Life lessons from the Enchanted Kingdom

I was in the Enchanted Kingdom last weekend, along with my co-workers for our monthly company gathering. I didn’t get too excited at first – I mean, what are we going to do in a freaking theme park (just in case you’re reading this and you’re not from the Philippines, Enchanted Kingdom is a theme park like Disneyland and also, thank you for reading!)? I knew I was just having issues with myself at the time because I ended up being grateful and happy that I spent one Saturday with the newest people in my life.
The park is huge, and with the weekend crowd, it’s impossible for one to be able to visit all the attractions it has to offer. Since our group is fierce and seemed to be in a constant search of adventure, we decided to stand in line for the extreme rides first. I figured it didn’t matter. I’ve been there some years ago and I know more or less what I was getting into. The lines were too long, and between chatting and taking pictures, some life lessons popped up in my head.
Space Shuttle. This is the EK’s version of the roller coaster. We’ve heard it before – life is like a roller coaster.  For there are days when my life’s pacing is just too slow it’s almost boring, and then bam! I’d suddenly find myself gripping too tightly to whatever it is I need to hold on to so I could keep it together. Whether it’s my MG symptoms (which thankfully didn’t manifest at all when I was having fun!) or any other plot twist that life likes to offer, I just have to think and believe that just like the Space Shuttle, no matter how twisted it is, it’s always going to come to an end.
Photo by Pat

Anchors Away. This is the make-believe pirate ship that’ll give you butterflies in the stomach (and waaay too many of them). Everyone was patiently waiting for their turn to this gut-wrenching feature, and for a split second, I wondered why all of us were doing that. Then it dawned on me – all of us were after that few minutes of thrill. That exhilarating feeling of having butterflies in the stomach (is someone in love right now?). That moment when we can all scream to our heart’s content, and maybe put our hands in the air and tell the world, hey, I got this! All of us were after that few minutes of happiness. Most of the time, the best things in life come with patience and sacrifice. Looking at the things I achieved in life, I realized they were all the results of my hard work and tears and sleepless nights, plus maybe a thousand cups or so of coffee.

Jungle Log Jam. This ride is kind of scary for me, only because there’s no seatbelt and there’s a steep drop right before it comes to a halt. During this steep drop, Johanne my boss said the trick was to lean back, so it would feel like we’re sliding rather than falling. It was still scary, but the “leaning back” trick actually worked. I guess, it never really hurts to follow advice. I did a lot of questionable life choices in the past, and I do not intend on making them again. So these days, even as an adult, instead of doing things on my own sometimes I ask around. Especially for important and life-changing decisions. Believe me, there really is no harm in asking for advice. Not sure who to ask? Try your mom!

Air Race. I didn’t get to try Air Race the first time I went to EK, so I have no idea how extreme it would be considering that the riders are turned upside down. It looked fun though, so despite my hesitations, I decided to give it a try. Besides, it was too late to turn back since I was already standing in line for quite a good number of minutes. And yes! It was absolute fun. It was a bit overwhelming at first but it made me think of what aerial yoga might feel like, and yeah, it was awesome. Many times in my life, I’m too scared to try new things and refused to leave the comfort that my norm has given me. Doubts cloud my head all the time, but I realized that at the end of the day, nothing worse than an overwhelming experience could ever happen. So, go forth, seek an adventure and never be too scared to try new things.

Photo by Pat

Rialto. This is just a few minutes worth of 4D movie experience. This attraction didn’t just allow my imagination to go wild, but it forced me to believe that I was part of what I was seeing on the screen. The character falls, I fall too. The bird got a splash of water in the face, I get that too. In life, I know I just have to believe something, and it’s mine. There’s a lot of things that could happen – even magic – when we believe.

Flying Fiesta. Most people standing in line for this attraction are kids, simply because it’s just a higher (and electronic) version of a playground swing. There’s no need to scream, just feel the rush of the cool breeze on your face as it makes your hair dance in the air. Sounds romantic? Absolutely. It reminds me that if I want to try something new, it doesn’t always have to be too extreme and adventurous just to sound cooler than I already am (lol!). I mean, new things, great and small, complex and simple are all part of my life experiences. The most important thing is, I am enjoying myself and I am having fun while I do them.

The sky is way too far, but hey, maybe you can catch some fairy dust and fly! (Photo by Pat))

Rio Grande Rapids. Some people say falling in love can be dangerous. You give it all your best. You sacrifice. Then you finally achieved that one shot at happiness. One day something went wrong, and before you knew it, your heart is broken. The funny thing is that you knew right from the start all of that’s gonna happen. If you have felt this way before, that’s exactly the same thing Rio Grande Rapids taught me. I stood in line along with friends, despite being spent from getting on the soul-sucking rides the entire day. It was a long line just like the previous ones, but we made it and finally, we were on the rafts. Despite the warnings that we’ll get wet, I still got pissed when I got splashed with water, and it was no longer fun. Let me tell you, I perfectly knew what I was getting into. When the idea of getting on to this ride came, I already anticipated going home drenched from the waist down. Did it stop me from getting in there? No. Why? Because it was fun.

EKstreme Tower Ride. This heartbeat-stopping ride kicked the hell out of me the first time I got on it some years ago. I still remember how it felt to be slowly pulled to the top until every beautiful thing in the province of Laguna was within my sight. It was stunning. Then, without warning, without any given signal, it dropped me at full speed. Real-life experiences like this are heartbreaking, but unlike Rio Grande Rapids where I was ready to take the risk all over again, this was the one thing I didn’t dare try again.

Make every moment magical.

Amusement parks have always been one of my favorite places, and I had no idea why I didn’t get excited about it at first. Besides, I’ve written a story that took place there. Plus, it allows me to forget adulting and let the child in me take over and have fun, even if only just for a day. But who am I kidding? I clearly did some adulting while I was there, didn’t I?


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