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Wednesday, June 22, 2005


I just came from Negros Occidental to attend a sort of family reunion. I took a boat ride going to and from Negros, just the budget class since I am short of cash. There wasn't much passenger plus the sea was calm so that the trip was good... just long! I haven't been on a boat trip for a long time and things have changed. I remembered, before, the moment you step on Pier 2... people starts talking Ilonggo. You are sort of an outcast if you don't speak it...this time many people were talking in Tagalog... even the crews talks in Tagalog. Is that a sign that there are now more tourist taking the trip or is Tagalog gaining ground among Ilonggos... I didn't ask... I just wondered...

Our boat left the pier at 12:00 noon and arrived in Banago port at past 8:00 am. Most of the time, I was talking with my sister so that I didn't get to see much of the view. It is very seldom that we get together and talk... i mean really talk. We always have family day but considering that there are so many children, we don't really get to talk... so we were there lying in our bunks just talking... and talking. In the evening, I accompanied my niece and nephew surveying the ship, even sung one song each in the videoke (I got 96.. a perfect artist.. what can I say??? Actually i think the machine was programmed to really score high..hehehe). The next day, when the boat arrived in the pier, we were greated by dancing porters. I actually smiled when i saw them!
We rushed to the shuttle so we could get a free ride to the Ceres Terminal... I realized that we really did not have to rush since there were only few passengers and they could accomodate everybody!

It is very seldom that I see an airconditioned Ceres bus going to our place so that I was really glad when there was one! It was already leaving so we rushed... 5 of us! It was a comfortable ride going to Kabankalan and the kids were hungry when the bus stopped in the terminal there we decided to take our lunch. We were not yet finished when I saw the bus move and transfer to another side. My sister was finished so i told her to go ahead... but she could not hold her pee anymore she decided to take a short trip to the comfort room. It really did not take long for us to finish, we moved when we saw the bus move... and when we reached the other side, we realized that our bus was gone! THEY LEFT US -- ALL FIVE OF US!!! Our things were in the bus including the videocam of my nephew! We talked to the dispatcher who was not that keen on helping us and just told us it will come back.. but it we were waiting and it was not coming back. Finally my sister got mad and asked how the conductor could forget that he left 5 passengers behind... how could he even miss the two of us since we are tall people seated in front! She told the dispatcher that they will be responsible if any of our luggage was lost... guess he panicked and called a detachment to stop the bus and wait for us. So we took another ride... a regular bus and I even had to stand since it was full. An inspector came and I asked him if he noted that 5 passengers of the airconditioned bus was missing... and he said... oh so that was you, then said that the bus will unload our things when they return... I told him that the dispatcher mentioned that they will stop the bus and wait for us... and it did. We saw the bus and some of the passengers were outside.. Oh they were mad (of course I knew that, I would be mad too if I was one of them) but they were no match for my sister.. she was more mad!!! and since she understands only very little Ilonggo she could not really understand what they were saying.. she was just feeling their body language! When I saw that our things were complete and safe, I laughed with one of the passengers as we shared our stories... then we reached our destination! The conductor was a bit scared since there were a lot fo people waiting.. there were frown on their faces while they motioned the bus to stop... and smiles only came when they saw us! I forgot to mention that we called our relatives to stop the bus and get our things if it gets there without us! So everything ended well after all...

Back to Bacolod
On our way back, one person in the Kabankalan terminal remembered us... of course it was easy to recall... there was a weird incident last time we were there plus we are tall people... easy to recall! It was smooth ride back to Bacolod

We left the port at Almost 3:00 pm and arrived in Manila at almost 1:00 pm... This was really a long long ride! I did not pay much attention to our trip going to Bacolod but this time I enjoyed looking at the islands we were passing. We first passed the panay island since that is the nearest to Bacolod and we were not far from the shore that I enjoyed the mountains and the shore... it has a big shoreline so that it was already dark and we could still see it. I saw the lights of several fishing vessels--- small fishing vessels and when I asked where we were they said that we were in Estancia, Iloilo. I checked it out and it claims to the the fishing bowl of our country.. by the number of lights I saw there, I guess they are right!

I took a nap and woke up at 10:00 pm and took a bath for it was warm! I then went up the deck to check on more islands... we were passing the Romblon islands by that time. The moon was bright (almost a full moon) so that I could see the islands... I particularly enjoyed the lights coming from the lighthouses... there were a lot for them. I stayed on the deck a long time to enjoy the sight!

The next day, I woke up to the tail end of Mindoro.. we passed it earlier and i was still asleep to enjoy it... then we passed Verde island and Batangas. I never realized that there were a lot of Island in Batangas and they identified for me one of them as Fortune Island...it took 4 hours to travel the shoreline of Batangas before reaching Cavite... and finally Manila Bay...

So I am back... next time we try to travel by the Nautical highway... land trip and boat trips combined. Some say it is good and I am looking forward to it!


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