Sunday, February 13, 2011

'Waiting & Catching' Our Boat To Sumilon

Waiting for it…
Oh yes, the wind! It felt nice and breezy as we rested at the lobby but looking at the waters, the same winds were heaping rather big waves that hammered the concrete wharf and the otherwise calm beach that it sounded like I was in Siargao again. There was no storm nor anything like it in the offing as we checked that out before coming over. I saw one of the crews looking at the waves and far out to the island. Then he shook his head a bit. He did not say anything and just returned to their office/quarters beside the kitchen building. Doods was around so I asked if anything was wrong. He replied that all was fine except that the waves were too big than usual that the boat might have a hard time docking at the wharf. Feigning thrill, I exclaimed “exciting” to see how companion would react as the atmosphere went suddenly silent hehe.

The minutes crept into almost an hour and as we became restless, we finally got sight of the boat sailing its way from the island towards us. It was bobbing up and down but I thought it was big and fast enough. When it approached the wharf though, crews seemed to have a hard time docking, as it was pitching and swaying vigorously due to the big waves. To my standards, those were not really big waves, but by having a wharf near the shallows, a boat would naturally be battered by them little waves. I thought it would even have been better if they just let the boat land its way on the sand near us than use the wharf. But I realized it was rather too shallow (low tide) as the boat was not that small. So we watched them crews attempt everything they could do, while the two passengers it carried sat waiting.

Hey, I thought those crews wouldn’t be joking, it was their resort’s manager that was on board in the first place. Or could have they been overactingly careful since it was their manager for a passenger? I doubted. It didn’t look like so. But we could see they were truly having a hard time docking that boat. Soon it left the place without anyone disembarking. Yes it departed! Ack! It went southwards. When I looked at Doods, I wasn’t even opening my mouth yet and he knew what my question was. So he quickly went to check. On return, he advised us that the boat would instead dock at a public wharf further south (Brgy Mainit?) where the waters they thought were calmer. Another staff came to get our backpacks while a driver suddenly appeared with a pickup truck at the parking lot. My my, they move fast!

Catching it…
Doods told us we would have to be shuttled to that public wharf and board the boat there. After his apologies and quick goodbyes, we were whisked off following the highway towards Santander. Driver’s first word to us was an apology too, while the other crew sat at the open area of the pickup with our backpacks! I asked driver if this was a common occurrence. He replied that it was very seldom, this was just even his second such experience. I nodded thinking he was either telling the truth or was employed just yesterday. At least, either way, he was still telling the truth hehe! We reached the wharf and we all watched our boat going beyond it, so it was clear the boat was not hitting Mainit. Off we go again…

We could see the boat ambling along some distance from shoreline and I asked at one point if we can have a clearer view of the boat. Hah, he probably took my request too literally that he stopped the vehicle over at that wide concrete viewdeck on Santander erected as one of its tourist facilities. And driver even thought we’d go down for a photo-op but I told him we could instead proceed to wherever it was we were going. I think I heard him talking to someone on the phone and mentioned “Pasil”. Certainly not the fish market in Cebu City hehe! In no time, there we were at another wharf where big single-level ferries carry big trucks. We stayed inside the pickup watching for Sumilon’s boat to approach. No can do! Boat crews decided it was also too choppy for them to attempt a landing. Next it was them boat crews calling our driver again to advise him further and I heard Liloan being mentioned. Ah, I already knew where we would be going! Been there again just last month when I toured Negros, remember? Yep, Liloan… where the fastcrafts cross to Sibulan, remember? Yep, that is the place. And for some reason, I was dead sure there’d be no such waves over there as that area is southernmost tip of Cebu mainland but already a bit west. Just a very bit hehe!

We arrived at a beach just a few meters off the Liloan wharf. And with our boat not in sight yet, we took the time roaming the place. Whoah! We were actually on the beach area of a resort called Santander Pebbles Resort! No sand nor pebbles here. I think that is more of ‘gravel’ hehe. Yep, coral fragments washed ashore becoming the white gravel-ly beach! Coarse to be called sand and small to be called stones or rocks. But it is a wonderful place just the same. Still nearby is another resort named PG Divers. It looked beautiful and dainty but did not seem to have guests or probably even not in business at the time. But the door was open, so we wandered around even if we did not see anyone. Gosh, where’d their crews or caretakers go? Maybe out to lunch hehe. They have a swimming pool but it was dried out! The bar and the restaurant tables looked fine and even inviting though empty. Ah I thought they were really closed for Christmas.

So, we walked a few steps more passing by 2 Ceres buses that just arrived, their crews busy talking to each other and we entered the Liloan Port. Yep, where passengers wait for their fastcraft rides to Sibulan. And yes, you guesed it… “seeeeer, naa di-ay ka, humba sir, naa pud nilat-an, hurot na ang tinowa”! Yup, that was the manang tindera who now is already familiar with my tinola-addict face having been a frequent customer. And she knows I will die for her tinola! Just when we were about ready to dive into many of her dishes on display, (it was already 11:47AM for heaven’s sake), or driver, who had been tagging behind all along, reminded us that lunch was going to be served at the resort immediately upon our arrival. Hah, manang looked at him in a rather nasty glare with burning consternation hehe, so he explained that we were guests of Sumilon just waiting for the boat to pick us up.

That calmed manang down as her colleagues gave us skyflakes and coke which we opted for instead. As we sat in one table consuming our skyflakes and coke, and as manang and driver conversed rather animatedly over at the counter, another of manag’s staff came serving us with the soup of their nilat-an. I turned around, saw her beaming with pride. Yeah, the soup was on the house and she giggled “merry Christmas, ser”! What else did you expect, I of course set the coke aside and slurped through my soup contentedly! Yumm!

We only left the passenger terminal when we saw our boat passing by. Driver was ready to advise us so, but he realized we saw it. So we all trooped back to the gravel-ly beach to meet the dear wave-forsaken boat hahaha! On arrival, their manager was assisted by crews off the boat. He acted as if he was dizzy and weak. But he had shades on, so we could not see if he was about to die or what hehe! We asked the driver what was wrong with him. Driver told us he had very high fever. My companion and I just looked at each other and we silently laughed. Yeah, this was almost Christmas eve and that kind of ailment is the most common reason for an official “sick leave” at any office in this country. Whaaah hehehe!

So we finally caught with and boarded the boat! Off to a grand paradise we went! Next entry please?!

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