Monday, September 21, 2009

San Francisco... Camotes!

After Poro, we proceeded still on the motorcycle to the island town of San Francisco. Island town? So how were we able to do it on a motorcycle. Ah don’t fret yet… San Francisco is connected to Poro Island via some kind of a causeway. It’s a fairly new concrete highway lined with colorful plants traversing lush mangrove forests! Remember Tagbilaran to Panglao? It’s a similar road. Only here you don’t get to see much of the sea on both sides as there is an abundantly growing and well-protected mangrove plantation.

Entering town via a bridge, we stumble upon their public market beside the transport hub also beside a wide expanse of newly built garden/park along the breakwater called ‘Baywalk’. This must be a wonderful place late in the late afternoons. I liked watching the sea water transfer from one side of the island to the other via that bridge. The rush becomes a bit faster than normal as the water’s natural flow was hindered a bit by the causeway, so it funnels through this outlet/inlet under the bridge.

Lunchtime caught up with us, and there are no big fancy restaurants or western-style fastfoods here. So we decided to check-out the number of eateries lining one side of the “mercado”. Opening those shiny silvery pots and pans to check and see what we might like, I knew there was only one very important deciding factor… “tinola”! So when I chanced upon one, and still steaming hot, I told Randy “let’s eat here”! Yes folks, they pronounce it “tinowa” and generally means fish-stew (fish in clear broth) and am addicted to it! We also had adobo (usually called humba in the Visayas) and langka gulay (jackfruit in coconut milk as viand), but my mind, heart, tongue and stomach got all busy with the tinola until (as always) I perspired! Sarrrrap!

After resting a while to let the hefty lunch settle, we proceeded to roam town. The church, also closed at the time we drove into the area, is a fine-looking and fairly new yellow building. Across the narrow tree-lined street is an also fairly new park of the town (Rizal’s statue has “tantalizing eyes” hehe) where a few concrete steps down is the municipal hall. I think this is the biggest and most modern of all the municipal halls in Camotes. And it actually looks to me like this town is the most progressive (or at least busiest) in this group of four towns in three islands.

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