Friday, March 5, 2010

Hello Cagayan De Oro

Yeah, like, well hello?! Bakit ganito? Is Ramos still president? That was how I felt on landing at Cagayan De Oro! What with overhearing fellow passengers griping about 5-hour daily brownouts in the city! Hah! All I could think of was, “what have I gotten myself into? I better get out fast!”. But, that did not happen. And I’m happy I stuck for a the rest of the day hehe! Let’s do this blow-by-blow, shall we? Okay!

I heard about the brownout thingy as we disembarked and walked to the arrival area of Lumbia airport. Passengers were talking about it. Checking at the tourism desk, same thing was confirmed by a non-tourism employee standing beside it. I asked where was the person in charge of this tourism desk. After looking around, he said “nag-CR tingali”! What a time to feel the urge, just when two flights arrived, whereas before or after that he/she would have/did not have anything to do! Anyway, the man (wearing an ID, no uniform, I couldn’t tell what his role in this airport was) was kind enough to tell me most hotels have generator sets anyway.

I waited a bit for the ‘perchance’ appearance of a tourism guy. This wait was when and where my new adventure began! As I scanned the counter for brochures and other Camiguin information, I saw a leaflet announcing that the Kaamulan Festival was tomorrow. Awrrrr! I think my eyelids flickered at the rate of a hundred per second hahaha! I have long been wanting to see this festival in Bukidnon! So, there, at the arrival area of Cagayan De Oro’s airport, my plans coined during the flight was starting to take a new twist. Ah, I did not wait for the tourism person and instead just left saying ‘may you rest in peace whoever and wherever you are’!
If I know, nag-lunch yun. And we all know how long government employees take their lunch, right?! Ah yes, they come back just in time for coffee break. Sus! But I easily forgot about tourism officers. I even had to check if my eyelids were still flickering that fast or if I was still grinning like a rabid dog hahaha! Excited!

I told myself, see you later Camiguin cuz tomorrow it will be Kaamulan for me! Yey!

Oops, here was I again, in a place where taxis don’t use meters. So, just in case things around here already changed (hoping ba), I asked a policeman at the exit door how much should be my taxi fare to city hall. His reply was a promising “insist sa meter sir”. I said “ayaw naman ng mga yun eh, so mga how much ba”? He said if anyone did not want to use a meter, report them to the police at city hall or call his attention. I smiled knowing his suggested ‘process’ is a futile exercise, and a hassle to passengers.

Does a tourist go to a city for litigation anyway? Y’know, just like calling 7890 in Metro Manila. They ask for your personal details (as if you were reciting your biodata) then ask if you were willing to appear in court. Say yes, and they’d subpoena you to appear in court on your birthday! Sus! Been there, done that!

This bright policeman was not about to dismiss me disgruntled! He suggested that I could also walk rightwards after exiting the area and hail a cab from there. I wasn’t sure if he just wanted to dismiss me to a place that was not anymore his concern, or if he really wanted to help. But I walked as instructed just the same. Oh, I realized he was directing me to catch cabs at the departure area where passengers are alighting from. That is on the premise that cabbies who do not wait it out at the arrival area do not necessarily have to be gahaman, right? That was plausible enough for me!

I approached one cab immediately after his departing passengers alighted. Driver asked where I was going, I said “Demiren Hotel” (I stayed there before and I’ve read that name while browsing at the tourism counter, so I was sure it was still a hotel hehe). Driver said P200. I asked “bakit, wala ka bang metro?”. As expected, he made the usual litany of bla bla blahs as if the world has conspired for all of them taxi drivers to suffer. As he was reciting his dadadadada, I made a quick glance if the policeman could still see me. He could not.

So I told the cab driver “ayaw ko” and walked looking for another. Then he said 150. I jumped in hehe! As we moved forward, he closed the meter. I told him to put it on again and explained I will still pay him P150 but I just want to see and compare. He obliged but asked me why. I laughingly said “pag malaki ang difference, isusumbong kita ke Duterte”. He patronized my joke and said “aw ang mayor sa Davao? ayaw sir oi, isug kaayo nang tawhana ‘no?”!
Anyway, as I sat in the cab, I was asking myself why the hell did I say Demiren when I thought I wanted Grand. Ah I did not dwell on that anymore since I knew I was just staying overnight and Demiren is cheaper anyway. Well, on arrival at Demiren, I checked the meter and it said P117.50! I just looked at the driver and he was first to quack as if pleading when he said “pwede na yan sir”. I did not smile but said “ok, pwede na yan” and paid P150! Hay people. Jackpot mentality!

Even as I still paid the cab driver, bellboy already opened the door and picked my backpack. But I said “its okay, I can carry that”. And a miracle happened here! He actually returned my backpack to me hahaha! Normally, Filipinos would insist that it is part of their service or return my backpack to the car seat. But in this case, he stood there waiting carrying my backpack, until I was done with the driver where he handed it to me. And together we walked the few steps to front desk! Weird situation, but a very ‘masunurin’ bellboy. Literally, I must say hehehe!

Aw, I may have something more about Demiren, but let us do that later. I had to quickly use my afternoon roaming CDO. That’s coming next!

To read the 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 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52


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