IT’S BEEN so many weeks since I got back from a trip to Dipolog City to attend our national convention. It wasn’t one of the sweetest travels I’ve had lately within the Philippines, but it was certainly unforgettable.
Beautiful sunrise in Dapitan City. Taken on October 8, 2008.
Dipolog isn’t Dipolog yet if you’re coming in from the ocean via slow boats from Cebu. The boat docks in historical Dapitan, a second class city in the province of Zamboanga del Norte. It is historically significant as the place where Dr. Jose P. Rizal, our national hero, was exiled by the Spaniards during their colonization of the Philippines.
I have stories about Dapitan, but let’s backtrack a bit as I want to (I need to) recall our Cebu gig that only lasted from 2 p.m.-9:30 p.m., and yet, felt like a lifetime for me.
Our arrival in Cebu in the afternoon of October 7 was welcomed with a mentally shocking thud made by the Cebu Pacific plane that landed on the airport tarmac like a taxi with broken wings. I couldn’t stop myself from being nervous. Remind me next time not to watch National Geographic Channel because it’s there were I’m getting all my paranoia about riding planes — INVESTIGATION OF FLIGHT so-and-so CRASH — who wouldn’t be obsessed with paranoia?
In the same blog that I had posted here in October 2006, I recall complaining about the same incident; Cebu Pacific planes land like the pilots were trained to maneuver taxis. Right now, however, it’s the only airline that offers the best travel fare… so why not?
This isn’t really the prescribed sleeping position at GP Lines. I wonder why they all had to face that wall there… hmmm… maybe SLEEP is there?
Cebu is the second fave big city of this irritatingly trying-to-be-self-confident-itinerant (hahaha!). I’ve always been amazed by the Cebu International Airport’s vigorous and forceful quality. It doesn’t make me think of what else is living and breathing outside its perimeter — crazy. Yep, I had been told!
I can live inside the airport, and I’d feel comfortable unlike Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks) in that comedy-drama-romance movie The Terminal. As long as nobody chases me, or forces me to leave, or do latrine duties, I can probably do a LIFE there.
From the CIA, some of us (we were 7 in the group) packed ourselves in JCI Sen. Bobby’s Palawan Pawnshop car. We didn’t fit so Ian, Malou and I, hailed a taxi to reach Estancia. He has a house for his staff there, and if we decide to stay, we could.
I’ve been to Cebu a number of times, but I think it’s the first time I moved on foot there. There’s nothing spectacular in Estancia except for the water dispenser we found in one sari-sari store that has a hole for a coin before it allows a drink. That was a first encounter; the idea can be picked up in Palawan… probably!
The whole street is only a slight wider than J. Abad Santos Street where I live. The only mighty difference is that my house is in front of a barangay hall with a basketball court, while JCI Sen. Bobby’s house stands next to a line of small stores that sell different kinds of things — from Good Morning mineral water, to spare parts, to fried and grilled chicken, etcetera.
Friend and grilled chicken… ewww! Not ewww because the food’s horrible; I just realized I’m dead hungry. Super hungry, my goodness. All of us were.
We all left the place with the possibility of acquiring the wickedest kind of all psychiatric conditions as we were all delusional about FOOD, FOOD, FOOD… none of us ate before leaving Puerto Princesa. We couldn’t stop — no way, we still had to endure to find the office building of Cokaliong and GP Lines and get our tickets first to get out of the place as soon as possible. Susanne, Carlo, and Bong have an academy to attend the next day.
At about 4:30 p.m., with tickets carefully kept somewhere in the jungle in Malou’s bag, we headed to SM Mall to finally eat. We were so hungry, we all look like fried chickens to each other. Susanne gave me that stare I didn’t like. Hahaha!
“The proof of the travel is in the adventure,” this thought kept running in my head quietly because I don’t want everyone to hear it from the facial expressions I was making the whole time. We only stayed in Cebu for a few hours and yet, like what I’ve already said, all the hassle made me feel like I’ve lived there a thousand years. I wish I was back at the CIA as it was my connection to Palawan — besides, I like it there.
Quarter to 9 p.m. was the best laugh I’ve ever had that day. It was living on the edge of insanity. I think food didn’t do me good because I still think crazy.
By this time, a bus of the GP Lines had taken us to the pier. Upon reaching a terminal building there, it made a U-turn and stopped at the edge of the water. My calculation brought me to realize that I was only about 9 inches or so away from falling into the murky sea. It was night time, for dios por saint!
Talk about living on the edge, I got scared. I had to warn everyone to move carefully when they go down as I don’t want the bus to keel over with me sitting by the window.
Next stop… TRIP TO DAPITAN.