Essay

Of rubber slippers: a fond farewell and a new beginning

By on January 11, 2014

slippers - old

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.

slippers - injured

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.

slippers - old and new

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.

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11 Comments
  1. Reply

    mike

    January 11, 2014

    Your new pair looks a size smaller than the first. Haha. Happy New Year!

    • Reply

      brennan mercado

      January 11, 2014

      Thank you for pointing that one out Mike. πŸ˜‰ Happy New Year too!

  2. Reply

    Anonymous

    January 11, 2014

    Samuka gyud aning Brennan oy! Making me interested (that is, I read through the whole blog entry) in something I don't have an interest in (I didn't think I'd care about your old slippers). And he does that by his style of writing. Happy new year, Baktin! πŸ™‚

    • Reply

      brennan mercado

      January 12, 2014

      Happy New Year too! Thank you for the kind words. πŸ™‚

  3. Reply

    Anonymous

    January 11, 2014

    Finally a new post! Happy new year friendship! So when shall I see your new slippers? An outing should be in the works then! LOL -jcm

    • Reply

      brennan mercado

      January 12, 2014

      Hi jc-m! Baguio version 2.0? Hehe. I wore it at Ramen Bar by the way.

    • Reply

      Anonymous

      January 12, 2014

      Sure! Pangbenga part 2? 10 degrees na daw doon now! Wow! Hopefully malamig pa by then πŸ™‚

  4. Reply

    Mustachio

    January 11, 2014

    Ahhh special slippers deserve a nice little post πŸ™‚ Nalingaw ko haha

    • Reply

      brennan mercado

      January 12, 2014

      Here's to hoping I could publish more frequently for 2014 Mustachio. Lami lang kaayo mag langay2 with the kind of weather dire ba?

  5. Reply

    Kat Ang

    January 19, 2014

    I envy you – sandugo no longer has size 6 slippers / mojos ;(

  6. Reply

    brennan mercado

    January 20, 2014

    Hi te Kath, let's hope that Sandugo gets to read this blog post and send you a custom-sized pair of mojos. πŸ™‚

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Brennan Mercado
The Philippines

Brennan is an electronics engineer by profession. From time to time, he gets to travel beyond his office cubicle, try new restaurants or catch up with his terribly long list of unread books. He likes museums, spicy food and talking with habal-habal drivers. For now, he's still deciding on whether to play PokΓ©mon GO or not.

    Awards
    Best of Cebu Blog Awards Best of Cebu Blog Awards
    2015
      Best Food Blog
      Best Creative Writing in a Blog
      Finalist, Best Travel Blog

    2014
      Finalist, Best Food Blog
      Finalist, Best Travel Blog

      Grand Winner, Visit Davao Tuloy ang Byahe Experience Blogging Competition.
      Winner, 2013 TLC Asia’s The Layover contest
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