Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tubigon Pier Discoveries

After a bit of sitting around at D7F, and some bit of ogling at the kinds of dried fish on sale at the few stalls that opened shop at the market, we thought of walking towards the pier. We were attracted by the hum of activities there even if it was a Good Friday. We walked the length of that causeway. Yes, we walked. Initially, the reason was to just see and walk by the mangrove plantation beside it, then we’d ride a trike. But one thing led to another that we did not know, we actually walked the entire length, almost a kilometer… just minutes after lunch! But we liked it! The sun was playing hide and seek with the clouds anyway. This mangrove area is also lush, and like it is over at Clarin, though on a lesser scale, there are plastic bags, wrappers and other rubbish trapped by the roots and branches. It was challenging and fun peeking through those branches and roots from the road! We saw lizards, birds, crabs… who knows there could be other more interesting living things there.

On the opposite side, there was no mangrove and a few outrigger boats were parked. Kids were walking by the shallows. I thought they were both swimming and looking for something – kinhason? Companion shouted out to ask what they were looking for. The excited replies were varied and I did not quite catch those. I think someone shouted fish while another said crabs and yet others said other things. As they slowly moved along those shallows, amidst the banter, they were singing a familiar tune. I aimed the camera on video mode to capture that, but after a few seconds they stopped to pose for me thinking I was snapping pictures. Argh! But when we were not looking, and they thought we were already far, they were back to their singing. Interesting that a presidential candidate’s ad jingle still lingers with them. It is probably the lyrics that they like, about being poor or not being so. Or something like that.

Jellyfish. Looking back to the public market and forward to the pier, we were already halfway on the causeway that walking back or waiting for a ride would have been ridiculous. So we continued our walk onwards to the pier. Soon we saw on the water hundreds, perhaps even thousands of brownish, blackish, roundish things floating or swimming. I knew they were living things but couldn’t make out what they were. We stopped, I even got a bit down the breakwater for a closer look. Whoa, jellyfish! We wondered why they were all there and were overwhelmed at the sheer number. Too many of them. But no one to ask about it, like is it normal, is this a phenomenon, is this a sign of something or whatever? So we continued walking towards the pier. Reaching the many stalls, stores and ferry ticket booths, no one had an answer when I asked about the jellyfish. At least one manang had a cute reply saying ‘they just suddenly appear and just as suddenly disappear’. Her very ‘eloquent reply’ made me say in my mind… yeah sure! Hehe!

Ferries and fastcrafts. Another overwhelming find! There are more boats that cross from/to Cebu to/from this pier than Tagbilaran (the provincial capital). And since that was our only purpose coming to this place, we roamed around the ticket booths of all boat companies that ply the route. There are ROROs, there are slow boats and there are fastcrafts. One employee of one shipping company even joked that one of their rivals have boats that pretend to be fascrafts hehe. I got busy reading the schedules and fares. Too many of them to memorize, though I think the fare range was from P70 to about P300 (I think)! And we were more than happy there were a lot of choices going to Cebu any day or time we wanted. (That’s what I thought… but more of this on my blog about our return trip to Cebu).

I noticed though, all of them boat, ship, whatever companies had their booths (okay, offices if I must call them that) in little shacks surrounding the unpaved parking lot, together with the sari-sari store and carinderia stalls. I wondered how it would be if people were lining up and it rained. Gosh! I thought that would be real ugly inconvenience for all. And OMG it rained! People scampered in every direction to keep their heads dry. Yes, literally just heads, because their/our feet had to get wet since we cannot like enter the booths of the shipping line offices nor the kitchens of those carinderias hehe. Every dry nook or crevice was real useful where humanity crammed themselves like bees in a hive. AND, there were too few people in the area as it ws noontime and a good Friday! The big and real building in this facility is just pre-departure area and only ticketed passengers departing in a few minutes are allowed inside. Golly!

Good Friday blessing. That is what a manong sort of reminded his wife about when he stepped out into the rain trying to fix one of the makeshift covers (tolda) of their little store. Hmm, I think I've heard about that ‘belief’ in some other place, probably even including Metro Manila. Yeah I remember now, most folks believe that it always rains a bit on Good Friday, and it is supposed to be a blessing from heaven. I asked manong more about that ‘blessing’. And he eagerly expounded that it is one of the Lord’s miracles telling me that this is usually a hot summer day but on Good Friday, it usually rains, though just a bit. He further told me that in Batangas where he grew up as a kid, people would go out to at least be wet with a few drops of the shower if they can’t bath in the rain. Yep, this was not the first time I heard about the same story / belief in this country. And…

Come to think of it… Good Friday is movable, but in this country, Holy Week is generally at the height of a hot summer season. How come it usually rains? And how come it is always just that quick a shower? It can be real strong (like today) but very quick, lasting for just a few minutes! And yes, I personally have experienced this at many places in this country from north to south and east to west! Interesting! We enjoyed talking with manong (tagalog) about his views on this and I did not notice I already opened one container of the ube jams on sale at their stall hehe! I only realized this when companion tried to get some from me and I refused, so he bought his own hehe! I was so drawn to his stories, theories, beliefs about this day and the rain. Call me a skeptic, I will agree, but I was amused at how manong was able to connect things about this kind of rain… like science cannot explain it, that it is the Lord’s sign that he is around, that it is to make the streets cool prior to the procession, that sometimes it even rains with no visible rain clouds, that it’s a bad omen if it does not rain nor even drizzle in your place during Good Friday. Manong said kids should be out on the street or the church during such time, and should even rejoice if they see a rainbow before, during or after the rain as that means He loves the place.

OMG Rainbow! The rain was long gone but we were still holed up at the sari-sari store of the manong who regaled us with the significance of a Good Friday rain and us mere mortals. I asked if he was a devout catholic and he said he does not even go to church because he is just poor and must earn a living as long as there is day light, but that he never fails to pray on his own. We said goodbye to manong and his wife so we could start walking towards the church – after paying for the ube jam of course. You guessed it… as we walked on the causeway back towards town center… not one but two (or was that three?) rainbows arched hovering all over Tubigon! OMG really!

Note to you my readers and note to self:
I am not superstitious, I am not religious but…

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


  1. hehe! diri jud ko mag bike2 during weekends. and i think i know the manong kay tig smoke ko dha sa mga tindahan.

    btw, stores and ticket booths are now transfered near the market.

    well written thanks!!!

  2. I love it. Time to explore there for another destination that you cn put it into your list.

  3. thanks for dropping by Kat and thanks for alerting us on the VIP status of JP haha! but your blog on Dean crushes my heart. ahh and oh well... life must go on. have marked your blog in my reading lists and I will dig further back during freetimes. promise. dont worry, Dean is at a stage where I once was and I can assure you, it will be something he will cherish forever. Lolas are the grandest if you ask me :)

  4. Hi PT! Thanks for dropping by my blog, na uwaw ko kadyut kai si Chad, JP and ako ra ang visitors ana. LOL. Ma uwaw ko nimu oi. hahaha.. It's always my dream to travel the whole Philippines, then Asia, then Europe. Ambisyosa ko! I'll learn from your travels before nako adtuon ang place. I actually learn about your blog from JP.

    Fiesta sa Tubigon this weekend. Gate crash ta ila JP! Wohoooo
    Take care!

  5. Hello again PT, hope you're doing okay. I need to ask a favor if you don't mind. Can you please remove my previous comment? My good friend Mr. VIP was very unhappy with it. I am so sorry to bother you with this request. Thank you. Take care!

  6. done. i hope i removed the right comment :)

    keep you cool MR. VIP. everything said has been forgotten via CTRL-X, k? :D

  7. hahah..thanks PT. You saved my life.