Thursday, September 3, 2009

North Cebu Tour

Nothing important to do, have time, I tour! This time, my itchy feet brought me to the northern parts of Cebu Island. Yey! The Suroy Suroy Sugbo Northern Escapade seems to be long coming and I couldn’t wait anymore. So, there I went – alone (as is often the case anyway hehe).

Actually, I have read about the Haladaya Festival of Daanbantayan which was supposed to occur end of August. Since they won at the Pasigarbo Sa Sugbo, I thought it might be good to watch their local festival/ And, since I was going to the far northern end of the island, I thought of seeing the other places too.

Plan:
See Bogo, San Remigio, Medillin, Daanbantayan, Malapascua. See other nearby towns on the way home – if possible.

Rule: must be back at Cebu no later than September 3 to give myself time for laundry, download of pictures and write the experiences before departing for Ozamis.

So, there I went on a weeklong trip of interesting places! (described in succeeding entries).

My way:
Caught a 6AM Ceres bus at Cebu’s north bus terminal. Hmm, I discovered that there are no air-conditioned buses going to the northern parts of Cebu. I wondered, though it was (mostly is) a non-issue for me. Asked around why, but no one could give me an answer. Hey, if there is no air-conditioned Ceres bus, that means there are no air-conditioned buses that go to those places!

This bus on the way to Hagnaya was almost full. Departing at exactly 0602H there were only 7 vacant seats of this 33-seater bus. How’d I know that? The seat I took was at the very last row – since there was only one person in that 5-seater area which meant bigger space for me! Poor vantage. The last row is a bit elevated so I saw where we were passing, but it was not practical to put out my camera. Hence, I occupied my ‘just starting to wake up brain’ with observing my co-passengers and the insides of the bus – including counting seats and people. Example? Well, of the 26 seated passengers, 3 were children but there were exactly 29 human beings when we left the north terminal. Go figure that out hehe!

Weekday morning runs going to the north are a bit busy I observed. Not that you can call it slow traffic but it was a bit heavy than I expected. That goes all the way to Danao City. The opposite lane (as expected) is busier – we all know that, right? The working class on their way to various work places in and around Metro Cebu.

Still in Mandaue, more passengers started boarding the bus. Five ladies caught my attention when they boarded since three of them sat on the vacant spaces of my row while the remaining two stood by the aisle. I got curious why they boarded this bus and where they were off to, at such an early time of day. There was 5 of them, so they were going for some beach escapade? But they did not look like headed for the sea, all of them wearing jeans with shirts or blouses that did not look like one would wear to the beach! And four were “fully made-up” while one was doing her face as she sat beside me! I even sneezed due to the powder tickling my nostrils! Plus, this was a Thursday morning – people usually head for the beaches on weekends. All of them had handbags or purses too small for a woman going to the beach – y’know… when the ladies head out to anywhere special, they bring everything they could use for 2 centuries hehe! These girls also did not look like they were “night-time” workers headed for home.

Hmm, I spotted that one of them was carrying a lunch bag. And the “tupperware” inside it could be seen, where I was sure I saw fried ‘maling’ on top of rice! I was ready to strike a friendly conversation and get to know where they were headed BUT, I could not butt in hehe! They were just so busy talking. Talking about what?! I tried to discern their topics as I suspected they could be teachers on the way to some elementary school. Nope, it did not sound like so. Their topics touched about teams, speed, accuracy, re-work, Japanese boss and a supervisor that was not friendly at all! Whoa?! Students on OJT somewhere? Naah! They’re all older than that.

Then… OMG, at some point during the ride, all of them simultaneously fished light blue T-Shirts from their bags and wore them on top of what they were already wearing. Also fished their IDs with neckstraps. Gosh! That time I realized they probably work at some company but I was surprised they come from the city. All along I have known it to be the other way around – meaning people from the suburbs go to the metropolis to work. This was just the opposite.

Then… a bigger OMG! When the bus stopped, they piled off and when I looked out... literally thousands of people wearing the same color of shirt the ladies had on. It was as if I was in the middle of an EDSA Revolution. Too many people… some were eating at little shacks on the side of the highway, others entering a big entrance gate, others coming out of it, others walking, others alighting from tricycles, jeeps or buses and yet others were hopping unto them. This was a first time for me to see such a number of people at one area where there was no rally or concert! And at about 7AM! Wow!

I craned my neck to see what on earth was this place. The bus was rolling very slowly amidst a mix of human and vehicular traffic. Ha, so we were somewhere in Danao City. Aha, and the big place that those blue people were going into or coming out from was named Mitsumi. Tried reading the print in one of those shirts, and indeed, it was Mitsumi.

I couldn’t wait… fished out my Omnia and googled “mitsumi cebu”. Oh, so this is the Cebu Mitsumi, Inc – one of the computer parts manufacturing giants on earth. I read that during 2007, it employed about 19,000 workers in this facility. No wonder! Divide 19,000 into 3 shifts and you have about 12 and a half thousand human beings going through those gates every end/start of a shift (half going in, the other half coming out). No wonder!

I did make a self-reminder to one-day come back to this place at 7AM to take pictures at the multitude of humanity swarming on this part of the hiway. Wow! I was more than amazed! Wow!

Okay, from Danao City onwards, the bus ride was a breeze. While it made a stop at Carmen town for everyone to take a bladder break or buy breakfast, the trip was actually swift even with so many stops for passengers alighting or joining.

And, Ceres Bus No. 8103 ended my fifty-peso ride when it reached my first destination… Bogo!

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