How I Met My Brother (from another mother)

Hi! My name is Matt, and my life, as I would say it, is a sitcom. Unexpectedly hilarious things always seem to happen and I always manage to survive them. I’m based here in Cebu City, Cebu and been traveling quite a bit since I got a job. It’s been an adventure and I’m here to share about how I met one of my closest friends on a trip.


It was on a mid July afternoon in 2016 that two of my friends found discount plane tickets online to Manila for March of the year after. They hastily messaged a bunch of us so they can proceed with bookings. I replied without second thoughts and gave them my payment soon as I met up with them. Soon enough, they were able to recruit one other guy. Plans were made for a three-day trip around Ilocos Region and we were all excited since it would be our first time.

Months passed like days and we were very much ready for our trip. A few weeks before our trip, we encountered bad news. Two of my friends who booked the trip couldn’t make it! One of them didn’t get his leave approved and the other was going to be flown to Australia by his company on the dates of our trip. That left me and Darwin, the other guy whom I still haven’t met at that point. As soon as I learned of the news, I messaged Darwin privately on Facebook to ask what the plan was. He was apparently moved from Cebu to Pangasinan a few months prior, but it wasn’t a problem since he was along the way and he had already informed the agency we booked for the tour. That would mean that I would be enjoying the plane ride all by myself from Cebu to Manila. No doubt, this would be memorable.

“I cannot tell you of a more uneventful way to spend an entire day than to walk around the biggest mall in the world and not want to spend money on anything.”

Memorable it was! I arrived in Manila at 9:30am and went directly to SM Mall of Asia (MOA) to spend the day there. The travel agency had instructed us that the rendezvous point would be at a parking lot across MOA, so it was a pretty strategic move. The only problem was, I had forgotten that the pick up time would still be at 8:30pm so I ended up spending the entire day walking around MOA by myself. I cannot tell you of a more uneventful way to spend an entire day than to walk around the biggest mall in the world and not want to spend money on anything. I managed to bring a book with me and got some coffee for an entire afternoon of reading.

After getting on the van for the tour, I had also learned that Darwin was still 4-5 hours away. We were able to pick him up at 1:30am when we finally introduced each other in the flesh. Turns out, we both thought this would be more awkward, we both expected each other to be taller and this was his first time traveling like this.


The tour went on, and I discovered that Darwin was actually a very cool guy to be around with. He insisted that we use his HUAWEI P9 to take pictures because he was starting to experiment on phone photography (something he’s become really good at) and it had a better camera than my phone.
We had GREAT shots! Funny thing was the only reason why he wanted me to pose for the camera before he did was so that he could copy my own poses. During the trip we also started to pray for each other since he’s a Born Again Christian like myself. We decided to stay in contact even after the trip.
 Darwin has been moved by his company to Ilo-ilo and he’s now become my long-distance buddy and we book trips on occasion (like our weekend in Dumaguete), if not, give each other advice for places the other has already been to.


Entry and Photos by Matthew Rex Torres
Edited by Kairos Travels and Prints

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