Friday, April 9, 2010

Getting RORO Tickets: Tubigon To Cebu

So off to Tubigon’s pier we were. Not yet to catch a ride back to Cebu City but just to buy our tickets. We decided to go early (about 9AM) perchance to avoid the multitudes of humanity that expectedly would be on an after-Easter exodus back to their respective realities in Cebu! We knew there’d be more than a crowd at the time of our intended return since we saw a few days ago how the pier can easily collect legions hehe. We were not sure too if we wanted to ride the Lite Shipping’s RORO again, though it was the default option since we already knew how it is riding the said big boat. The smaller but purportedly faster fast-crafts were an option we were thinking about.

OMG my golly gee! On arrival at the port’s rows of kiosks selling tickets for this and that boat or craft, there was such a sea of humanity we wished we had wings so we could just fly to Cebu instead. Ayayayayay! Haha, actually we half wanted to see and experience the crowd, so there we were! Default was of course still the RORO but we tried checking out the other boats. First consideration, price. Second in significance (my criterion), whether open or closed craft – cuz that means no smoking for the totally enclosed ones! Third was, how crowded – which – we linked with overloading and therefore safety. Note: that’s just our own contemplation, with or without scientific basis. There is no law against thinking about this or that, right?! Okay. And come to think of it, we never cared as to how fast the thing might get us to Cebu! We were still on vacation mode obviously.

Too many people in too many lines. Each kiosk for a fast or slow craft had a lot of people for the taking! Good it was not raining anymore, though the snaking lines had to avoid some puddles or muddy areas. There were the Star Crafts 1 and 2. Hmm, quite crowded. Economy: P200, Tourist Class: P220, and Business Class: P280 with many trips until 7:45PM. Then there was the Lite Shipping’s RORO, that which we took coming to Tubigon. They had remaining the noontime, 7PM and midnight runs for us to choose. Fares are the same as the Cebu-Tubigon run – Sitting: P170, Non-Aircon Bed: P190, and Aircon Bed: P200. Oh, there is no “standing” or “squatting” class of service hehe. Then there is the Jadestar that also have trips at almost every 1.5 hour intervals until 6PM. This was most crowded and people were telling us everyone sits on the various levels of the boat without beds. One “barker” was telling us it was only P75 – yes, 75 pesos. Ah, aside from it having too many passengers, we doubted if at all it was/is a comfortable way to Cebu considering the rock-bottom price compared to the others hehe. There were others more I was not sure what kinds or types of boat. There were even barkers inviting people to ride their outrigger boats instead. Ah!

Anyway, we finally opted for Lite Shipping so we joined the line. The teller/s (or whatever they are called) seemed to be very slow compared to those of the other boats’ kiosks. Our line was barely moving. We could see though that there were uniformed people (porters and the likes) approaching them, talking to them, laughing, bantering about whatever but without falling in line. The other window was even slower. It was for passengers carrying vehicles and we could hear they were complaining that the person in charge was either not there or kept standing up to go somewhere. Haaay! When we were about 2 more passengers away from our turn to buy our tickets, another porter went to the teller and it seemed to me he was himself buying a ticket. See the picture? Yes, that is him - with the name of R. REYES, JR. #14 of the Tubigon Porters Association. I moved forward to get a better glimpse. Yes he was buying tickets. I was not sure though if it was for two or three people he was paying for. When he was about done, and still laughing with the teller, I called on him ready for a confrontation. When he did look at me and saw my camera, he half-ran, still cheerful and laughing though saying vindictives why I was taking pictures of him. Ah, I did not anymore follow. Yes, I call these people “remnants of a corrupt society” and unfortunately there are still many of them everywhere! Gosh!

Alright… tickets in hand, we rode a trike back to The Monina’s for about an hour or so more of packing our things, sitting around and paying our bills. Paying our bills? Hey there is one little issue that you all will want to consider. We decided we would pay in cash. And remaining cash not being enough, we walked towards that ATM across the hotel. Alas de malas! Its ATM is only for the exclusive use of said bank’s own account holders! Haha, we didn’t know there are still such things on earth. OMG! Anyway, we went back to the hotel’s frontdesk to ask if there were any other ATMs in town that caters to the usual Bancnet, Megalink and Expressnet clients of this country hehe. Clerk told us that there is only one in Tubigon and that is at the PNB Branch over at the plaza. I volunteered I’d be the one to go there and withdraw. Its just a short walk anyway. Awk, long queue! I think there were something like 11 or so people waiting for their turn! So I went back to the hotel without new cash and we just paid with plastic money instead (I think) hehe.

At exactly 1120AM, we finally said goodbye to The Monina’s and took a trike back to the pier! Goodbye Tubigon… and let’s talk about that on my next article, aight?!

If you want to read the chronology of all stories on this tour, click the following:
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


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