Allow me to bid farewell to my favorite pair of Sandugo slippers. It is now visibly run down after being with me in most of my adventures during the past years or so.
It took me so long to dispose it probably because it was a sentimental acquisition. I remember begging this from a friend because it was beautifully rugged and I looked cool on it as well. I would later learn, in one unforgetable trip to Intramuros, that ‘cool’ is not only subjective, it may also be ‘harmful’ to some extent.
Intramuros was also our first trip together if I am not mistaken. I thought of dropping by the famous walled city of Manila before attending a wedding in the afternoon. What should have beena 7-8 hour walking tour, I squeezed in just under 3 or less. So I was walking rather fast that morning and only resting to take photos in between.
When I was nearing my final stop, I felt an excruciating pain in my right foot. I then literally and slowly dragged myself to the nearest SM in sight, the experience akin to walking barefoot on a bed of durian peelings. A kalesa and a pedicab, whizzed past me and in my mind they seemed to mock me for refusing their previous offers for a comfortable, albeit exorbitant, ride around the walled city.
My physical therapist then chastised me saying that I should wear proper footwear in my future travels. He added that my Sandugo’s already thin rubber soles would never adequately protect me, especially from the cobblestone streets at Intramuros.
Despite that sound medical advise, I stubbornly stuck with my favorite rubber flip-flops. I would wear it almost everywhere but I would draw the line when the adventure involved a difficult terrain that would call for a more reliable pair of trekking shoes.
But a few weeks ago and after much thought, I finally bought a new pair of Sandugo slippers. I just realized that I’ve already exhausted my old pair beyond its useful life. Its worn-out spikes now resembled a balding man’s receeding hairline. You just have to embrace harsh realities like that as you seek out new beginnings and other adventures. Life will always be a never-ending saga of letting go and moving on.
I could not bear the thought of throwing away or giving my old pair of rubber slippers to someone else, so I just unceremoniously left it behind my room. As I walked my way out of the door, I felt odd and suprisingly comfortable with my new pair. But that doesn’t mean that I will forget all the memories that my old pair and I shared over the years. Those will stay, either captured in my photos or stored in a special corner of my brain.