Saturday, December 5, 2009

Apo Island Departure

My Negros Oriental Tour: Leaving Apo Island
After two nights, I thought I have had enough of weird relaxation. Let me explain that. It was relaxation in a way as you have got nothing to do in the day than be idle hehe. I cannot be snorkeling the whole of a rainy day, right? I would rather do it on a hot sunny day. Why? Ah, I can’t seem to enjoy watching nemo and his friends when the water I was wading in was biting cold hehe! And am not really used to swimming wherever with millions of drops of rain as my sole companion and backdrop OR the only view above water. Could not also laze on the drenching beach with big waves trying to inch ever higher upland hahaha! And I couldn’t even play with the tablet or the phone all day as their powers are only worth a few hours – there’s now electricity, remember?. Not to mention it would have been foolish for me to be walking the village nooks and crannies while it poured – lest I be suspected as a thief hehehe! Meaning? I think there was too much time sitting at the verandah looking out to a sea hazed with rain or gloomy with clouds.

So, while having my second dinner at Liberty’s I told one of the girls I will leave the place tomorrow after breakfast instead of in the afternoon. When she half protested and asked “don’t you like Apo?”, I just told her I would come back on a sunny day. THE TRUTH IS… I did not want to terrify myself again crossing the choppy waters back to mainland Negros whahahaha! I learned waves are bigger in the afternoon. Yes, when it comes to that, I am a coward – even if you remind me that I spent my childhood years mostly at coastal residences. Its just different when you ride a stormy sea in a little boat with “all” your things than say, going around boracay via what they call “boating” on the same stormy conditions. At least on the latter, you only have got your wallet (if at all) that might get wet and that you may have to drag in case of.. ah whatever!

After breakfast, I settled the bills and one boatman said “sir, we are ready to go”. I said okay and merrily made my way down to my room. As I started to pack, I glanced down at the water and OMG, the boat was ready to go with all would-be passengers on bard and all looking up to my veranda. Ack! No wonder when I looked to my door, boatman remained there standing. Ack again! Good Pinky was passing by the steps and hollering “happy trip seeeer”, so I called her to help me pack everything quickly. We dumped all of my things inside my backpack, zipped it and I ran as fast to the boat.

“I’m sorry everyone, I did not know it was this soon” was all I could say as I made my way to wherever my butt can better settle for this ‘another sea ordeal’ hehehe. I said my apologies in English because there where white men and children. Most of them said its okay and one old gentleman jokingly reprimanded me that they were already on the way down to this boat while I started on my first bite at breakfast. Another said “we enjoyed watching you from out here”. Oh my, I wished I could have vaporized at that moment to save myself from embarrassment. Anyway and hmm, there were more people this time but it was the same old little Perno we were riding. Argh!

As the boat pushed back and started to bob in the waves, we were introduced. There were 2 jolly Aussies (1 older and 1 about my age) – they are the ones who answered my apologies hehe; a Pinay oldie and wife of the older bloke; Liberty herself (the lodge owner) who was doing the introductions; her woman-friend (alalay?); two tisay children; another girl who was their cousin and the two boatmen. All of them plus me, 11 persons on little Perno! And, except for Liberty, I forgot all their names – probably because we were now fording choppy waters and getting wet – and you already know why. OMG!

Anyway, as everyone were chatting with just about everyone, I joined in their conversations to distract me from the damn big waves that can’t seem to fashion themselves in uniform movement as they rammed into our boat. Haven’t these waters been taught how to dance in synch just like everyone in Negros and Cebu when they do their festivals? Argh! Each wave ran on its own and would ram our boat at will hehe! Anyway again, it was the old woman who first talked to me by asking the same getting-to-know-you question of ‘where I was from’. So I told her. Then I learned that she is from Camiguin where she and her husband live though they have a house in Cagayan De Oro. The other Aussie with them is her husband’s friend who has just decided to also live in this country so they’re taking him around to find a place and a woman he might like. The man said, it looks like he’s falling in love with Apo Island and he loves the fact that it lives on the barest necessities. Well, I won’t contest that – and I think he probably have his eyes on one of the ladies in the island.

At one point, the elder ‘tisay’ kid asked her mom (Liberty) and the others to move a little more to the back as we were nose heavy. Hmm, someone else was worried about the waves! And it justified my fright hehehe! Ah, for those who don’t know, “tisay” in this country is a short for “mestiza” and “tisoy” for “meztizo”. The word is generally used for those half blooded (half Filipino, half white) people though nowadays, probably for convenience, it is also loosely used in referring to foreigners – esp girls and women (tisay) cuz the men and boys would usually be called “kano” (American) even if they’re from Europe or down under. Okay?!

I remarked at the kid that she spoke bisaya quite fluently though her English is still admirable the non-Filipino twang. She told me that its because they already live here. Told her that she was very good at “chinese garter” as I saw them play on the beach from my veranda. She laughed and informed me that those girls were her ‘barkada’ on the island but all of them are shorter than she is. I asked where they were going and she said “to Dumaguete and school again tomorrow, haaay”! Then looking at Liberty I asked her, “so you actually live in Dumaguete and just go to Apo Island from time to time?” Liberty answered “sila lang” (just them). And continued that she was on her way to Tagbilaran to attend a conference of Visayas resort owners. When I asked who the two girls would be with while she was away, the girl replied “si Papa og iyang bag-ong asawa” (Papa and his new wife)! That actually caught me real surprised but tried not to show it since they talked about it as if it wasn’t outside of ‘ordinary’. And her little sister (another cute little tisay of about 8 or 9 years old) butted in with “and our little brother, we now have a baby brother, he is very handsome”! Smiling, Liberty explained it as her husband has a new son with the other woman.

Wow what a story, and what a place to learn about it! At least that kept my mind away from the waves ramming the boat hehe! We talked more about them (or should I say, I asked more about them) as the little Perno struggled with the waves. Learning about the girl’s life (she’s in 6th grade), I itched to be back to my college days at UP. Her/Their story must have been a great white paper or research topic. “The changing psyche (or is that moral fiber?) of recent day Filipino families with the increasing number of mixed-marriages”. Wow what a topic! And they all seemed to me like a happy family ha?!. Did not even see any sour reaction nor facial expression from Liberty herself! Ah, I could just picture the number of mouths reacting or contributing to the discussions and debates all the way from the classrooms to the dorms to the tambayans and even all the way up to the shopping center or the sunken garden hehe! Swasssh!!! Another big wave splattered salty water in my face! Oh that brought me back to reality – that I was in a small boat on treacherous seas (my standards) and not anywhere in the UP Diliman campus he hehe heee he!

Anyway, on arrival at Malatapay, all of them (including the Aussies) rode on a waiting little red multicab obviously commissioned (or owned) by Liberty. They all invited me to hitch a ride with them – even the little tisay girl said “come with us kuya”. But, I graciously declined telling them that I still wanted to wander around Malatapay (even if the market was empty), before I move on to Dauin and would probably step into Dumaguete only by nightfall.

Nice trip, right?! Ah the derivative things I learn during my trips!


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 35
36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65



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