Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Going To Pamplona

My Negros Oriental Tour: Tanjay To Pamplona Trip
Remember that street corner in the picture? Well, yes I took my ride from there, not on a Ceres but alone in a motorcycle. I surmised it would not take long as I learned its just less than 8 kilometers. A trike (lower left of pic) with a youngish driver tried to get me for a one-way special ride at P75. I said no and I would just wait for a bus or jeep. He told me that could take a long wait. I said his fare was expensive and I could not afford it. He tried again at P70. I still shook my head… in my mind that would be P10 per kilometer. Hmm, not that I couldn’t afford it, but part of traveling responsibly (so I learned from my father many years ago) is to pay a commensurate or fair price, so that them service providers don’t get used to overpricing. The ‘catch’ is, if they’re able to rip one with a steep fare, they’ll do it with another, and another, until the price of everything becomes sky high. See?!! Am a responsible citizen hehe.

Soon came an empty trike where driver saw me as that youngish driver (described above) motioned for him to take me. He stopped, I asked how much. He said whatever I felt comfortable paying as he was just on the way home to Pamplona. I egged him to say a price, and he said P20, so I jumped in hehe. We talked along the way. He asked me how much the boy was charging me and I told him P75. He just smiled, shook his head a bit and said ‘tsk tsk tsk tsk’. I asked him why he was already on the way home and his reply was that he was repairing his house.

Hey we met a Ceres bus that had Tanjay – Bais on the signboard. I asked my trike driver and he confirmed that there already are buses plying that route via Pamplona from Bayawan though the roads are not as good as the long way via Dumaguete. He said he estimates the Bayawan – Pamplona – Tanjay route to be just more or less 50 kilometers. Hmm, I was not sure I'd believe him, but if it really the case that would be a good shortcut for many commuters! Nice sceneries as we ascended towards Pamplona. Most of the views are of sugarcane plantations, farms and generally green all over! And most vehicles we came across were big trucks loaded with sugarcane.

Along the way, a man that my driver knew hopped in and sat at front seat where I was. I just thought ‘the nerve, doesn’t he even suspect this is s special trip with only me as passenger?!" but I did not say anything. They talked and I was left silent, imagining things. "What if the two men held me up", "this free-rider was carrying a big bolo, what if he threatened to hack me if I don’t give my valuables", "there are not too many houses that we have passed by, where could this man have come from", "ah he is a farmer" and so on and on. Anyway, all I could do was brace myself to get ready to jump and run the fastest I could if there was any indication my imaginary scenarios was about to happen. Soon the man got off before we entered town. He thanked my driver but just glanced at me. The nerve! But I think I cannot (should not complain) since I just paid P20, so it was not a real charter hehe!

I asked driver why he did not ask the man to pay and I of course heard the expected ‘he is a friend! I asked too ‘why the man carried that big "sundang" (bolo) not wrapped or placed in a container. My driver’s face lit up a bit surprised and still smiling, he told me that is the way it is in this place. Everyone would even be surprised or suspect something if such a man tried to wrap his bolo and place it in a container. ‘Oh okay’, I said. Driver asked if it alarmed me. I said ‘yes’ because if there were sudden movements of the trike due to bumps in the road, that bolo could come flying and hurt him or us. Driver laughed a bit and told me he has never heard of any such incident. I of course did not tell him that it got me alarmed as the man could have used the bolo to attack or threaten me/us! Can you believe, despite those gruesome imaginations in my head, I still took the courage of clicking a pic of the man and my driver (though very discreetly and I made sure no flash nor sound would come out of my camera). This is a dark one, but when I tried to brighten the picture up, the man's face is discernible! But let me put this pic just the way it is hehe.

Ahehehe… we people from the cities do sometimes have to get real when going rural. Too much TV News and suspense movies makes us think awry of otherwise worry-free situations. Lesson LEARNED again!

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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