’18 Odyssey: Emy in Focus (3/3)

My crossing the TCS NYCM (New York City Marathon) finish line on November 4, 2018 (which turns one year today🎉) was another milestone in my life.

Thus, it was just fitting that I celebrated it right away with these individuals who supported me in this unrivaled journey.
November 5 itinerary was partly kept as a surprise for me by Ruthie and Emilia Cebedo, nee Emilia Geronga. The latter is another celestial guardian who assisted me in surviving NYCM. Emy or Ems as I fondly call her is a classmate/schoolmate/teammate/friend in my grade school and secondary years in Bicol. 

Emy and I in Grade 2 (Bicol University Pilot Elementary School, 1977)
We were two of the tall members of our high school batch and we shared a couple of commonalities in our personality which made us develop this kind of friendship which did not require us to belong to the same clique and have constant communication after graduation. We’re both fun-loving people, friendly, straightforward, and uniquely “crazy.” 🤪 In addition to this, our partnership in the field or court every intramural sports gave us that special connection which transcended time and distance.
August 2016, I reunited with Emy after 30 years. She came home for the batch reunion in Bicol which I failed to attend. Ever generous, thoughtful, and benevolent she found time to squeeze in a lunch meet-up with us in her limited vacation days when she joined the meeting about an upcoming event which would be hosted by the Manila group. The inclement weather and the no decent night’s sleep from her Palawan trip did not deter her.

This reunion reaffirmed all of us that Emy Geronga has kept her admirable traits in tact which made her more endearing. From here, we revived our communication. Thanks to Facebook and Messenger, updates were exchanged despite the irregularities. So, between Emy and me, it wasn’t surprising if she was one of the four people in the US whom I shared my NYCM plan.
Also a New Jerseyan, Emy warmly welcomed me via a visit in Ruthie’s house morning of November 2. 
The positive energy which she brought with her on this day was channeled and sustained when Emy fulfilled her different roles as my virtual cheerer/prayer warrior/benefactor. Just like Ruthie, she filed a reasonable number of leave of absence to make my stay indelible in my memory bank.
So where were we bound on that rainy Monday? A road trip from NJ to visit and cross these states — Washington D.C., Delaware, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Maryland!

With a real badass lady behind the wheel, our three-women team was ready for any kind of antics. Hahahahaha…

First stop was Washington D.C.. Oh yes, THAT Washington in US of A and not in Legazpi City where we also have our own Washington which is a drive and not a district. Tee-hee!

Ruthie and Emy plotted our Washington D.C. tour well and made sure I captured the historical landmarks in the U.S. capital despite the short time since we would visit a high school batchmate in Maryland. (Hey, I penned this article today which is a day before the first year anniversary of our US road trip, fellow Gabrielas! Cheers!) 

The trip to Maryland added more thrill and happiness to my day which served as my recovery “run” after the marathon. Initially just a brief visit, we didn’t expect to have a sleepover in Annaliza “Liezel” Pesebre’s house. This gave Emy and me the chance to catch up with Liezel after 32 years though it’s shorter with Ruthie who’s her classmate in college. 

Early morning of November 6, we headed back to New Jersey. The trip was as exciting as the day before. The stopover in Starbucks for our breakfast increased the level of my enjoyment. Emy was a real pro on the road!
We arrived early evening just in time for our dinner in a Korean restaurant, courtesy of Emy. Kristen, Ruthie’s only child, joined us. 

If food could kill at first sight, I could have died on the spot because of the big servings in that diner. A lover of Korean dishes, I didn’t expect that I wouldn’t be able to consume everything in my bowl! This weight-inducing experience was our last for the day, but it was just the beginning of a fun-filled week with my seraphim Emy and Ruthie. 

Photo Credits
Emy Geronga-Cebedo
Jose Edwin Rojas
Mary Ruth Tatel-Uchida

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