Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Siargao Arrival. Dapa to General Luna

Everywhere in this archipelago, an arriving boat attracts hoards of folks eager to take you on as passenger in their jeep, van, bus or habal-habal. Thats almost the same case at Dapa Pier on Siargao Island, BUT it is way far from the chaotic Batangas Port. Drivers, dispatchers, barkers all wait outside of the arrival gate. Then they approach passengers not shouting nor shoving and pushing their way as in the ugly Batangas Port. At Dapa, if you ignored them, they get to the next prospect and leave you alone.

So they left me alone and I watched them for a while. Most were habal-habal and tricycle drivers so I asked one of them where the jeeps were. The reply was “walang jeep dito”. I knew that was generally a lie or a purposely-misleading reply so I would ride his tricycle. If one would be technical about it though, his reply was a fact. Translated, that meant “there are no jeeps here”. True, because a guard told me that the jeeps are parked and waiting for passengers at the other side (in the market) of that block of houses and stores fronting the pier’s gate. Just a walk around a corner really hehe! Hmp!

But I was bent on trying the habal-habal, so I stayed on for a minute more. Then spotted one driver who was not very aggressive. I approached him and asked how much would he charge me for a habal-habal ride to General Luna. The reply was a quick “eighty” followed with a rejoinder that his charge was cheap as everyone else charges P100. True, so I hopped in. The good part with this habal-habal ride was that his bike has a roof! Yey!

Off we went cruising via a very good concrete road towards General Luna. I liked the ride as the bike had a roof. No sooner, I had proof that riding the habal-habal was better than the cheaper tricycle ride. The trike is cramped and slow, we have overtaken at least three that earlier departed from Dapa!

As we sped through, I noticed something unusual so I asked the driver if the good concrete roads here were rather too low than usual or if there was a big flood. His reply was “both” and followed it with “but the roads are really low. In many portions of the road that we passed by, water level from the swamps and/or rice fields were either at level of the concrete pavement or just an inch or two below. Driver told me that even just a light rain (like last night) could make the waters rise to the pavement. Told me further that in those places we were passing through where the water was clear, that is normal… while at places we passed where the water was brownish muddish, that meant those were flooded due to the recent rain.

There was a big quadrangle that we passed by and folks were wading at about knee-deep of water. Driver told me THAT was an example of a just recently flooded area due to rain. Hmm, I was not sure if that was a Barangay Hall or an Elementary School or both! Oh my. We also passed by big expanses submerged in (clear) water and I asked if those were rice-fields. Driver answered in the affirmative and he says that’s what many farmers are lamenting abut these days. The water level in the area, he says, seem to have risen to their farms. He says even if it did not rain last night, that level of water was already there flooding the rice-stalks to almost the fruit-level – and those are supposedly ready for harvest. Ah, how bad… He even shared that during heavy rains, good a concrete highway it may seem, but the water level could be neck deep and no vehicles could pass. Whoa! And as if to appease me he added that with “but people use bancas to cross the flooded area. Golly!

Oh not everything is bad though. There were many parts to our right where we passed what seemed to be lush and healthy mangroves. There was even a pond (temporary or not, I don’t know) on our right where wild ducks were grazing. I asked him to stop for me to go near and take a pic. Off they flew away. Ack! I thought those were ordinary wading birds but he said those were wild ducks from China or elsewhere north. Whoa!

Ah my driver asked to which resort I was headed and I replied that I have not chosen yet. Told him I’ve read about Patrick’s On The Beach, Cherinicole and Satur Honor on the internet but didn’t know which to choose. Then I asked him where would be his best bet. Cherinicole. So I said, okay, let’s go there and check if they have available rooms. As we continued on, he started telling me things like Cherinicole has a swimming pool, Satur Honor would probably be the cheapest and that the owner of Patrick on the Beach is a character hehe!

He chose well, I must admit. All three resorts I had in mind were/are just beside each other. While all area a walk away from cent of town, Cherinicole is fartherst. I was able to see at least the outside view of each. At Cherinicole, driver waited as I checked with the front desk, ready to whisk me back to the other two if nothing went through. But I liked cherinicole. So I paid him and we said goodbye after arranging that he be the one to tour me around the island tomorrow! Yey!

1 comment :

  1. Hi Admin,

    Can we exchange link and buzz me if you done so that we can link your site too. Thank you!