Hello stranger. It was nice to meet you. Goodbye
Love & Life Relationship

Hello stranger. It was nice to meet you. Goodbye

We were new to one place and said hello, a stranger to each other with a genuine smile. I remember that day very clearly; the feelings were almost palpable. But no, thank you, sorry, dear stranger, maybe the next time we cross paths again, it would be different.

I believe some strangers are meant to cross our paths to make us notice the things we didn’t even know exist.”

Hello stranger, nice to meet you. Is it your first time here?

I remember how you approached me that early morning, asking if it was okay to drink beer. Surprised, I glanced at the clock, and it was 9:30 am. Trying to devote my time to my laptop as I have wanted to write my articles pending for a long time. Of course, I said. And soon, I thought I wanted to say hello first to a stranger that suddenly appeared right in front of me. Meanwhile, I was aware most foreigners I’ve met was fond of drinking beer, even at the earliest time of the day.

Then the conversation began. We chatted a tad, got to know each other, and decided to walk our feet off to the beach together. Our intention was pure beach bumming and drinking. Well, we really did have a good time.

It was almost a halfway fantastic day, and then we plumped for the town. We tried to look for pancakes and hoped to see the waterfall. Unfortunately, the locals said it already dried out. Thus, it forced us to go back to our hostel and watched a movie in the common area, with a beer on our hands (of course).

Soon, we met another two new friends who joined us for a happy time. With the sense of slowing down altogether, we ended didn’t realize the coming of the afternoon. So we went watching the sunset on the beach, full board dinner, and endless drink ’til the dawn.

Thank you stranger, for adding spices to my boring get away at the beach.


hello stranger

We were ordinary people, strangers to each other, with different stories, learning each other’s uniqueness.

Two days later, I came back to the city. You sent me a message that you’re coming to Baler for surfing. Unluckily for you, the last bus already departed at 7 am. It was 4 pm, you were in the middle of the bus station. And some sort of slash a little bit dangerous place as you describe. Everything that surrounded you was completely new to you, even thinking to yourself you’re in danger.

To my kindness, I rescued you. I permitted you to just come by. As a result, I let you stay at my place to kill time before heading off to your destination. I remembered that you said, “Cathy, save me!” I laughed. Above all, it was actually fun having a stranger comp laining about missing his bus, but I’m glad I saved your life.

Hello again, stranger, it’s so nice to see you again. We thought.

We killed time by drinking beer, continuing to teach me how to swim. Moreso, you were a very patient kind of guy that even though I almost gave up, you, on the other hand, never did. Most people think it’s ridiculous that most Filipinos live in the Philippines surrounded by 7,400++ islands, yet they don’t know how to swim.

I didn’t care. It was a perfect time to spend with a stranger that I can trust and allow to stay over in my own private space.  I even thought you were a dangerous guy. haha! But you were alright. It proved me wrong in all ways; you are fun to be with, kind, and have a pure thoughtful heart.

On the other hand, you have stacks of cool stories that I’ve never heard of – from having two big huskies at your friend’s apartment to owning and living in a van traveling around, owning a big boat and sailing the coast of Australia, and more.

Between our fun times together, I felt the connection between the two of us.

You’re extremely adventurous! I thought you’re the craziest guy after hearing your stories! Not to mention, you’re indeed a crackerjack! You’re talented, you can play the guitar, ukulele, you sing reggae well, plus you’re a surfer! A very artistic person that you even painted my fingernails and toenails with green nail polish topped with glitters. Moreover, you folded the blanket and rolled my yoga mat with no sweat.

Soon I realized, hello stranger, why are you doing this to me?

Similarly, you didn’t fuss at the thought of eating by hands like a Filipino. And even had dried fish for breakfast. Moreso, you’re a very appreciative guy.

Thank you, stranger, for doing crazy cute things for me that I will forever cherish.

In the middle of everything, I knew somehow, you developed your feelings for me, the way you looked at me in the eyes, the way you treated me, everything you’ve done for me had a beautiful meaning. And I’m glad that we stayed right we were supposed to be and didn’t let ourselves do stupid things that could hurt some people we love, especially on my side. Thank you for respecting my territory.

On the other side, knowing that I am a girl in a serious committed long-distance relationship; that didn’t stop us from being good buddies. We went on significant overnight camping together, attended a music and lights festival in the mountain, and gave me the reasons to break away from my four-cornered room.

However, we were like a real couple that even other people would always have had mistaken us a husband and wife. And I always just smiled in return and pretended that we actually were.

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Goodbye stranger

I’m glad we’ve met, glad that I’ve met someone like you. Someone delighted to have someone like me who’s got to save your day. And also for just being you and me, but never us. We were quite that imaginary lover who never became one.

But thank you also, stranger, for knowing your place and remaining to be a good friend of mine, for giving me bits of advice on how to do things the way they should be done, for everything. Thank you for adding adventures into my life, and I’ll never forget the funny and indescribable face you had when I asked you to eat two pieces of “tuyo” (dried fish) when I served you a big amount of rice on your plate for breakfast.

Sad to say, I have to say goodbye to a stranger that became so close to me.

I know that in the end, it was hard for you not to fall for me. And I know that many girls will also not find it hard to fall for you. Though we’ve spent really lovely times together, we should also not be selfish. Falling in love is an easy thing to do, but hurting other people’s feelings should also be considered. We are not selfish people, we know that, right?

Lastly, as I always say, please don’t fall for me; I can’t take responsibility. Even though we remained friends, I will forever cherish the good times we spent together like we were real lovers. I hope you have a wonderful journey ahead.

Until we cross paths again, one last time, hello and thank you and goodbye stranger.

P. S. Waiting for the postcards from Alaska.

*Note: this post was originally published on my other blog and was also republished on ThoughtCatalog.

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  • Marge Gavan
    May 21, 2016 at 03:12

    First, congratulations for getting published on Thought Catalog! So proud of you girl. I met him and I find him to be a really cool guy. It’s a shame you two can’t be together, like what I told you, bagay kayo hahaha… But oh well, such is life. I think you just found a good friend in him and I hope you two can keep your friendship despite the distance.

  • Catherine Mendoza
    May 22, 2016 at 08:22

    Awwww. Sweet! Thanks Marge!
    hahaha! oo nga, but yes, he’s a wonderful person and I’m happy to have
    met someone like him. Our friendship is one of the things I most value. ?

  • The hostel and the beach I'll never forget. Why? - ✈︎
    May 31, 2016 at 22:41

    […] Hello. Nice to meet you. Sorry. Thank you. Goodbye […]

  • tina
    November 10, 2016 at 01:04

    Holla Cathy! I had read your article in Tripzilla “Why I’m Not Falling in Love with a Fellow Traveller” and it lead me to your heartfelt blog. I really like your blog it speaks from the heart and I can relate to it.. Damang dama ako lahat na isunusulat from the death of your father (lost mine too 2014) from your heartbreaks and triumphs.. Your article “Why I’m Not Falling in Love with a Fellow Traveller” just enlightened me of a similar incident that I have in El Nido. Like you, I will cherish the moments we shared. My trip to El Nido will be extra memorable because of him. Thanks and more power!

  • Catherine Mendoza
    November 10, 2016 at 23:21

    hi Tina! first of all thanks for reading and comment!
    I’m so flattered that you stumbled upon and liked my blog and writing! Sure it does all come from the heart and experience myself. Sad to hear, we both lost our heroes. Our dads. They’re amazing. I miss my dad until now.
    oh you got to experience falling in love with a fellow traveler too? haha eventually, they’re just a part of our memory and because of them, we had indeed a more unforgettable trip!
    Thanks again and I hope you keep reading my stuff! xx ♡


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