Thursday, December 3, 2009

Malatapay To Apo Island, I Won’t Do This Again!

My Negros Oriental Tour: Boat Crossing From Malatapay To Apo Island
Then Mr. & Mrs. Frenchman arrived via a multicab. That meant we would soon ride the little boat. I did not tell anyone, but my heart started pounding heavily. Am sure they saw that in my face anyway hehehe! We were introduced, but I forgot their names. They talked French to each other but the lady speaks to Pinky in Tagalog. She spoke to me in English. When Pinky announced a “let’s go” everyone caught me immobile. I was still hesitating actually. But the old lady told me it will be okay. So, I believed her and went for it. They are a good couple of diving addicts who even at their age (probably in the 60s) were still active and going places to dive. Pinky told me they are very regular guests at Liberty and the lady was an ex-professor (UP?). So, she’s not your usual ‘Pinay wife of a foreigner’. Thus, when she said ‘it will be okay’, I believed her.

The woman with Pinky commanded the men to load our backpacks under what seemed to be the engine housing. Ah she must have really been the owner of the boat. When we were seated and boat was starting out, I casually asked the woman if we would get wet. She said “very wet, sir”. I fished my phone from my pocket and asked if I should hide it in the backpack. She almost panicked and got my phone, also grabbed my camera then gave it to the engineman telling him to hide it down there with my backpack. Soon as the engineman ducked, wham! A big splash of wave slammed at the boat’s left side (my side) and we were all wet. Ah, I did not anymore remember that my wallet was still in my back pocket and my pack of cigarettes and lighter was in my front pocket.

I was terrified but managed to exclaim a desperate “are you sure this is going to be safe?”. The old lady tapped me in the arm and said “it will be fine”. Okay, I tried to keep my calm. I silently sat there as the ride progressed. Even laid my left hand out so that it touched the water. If it was any consolation, the sea water felt good since it was warmer than the splashes from the waves. Then it rained. Heavy rain! My Good God… what word else can I use to describe my fright?! I don’t know, but it was as if I was on my homestretch to life on earth hehe! Each rain drop actually felt like a sting as it splatted on any part of my skin. And it hurts the eyes too. Boat was fast and wind was whacking them droplets on our faces. Hah! I had to raise my t-shirt’s neck line up to my forehead. But…

It was no good! I mean the shirt neck at my forehead meant I could not see anything, so that when the boat swerves, shakes or bobs, I would be off balance. Aargh! I thought if I accidentally fell off that boat that would have been a bigger problem for all. Aaah! What have I gotten myself into hehehe! But there was a quick solution. Noticed that my shades still clung to my neck (I usually put it there), so I put it on. Yeah! I even almost exclaimed to the rain saying “keep them coming, yeah”! Learned something again... sunglasses are not only for the sun! If at all, that rain thing kept my mind away from the big waves that seemed to come from everywhere. Them waves were not uniform, some were moving westward, others were southwards others, eastwards ah, all directions and in different sizes such that the boat was pitching left and right. I could hear the engine being decelerated when we’d be flying off some big waves.

The woman and Pinky were chatting as if nothing was happening. The old couple too were busy talking as if we were all seated in a luxurious car. Nge! Then I overheard the woman tell Pinky there was some low pressure area somewhere. Aargh, what a thing to hear! And as if to really test my flailing sanity, a bigger and faster boat overtook us and it had a little boat about as tiny as Perno tied and trailing behind it. Aaaah! It was owned and destined by another resort. But yes, I noticed that boat with only one guest and two crews on board was wriggling and shaking more than ours. Then again, it was really fast, so the guest’s “ordeal” would have been shorter than mine. Aaargh!

I felt water submerging my foot even if I was not stepping on the boat’s floor. And I could see our other boatman furiously scooping that water and thrown outside of the boat. Oh my, I just thought what else will be next. At least the rain had become a drizzle. And I could see that we were already nearer Apo than mainland. I felt it was taking too long, no, too slow… oh no no too damn excruciatingly slow! Ahh hehehe, I was on the verge of snapping out of my crazy brain to probably become normal like the rest of the folks in the boat with me! The intensity of my fear can probably be encapsulated with a silent prayer that I kept repeating… “oh dear God, please don’t let me die here and now, I am a good swimmer so that means it will be slow and grappling between life and death… let me just perish instead on a plane crash at any of my flights in the next 2 weeks”! Hahaha, see?! I was really terrified hehehe!

Alright we arrived, and the rain subsided, even the winds became gentle breezes. Everyone else on the boat looked to see how I was. Am sure they were thinking “see, it went fine”! Pinky then smiled at me and said “welcome to Apo Island”! Hah, I breathed a very relieved sigh and smiled at them. Down at the beach, my first instinct was to reach into my pocket for a cigarette. Whoa, the pack was wet outside but the little sticks were not. Good my lighter was also inside the pack and good that I had a flip-top box that time. Hah! Groped at my back pocket, wallet was dry. Everything in my lower back was actually dry while everywhere else was drenching. Well, hair was a bit dry from the wind after the rain subsided.

Apo Island is only about 5 kilometers away from mainland but it took us ages to cross as the waves were furious. At least for my own standards. I don't even watch horror movies, so why scare myself to death in a boat crossing to some island? I now know it was/is safe… but given the same conditions or scenario, I won’t do it again. Never! Nunca!!!

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


  1. wow... kakatakot ito..

  2. but now that am still alive and roaming... i learned a lesson... trust them!

    they themselves wouldn't want to die just like that too, right?! so if they say its okay, it will "probably" be okay - per their standards hehe!

    pero... halos mamatay ka pa rin sa takot, though all will come out real fine heeehehe!

  3. the waves scare the hell out of you. he he he.