Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ormoc to Naval, Biliran

Easy day! I availed of the Sugarland Suites’ free breakfast at 8:15AM. Yeah yeah, I woke up a bit late since we still passed by ChieBob’s to cap the night after the Sabin meeting (that’s my last paragraph and video over at this article). And no rush today. Naval (that is pronounced in the speed like how you’d say “rapel”, “connect” or “arrive”), my target destination, is only about 2 hours or so away from Ormoc by V-Hire. And I wanted to time my arrival with the usual check-in time for hotels – between 12NN and 2PM.

After breakfast, shower, check-out and some lively banter with the Sugarland ladies, I walked the few steps to the transport terminal and found a waiting van bound for Naval. By purpose, I wanted to take these dirty-looking non-air-conditioned vans instead of Duptours, just so I could say I tried them. Still better but almost similar to Malaysia’s “bas-mini”! Just the same, definitely slower and uglier than the truly air-conditioned vans of Duptours, Van-van’s or Grand Tours. Hey, I even know that these “other” V-Hires actually use old dilapidating vans bought from any of these three good transport companies I always like in my Ormoc, Tacloban, Catbalogan, Calbayog, even Catarman runs! And as if to add to my sadistic inclinations for the day, I did not catch a seat No. 2, yet still I went for it!

Nothing much that I wanted to catch from Ormoc down to Lemon as I have been used to this strip of the ride during Tacloban-Ormoc and Ormoc-Tacloban trips. Still I caught sight of curious things like men burning what looked like a just harvested sugar field (doesn’t that also help fizzle the ozone layer?), and a very slow moving smoke-belching bus (well, I see even more of these daily along EDSA anyway):

Oh well…

But I was prepared to be all eyes and ears on the road once we veered left from the Maharlika Highway on Lemon. Yep, this corner in the picture, since this would have been my first time to foray into that area going Leyte, Leyte and onwards across the bridge to the island/province of Biliran.

Oh, for those not in the know let us qualify those names. “Leyte, Leyte” means that little town named Leyte in the province of Leyte! Much of like Tarlac, Tarlac or Masbate, Masbate. although this “Leyte” is not a capital town. Far from it actually! The tone and speed when locals pronounce “Leyte, Leyte” sounds like when you say “Cincinnati”, “paparazzi” or “macaroni”. Mind you, “Leyte” is also a female name! And “Lemon” is a barrio, a barangay of Capoocan, Leyte. This “Lemon” though spelled like the fruit is pronounced in the tone and speed as you would say “garage”, “remorse” or “locate”! Okay now? Let’s move on then hehe!

The views along the way from Lemon are picturesque all the way until you cross the bridge that connects Biliran Island with mainland Leyte and the causeway ironically called “nasunugan” (burned or something burned in the place) until you reach the town of Biliran. Hey, this is another thing for the unfamiliar - “Biliran”! It is the name of a town foremost. But it is also the name of the province. Like Leyte, Leyte, it also is not the capital. Moreover, Biliran is also the name of the entire island which is the entire province! Confusingly cute?! Well, just memorize that you pass by Biliran on the way to Naval, the capital of Biliran in the island of Biliran! Hehehe, makabuang ‘no?! But let’s talk about this place on my way back. As for now, I am on my way to Naval. And that is pronounced the way you read the word in "la naval" not in the "naval forces". The syllables are pronounced in the speed and accent as you would say "reveal", "redo", "narrate", "repeat"!

The left-side views from Biliran to Naval is also picturesque as those are views of the sea, islets and even Calubian, Leyte & Higatangan Island, the northernmost tip of mainland Leyte.

We finally arrived at Naval exactly 11:50AM just a bit more than two hours since we left Ormoc at 9:43AM. If you were driving, I guess this can be done in just an hour (or even less) – just a guess, since my van was rather slow and had to do so many stops along the way.

Now what?! No sweat, I hailed a trike and asked the driver if he could take me to Marvin’s Seaside Inn. He said yes, so I hopped in. I knew from my call 2 days ago and early this morning that Marvin’s is not in the center of Naval. It is somewhere on its northern outskirts, but judging from online reviews, I thought it was the best choice for me. It was!

But let’s describe Marvin’s in my later stories, aight?!

For a chronology of stories on this Biliran travel, please click the following:
01  02  03  04  05  06  07  08  09  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19

ISSN 2512540.875-0945


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