Who would’ve thought that I’ll be able to finally see the Chocolate Hills this year? A place that I could only dreamt of seeing back in grade school as I read about it in our SIBIKA books. Of course this was the time when I thought a plane ride (domestic or abroad) would sure to cost an arm, a leg, and lung. Maybe what keeps me from travelling to the places I would really love go to is that I really don’t know where to go or what to do when I get there and as a newbie traveler, I’m scared to go alone and be carefree. Luckily this time, a good friend of mine, Myke, is from Bohol and he was going to take a vacation with his family there and invited me to tag along. An opportunity I just couldn’t passed up, so upon hearing that, I filed my vacation leave and booked a ticket!
Our flight was scheduled at 7:35am on May 13, a Friday (Friday the 13th, good choice to travel!) I was at our head office in Makati that Wednesday (May 11) and instead of going back to Dagupan early Thursday and go back to Manila to catch my flight, I decided to stay and roam around Makati the whole Thursday to kill time, I didn’t give much thought though where am I going to stay until my flight, hahaha… good thing that some of Team Western Pangasinan was around and even Anton of pusangkalye.net and his wife came all the way over from Rizal just to have lunch. Talk about friends, they’re really there when you need them :)
|Anton even made a post about this entitled Josh Uy comes to Manila :)|
Me, Marky, Cai, Karlo, and Anton and his wife Teresa had lunch at the Banana Leaf at Greenbelt 3 and I don’t know about them, but I had a blast meeting and talking to them again, It was really great to see people that you’ve only met during a trip once but you’ve now come to know as friends for life.. hmmmm I guess that’s one of the great things about traveling right there…
After lunch, my college buddy, Vijay, arrived to join us as Anton and Teresa went back home and, though certainly was not convincing, Marky said he needed to get back to the office. I bet he’s just late for a date. Anyway, as Marky left us, Cai, Karlo, Vijay and me decided to kill more time by watching a movie… in 3D, (yep, that’s less pocket money for me) but I still have tons of time before my flight and this is the few instances that time is not essentially equal to gold. By the end of the movie, Cai and Karlo also went home and Vijay and me met with another college buddy, Jim, who just happens to have a movie date with another college friend, Joyce… what can I say, I’m friendly =) anyway, I was not about to interrupt their alone time, so upon spending some time with them at Time Zone we let them be with their date. And just when you thought we’ll be a lonely couple, Darwin of trackingtreasure.net came to make it a crowd. By this time, I think it was around 8pm, we waited for Joyce and Jim to finish their movie at around 9pm so we could have a bottle of beer or two to cap the night. By 11 pm, we called it a day (forgot it’s a weekday, and they still had work the next day). But now I’m faced with a dilemma, if I would to hang around at Vijay’s apartment until around 4am or go with Darwin and just stay at NAIA to wait for my flight. I chose the latter.
By midnight I arrived at the Airport, a bit drunk, but still managed to pass through security unnoticed. I was a bit surprised that a lot of people were already at the airport that early (or late) waiting, eating, some of them sleeping, but I was never alone. That was a relief. There I was, waiting, walking around, up and down the stairs, keeping myself from being bored. One of the things I notice that the salesperson attending to the stalls selling signature jackets would wear some of them and change jackets from time to time when walking around. Anyway, by 3am, Mica of micamyx.com, arrived as she was scheduled for a flight to Davao at 4am. Finally, someone I can talk to for atleast 45 minutes and by the time she boarded, my friend Myke and his family have arrived from Dagupan and before you know it, we were now also boarding on flight 2P 930 of Air Philippines bounded to Cebu City.
|Me and Mica at the Airport|
This is now officially day 1 of my journey to Bohol and one thing I immediately learned when traveling to Bohol was that always booked a flight straight to Tagbilaran City! We arrived at Cebu around 9 am and Myke’s uncle was there to pick us up at the airport. He brought as to his house for lunch and by 1 am headed to the docks and boarded an ordinary ferry to Tubigon. At first I thought, I know this wasn’t going to be like a Galapagos cruise, but still I wanted to experience anything and everything and who knows I might even see dolphins, so I never bothered to asked why ordinary…oh was I ever wrong. It was a butt-numbing 3 or was it 4-hour ride in a not so comfortable bench; it certainly did feel like an eternity. It was a very hot day and as slow as we were going, I never felt any wind blowing to ease the scorching heat. Around four boats over-took us, there might be more; I fell asleep for an hour since there’s really not much to see except for the sea. And the fact that I easily get sea sick, this was more like torture.
|Tubigon dock, this was all I can managed at that time|
|The Baby that kept me sane the whole trip.|
I was exhausted by the time we arrived at Tubigon, but hey I’m here, finally! Bohol!... then more frustrating news cuts in. We still have to ride a van to Tagbilaran City, I quickly checked my map, Tubigon was at the very north side of the island while Tagbilaran at the south, I thought to myself this would at least take another two hours at the very least. Surprisingly though, I felt more relaxed riding the van, after that ferry-ride, A comfy seat and air-condition is all I can ever ask for. And thanks to the driver’s crazy-driving skills, who looked like he was really late for a very important meeting with the toilet to discussed very important matters, it took us only about an hour and a half drive to reach Tagbilaran.
Tagbilaran City, the City of Friendship, well I wasn’t particularly friendly upon our arrival due to exhaustion. We were greeted by Myke’s relatives at a mall upon our arrival, there were some shed tears as Myke’s Mom hasn’t been home in 10 years, but this wasn’t the end of today’s journe though, we still need to travel another hour or so up and and down mountains to get to their ancestral house at Brgy. Busao in Maribojoc. What the hell, andito na din, sulitin nalang ang pagod.
By then, the sun has set and much of the scenery was covered in darkness, I was staring blankly at the people around me, chatting, giggling, and laughing at times. I was there, I was awake, but my mind was logged off, too tired to even think. I just sat quietly as if I was like a luggage, I never moved and only spoke when spoken upon. I just waited in silence, waited until we finally arrived at our destination.
Upon arrival, a flood of tears greeted us as parents and daughter finally saw each other after ten long years of being apart. They hugged, they kissed, they smiled, and the tears just kept on falling. It was a great scene to witness at the end of a very long journey, and if you think about it, that very journey was what made the destination even more worthwhile.