Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My Way To Dakak

7:37AM, I was all packed, checked-out and waiting for my 8AM free transpo to Dakak Park and Beach Resort – which I arranged while still in Manila. Alas, at about that time, I received a call from said resort advising the vehicle would be late but should be at Hotel Camila 2 on or before 9AM. One hour delay, bummer I thought! So I went back to my room, switching between BBC, CNN and Bloomberg just to keep tabs with the world. Eh, before you raise your eyebrows, let me clarify that there is nothing worth my while from local (Philippine) television networks at such time on a weekend, okay?! Fine! Then, at 8:44AM Hotel Camila’s front staff called to tell me Dakak’s driver was at the lobby looking for me. Goody! And when I reached the lobby, I saw Hotel Camila’s guard putting my backpack inside the van. Hmm, very efficient!

Van? Yes, a green Nissan Urvan (picture above)just like the many that you get for a commute ride from Makati to Paranaque, Megamall to Pasig or Cubao to Fairview. Even the plate number is as if you were in Manila. I wondered a bit at that plate number, though I lost the trend of thought when the apologetic driver approached me asking if I had other luggage from inside the hotel. I smilingly said “none, other than the backpack” that was already sitting in his van. Why was I smiling? Well, wouldn’t you? If Hotel Camila’s driver that fetched me at the airport with an F150 was wearing shorts and slippers, look at him, Dakak’s driver, wearing a long-sleeved powder-blue barong, with matching black dress pants and black leather shoes. The irony made me smile – an Urvan with a dressed-to-kill driver versus an F150 with a driver dressed for the back of the house hehe. Well, without further ado, I said let’s go and waved goodbye to the friendly staff of Hotel Camila 2 who were mostly at the door to wave me adieu!

I immediately said let’s go, because the van was empty, therefore I thought, we were still to roam around Dipolog or elsewhere to pick other people who would be going to Dakak and I knew that would have taken more time. Nge! I was wrong… there was no one else… I was the lone passenger that this van with a barong-wearing driver was to carry. And he stood by the sliding door waiting for me to board. But (as always, when available) I clambered up the front seat beside him. So after scratching his head, he immediately closed the sliding door and ran towards front seat to remove things he laid there like a newspaper, his shades and some other items. “Ayaw mo sa likod, sir?” came the driver’s question as we both waved a final goodbye to Hotel Camila 2’s staff. I said “I am a tourist, I like looking at places, so I always want to sit in front. Is that a problem”? He smiled and recoiled saying “ah, no problem, sir”!

And off we went!

For a few moments as we exited Dipolog, I stayed silent but started taking photos of things I thought interesting. He repeated his apologies for having been an hour late (as if it was his fault). I said “okay lang”. Then he continued that the cause of the delay were his passengers coming out of Dakak who wanted to pass by everything at Dapitan and everything in Dipolog before getting off at the airport. He assured me that he reminded those passengers he still had me to fetch at 8AM. I just thought ‘damn pesky passengers’ hehe, but continued to listen to his story. It did give me an idea and I toyed at “what if I too used him and his van to tour around Dapitan City before proceeding to Dakak”? Check-in time is noontime anyway. I can cancel my pre-ordered breakfast at their resort anyway. I wan the only passenger in this van anyway! Well, the saner part of me prevailed hehe. I did not want to add anymore to this driver’s worries lest he ‘eject’ me somewhere on a bridge or at some uninhabited parts of the forest. Duuu hehehe!

I did ask what was all the fuss over his being late that his apologies sounded like as if I missed a festival! And so I learned… he was too concerned that I may complain at the resort about such incident and that he could lose his job. Hmmm…

Anyway, I had nothing else to say, so I kept asking him about places and things that we passed by if only to make him at ease and feel it was just fine with me really. I did not want to anymore hear him repeat his apologies for the nth time or I’d already go crazy! We passed by Dapitan City and except for the few pictures I took, I could not even remember what I saw, because he kept telling me of the “story” why he was late to fetch me! I think it helped that this was early morning… My Royal Highness was not yet grumpy hehehe. Though I told him I was hungry and that I rarely eat breakfast at 10AM. That was not a lie. I was really already hungry, though I did not tell him I seldom eat breakfast in Manila hehe. So, if I said I rarely eat breakfast at 10AM, it was technically correct (but you can interpret that in many ways) he hehe hehe!

The van traveled faster and in three quarters of an hour, there I was, sitting at the patio with a view of Dakak Park & Beach Resort, waiting for my breakfast of Purefoods Corned Beef with sunny side-up eggs and hot chocolate – all probably being re-heated since it was already about 10AM! Haay hehehe! But let’s cover that, and more, in the next story. K?!


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