Saturday, May 28, 2005

Going to Pandan Island, Long Wait at Batangas

Not wont to ruin our trip, we tried to find things to amuse us as we waited for the next boat to Abra De Ilog – scheduled at 3AM! Yes, 3:00 o’clock in the morning. And we were standing at this godforsaken pier about 3-hours too early because of... this!

After buying our tickets for the 3AM ride, we went out of the pier to grab something to eat. And we saw that many of the little eateries (carinderias) lined outside the pier were open. Some had their karaoke machines blaring voices from drivers, pier employees, hawkers and vendors in varying degrees of “acceptability” and/or “abhorability”! We picked a small carinderia fronting the main path that leads to the pier’s building which fortunately was at least some distance to the karaoke singers lest we puke at the din torturing our ears. We tried “dinner” with longsilog, sinigang and dasilog. We capped the meal with three each of bananas and I couldn’t make all the momentous events from the past 5 hours without grabbing a can of SanMigLight – actually three cans!

We spent the next two hours discussing and laughing about our “unfortunate experience”, talking about anything on earth, playing with our cameras and videos, talking to (even interviewing) the carinderia crew on video and just about anything we could remember to keep us sane for the 3-hour wait.

By 2:00AM, we decided to re-enter the pier and wait it out there lest there again be another “early departure”! While there, we found a new way to entertain ourselves – and that was/is talking about all the people around us, criticizing them or appreciating them from head to toe, making up imaginary stories about their lives, their backgrounds or their futures, then hushly laughing amongst ourselves! I love this… game! It’s quite an “activity” to while away an otherwise boring wait. Of course the scrutinizing-criticizing-laughing activity extends to virtually everything including the paper our tickets were made of; the public address system inside the pier; the comfort rooms, the air-conditioning “boxes” that all had electric fans on top of them, the sweaty heat and everything else!

Example: we mused that the probable reasons those air-conditioners were never switched on was… a) they were not working anyway and were just for display purposes, b) the government is trying to save on energy costs, so they won’t put those air-conditioners on unless someone complains, c) workers in this pier, being hapless squatters, are not used to air–conditioning, thus, they shiver and shudder when those machines are on and they could not anymore perform their jobs well, d) so that passengers do not get too comfy to snooze off at the pier and miss their boats or e) so that there’d be something for the three of us to talk about!

And we would all let out a muffed laughter! Thus, who said we got bored waiting for the next boat anyway?!


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