Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sumilon Here We Come, Finally

Finally! We were on the boat and there was no stopping nor turning back, we were on our way to the island, yey! Ah you can call the previous story a drama or a saga hehe. But to me, it was part of the exciting ‘adventure’ going to this island resort. Oh yes, in case you have not known yet, Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort is the island. Conversely, the whole island is the resort. So its not something as if you can just whistle to a boatman and ask him to take you there, okay?! The resort, yes the island, is supposed to be especially exclusive to its paying patrons, be they staying for nights or just for a day tour. It had better be, since its expensive hehe! So going there is via ‘their own’ boat that is already covered by whatever rate you paid for.

The boat, oh yes the boat! Drop whatever picture it was you concocted after reading my previous post. Why? Because we were on to our ‘Christmas Paradise’ hehe! This was no ordinary boat ride, I must insist. First in the ‘order of ceremonies’ was some crew leading us to where we should sit – in the very middle of the boat – telling us we could get wet with the splashes from the waves. We both dismissed it, though we did sit on that middle portion as advised! Next, as we were handed our life-jackets to wear, was a courteous query if they could take our backpacks into the semi-enclosed engine and skipper’s area to ensure they remain dry. We said don’t bother as we thought them bags would be fine and dry with the size of this boat.

These boatmen were probably expectant that we would be just about ready to throw tantrums owing to the delay and circuitous way we had to endure before we got to this boat ride. I admit I probably would have been in that mood or mode were it not for the skyflakes and coke (and the soup) that lined our stomach walls, thus, making my feeble brain still less irritably relaxed hehe. And the excitement to reach the island probably more than covered whatever hassles that might have transpired since we arrived at their private wharf. Yeah yeah!

Next order of ceremonies was another crew bringing along a heap of white towels. Oh not just any rag! Those white, clean and fluffy big towels smelled crisp and dry straight from a laundromat. The very same towels I expected to see in our room over at the resort. Comparing them to Waterfront’s towels or even itself to Maribago Bluewater’s, those towels that the man carried were definitely newer. What were those for? He picked two and placed them folded side-by-side at the very spot where our butts would be sitting. I just thought, oh okay. And he handed two more towels (one for each of us). This time I had to ask and the reply was, so that we could cover ourselves with it from the wash of seawater when big waves splashed on the boat. I just sarcastically thought, “who goes to Sumilon that does not want to get wet anyway”. That made my companion a bit more silent who was for the first time riding a boat this way and very much unlike the fastcraft from Cebu to Ormoc or vice-versa hehehe. Now am laughing!

The towel ceremonies were not just over yet! Next the man gave us another set advising us to cover our backpacks with them towels to ensure they remain dry. Ah, while mine is supposedly ‘waterproof’ and I have walked with it on many a rainy day without my net-book getting wet, I heeded just the same as I liked the touch, feel and smell of them new towels. The companion asked this time if it was going to be a safe trip. My reply: ‘I was not quite sure, but if ever anything untoward happened, it would have been veeery hard for any of us to instantly die as we are good swimmers’! That earned me a heavy slap on my back hehehe! On hindsight, I think my experience crossing to Apo Island last month made me a bit braver knowing there were now only six of us (4 crews and 2 passengers) in a boat about 5x bigger!

The views. There are many things we saw that would have otherwise been unseen if we crossed these waters via the normal way. So, thanks to the waves?! For one, the coastal areas of Santander is generally endowed with white beaches. And, though distant from each other (thankfully?), there are resorts that dot the length of the white sandy beaches. Well yes, there are areas that seem yet undeveloped (for our touristy purposes) in that most of what we saw were fishing boats and/or fishing villages. See? I have another place in my list to explore… Santander’s beaches – because my last sojourn was just the town center (as usual).

This one is important… what otherwise would have just been a 10-minute ride to cross to Sumilon from their Bancogon wharf, became a little more than an hour. Oh, I do not mean to include the waiting nor the eating at Liloan’s passenger terminal. Just the boat trip – we pushed back from Liloan at 11:57AM and at exactly 1:02PM our crews were still busy trying to connect the plank from the boat to the landing over at their wharf on Sumilon. Ah yes, Liloan is distant from Sumilon, plus the wind and the waves were probably not on our side that day. I liked the ride anyway. The waves were actually not that big when we got to the middle of the strait. They were just more pronounced over at the shorelines on mainland Cebu. And when we approached Sumilon, it was definitely calmer than we expected. And I was still in high spirits until…

Until the plank was being put in place and one of our crews hollered saying “sir, stay back” (in English). His colleague on land trying to assist him secure that plank also told the man to stay back as his foot was almost hit by the edge of that heavy wooden plank. Who was he? A white man whose brain was probably inversely proportional to his belly. Either he was in a fit of idiotic trance or he was just truly dumb. He still stood there, moved just a few inches after hearing the admonitions from the crews. And when the plank was secured, he jumped into it ready to run to the boat. But…

Louder than any of the crews earlier hollered, I shouted at this man pointing a finger at him saying “you go back up there or I’ll shove you off this plank so you can start swimming your way to Cebu”. He, and all other humans in the area seemed to have been stunned at my dictatorial roar hehe. And I was not done just yet. As the crews assisted us through the planks and unto the landing, I was still blabbering at the top of my lungs and said “Don’t you understand English? They already told you to stay back! If you haven’t learned about it yet, it is common courtesy on earth to let passengers get off first before anyone hops-in. Be it in a train, plane, bus or boat. That is common sense even in your country wherever the hell you come from”!

Golly, now I was seething mad when I stepped unto the landing facing him. But the companion close behind me half-pushed to urge me to move on while the crews led me up the concrete stairs where a boy of about 9 or 10 years old (his son), his wife (Pinay) and a yaya were waiting. Still mad like a bull, my attention turned to the boy and I hissed saying “teach your father some manners please”! The wife said “we’re sorry”, I did not turn anymore and continued up to the main road level. Hah!

Another uniformed crew was up by the roadside with his truckster (commonly called a golf cart) waiting to ferry us to the resort’s reception area. He witnessed everything from up in this area. On approach he apologized for the mess that descended upon us but the companion also readily apologized saying I was just too hungry I easily blew my top. That was a fact, so I did not say anything more. Golly me, and this was December 24 hehehe!

Oh well… let’s do the resort next!


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