Sunday, October 26, 2008

Siquijor Trip Boat Reservation

At the northern end of Rizal Boulevard, I was again face-to-face with lovely Silliman Hall. This time though, I was right outside of the ‘Gate of Opportunity’ on the intersection of Silliman Avenue and Rizal Boulevard. Hey this was that open gate where I could have exited from the museum (Silliman Hall) but had to go back to main gate for my ID, remember?

Anyway, from out on the street, the Silliman Hall looks really a fantastic a landmark. It reminded me of one of the family’s ancestral houses far in Guincoroban (guess where that is!) amidst the coconut trees on a white sandy beach with a fine view of nearby Ugis Island and the Pacific Ocean. Ahhh, nostalgia nostalgia… but let’s go back to the topic at hand hehehe, and am about to visit Dumaguete’s pier!

Hey, the guard at Silliman Hall recognized me and with a handsome smile made a friendly wave to acknowledge my presence – or should I call that my re-appearance hehe! Yep, no doubt about it, this is a city of friendly folks, although… am not sure I have identified any place in the country with unfriendly locals! Well, ‘disrespectful’ and ‘irritatingly makulit” yes, there are a lot of them, about 90% of the human beings you will encounter at the ugly Batangas City pier! Oops am getting off topic again… am in Dumaguete so let’s talk about it and forget the really ugly Batangas Pier for now, okay?

Walking a few more steps by the side of the Silliman fence, I finally got a face-to-face view with the bust sculpture of Dr. Silliman. Yep, he is that guy who sourced funds state-side to establish this great institution. A few more steps and I stumbled upon another portal, the ‘Gate of Service’. Oh so this is that gate behind the big Silliman logo/marker with a number of flags surrounding it! Oh okay, am on the outside now and was on the other side of the fence a few hours ago!

The bend in front of the ‘Gate of Service’ is some kind of a rotund where Rizal Ave., bends to become the ‘Dumaguete Port Road’ at the same time intersecting with Flores Avenue and some other little street. So I went for the port.

The wide and short road from the intersection to the port is fenced off. Pedestrians must walk by the pedestrian lanes on the left side of the road that is lined with a lot of stalls selling pasalubongs – though there is none who would incessantly beg for you to buy their products nor is there anyone who would follow you to the CR and tug at your sleeves and thrust their pasalubongs to millimeters of your nose UNLIKE at the ugly Batangas City Pier. Oops am veering away again… I am in Dumaguete so I better stick to Dumaguete and forget about the ugly Batangas City Pier! Hah!

(teka...about these many “asides” on the ugly Batangas City Pier… if you have not been there and have not read my blog about it here, I all the more keep harping about the ugly experience BECAUSE there are anonymous assholes who have negatively reacted to my blog about that ugly pier but none of them anonymous idiots ever tried to refute what I had to say. It’s really simple… tell me that the Ugly Batangas Pier experience IS NOT ANYMORE, then I will go there and check it out. If I find it so, I’ll update the blog therefore erase the ugly descriptions about the UGLY Batangas City Pier. It’s that simple! As for now, it will be my benchmark on chaos at a pier anywhere in this country that I have been to AND that even already considers the Manila North Harbor. Batangas City Pier for now is still the ugliest of them all to me not because of the lack of infrastructure but the whole lot of inconsiderate vendors/hawkers. So somebody please refute that as I myself don’t like remembering ugly places)

Okay, I’m in Dumaguete and visiting the port (lest I forget)…

Be wary when you’re looking for your sea craft of choice as most offices mingle with these pasalubong stores. Thankfully, my boat of choice, the Delta Fast Ferries do not hold offices in this row of stalls. But the people in those other sea-craft companies are very kind enough to show me the way – even if theirs were not my choice. One of them told me to go and enter the “terminal area” past across the guards and head left to the exit road where I should see signs that said Delta Fast Ferries or people lining up. Wow! That detailed an instruction!

So I moved on. Past the pier entrance guards I walked on and saw the Coast Guard Building. There were two hunky dudes chatting by the sidewalk just in front of it. When they saw me clicking pics of the building, they seemed apprehensive and observed me like I was a "kawatan" hehe! Obviously they’re coast guard employees. When I got near them, I posed this question… “sirs, ano ba sa Tagalog and ‘Dumaguete Coast Guard Station’”, they just laughed and said “ang hirap naman nyan”! Then I told them, I also thought so, that’s why I took a picture of your building’s fa├žade since I never actually thought of “Himpilan Tanod Baybayin Ng Dumaguete”. I said I now know that “Coast Guard” means “Tanod Baybayin”. And we all laughed at how deep our katutubong wika can be with almost none of us understanding them hehehe! Then I asked them where to find Delta Fast Ferries and they pointed to me the direction.

After the coast guard experience, I was amused to see people running towards a building. Oh well, I now know that the building IS the “terminal”. Yep, that is where all who are boarding a ship or boat must enter and wait it out to board! This afternoon, this building seemed rather desolate, save from those running folks who were obviously trying to catch their boats – and they disappeared well into the terminal building that quickly!

Found it! The sign says “TICKETING BOOTHS FOR DELTA AND PUMPBOATS”! And it is not actually a full booth but the original concrete fence of the ferry terminal area fitted with some make-shift roof and chair – and voila, they have a ticketing booth! Whoa I like this place! What comes out to be the grilled portion of the boat reservation area is actually the fence grills of the terminal. Delta and all other pump boats were just probably accorded this little space by the port authorities since their “pre-departure” area is rather small. But this ticket both by the fence is convenience enough for passengers since it sits right by the entrance gate to the pier. Entrance? Didn’t I walk a long way coming to this place? Well, now I know, if you are headed for the Delta ticket booth, the better way is to enter the pier from the corner of Flores Avenue and Aldecoa Road. This is, after all, the main entrance instead of at the boulevard area. I came to learn that the path I followed was more of an exit area for arriving passengers. That means, I counter-flowed, but just the same was allowed!

Hey, the signs and advertisements at the Delta ticketing area could get confusing! What I did was to ask everyone I talked to if they were “from Delata” lest I accidentally reserve my ride via those pump boats! Nope, I was not going to ride them little boats, not just yet and not now! The ticket crews of all other boats are too near and almost in a huddle with the legit Delta person so I had to say, who of you here is from Delta Fast Ferries.

How was the reservation done? They give you the boat’s manifest and ask you to write your name, age, gender and address. That’s it! You are reserved a seat for tomorrow’s boat! I think I was number 18 on the list!

Then I headed out, this time via the main entrance of the pier hehehe. More of this pier when I depart for Siquijor tomorrow, aight?!

For a chronology of stories on this trip, click the following article numbers:

01   02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18
19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35


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