Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Calbayog to Naga Departure

It was goodbye Calbayog for me and the rains thwarted some of my plans. Part of me actually expected that. Its almost always like so in the eastern corrdidor of this country. It can suddenly rain even on a hot summer day or night. Take this case as an example. It was still April. Argh! I told myself, I’d rather go see the western portions of Northern Samar next time. So, to Naga City, I decided to hop. Yep, that is in Camarines Sur, the Bicolandia. A very long bus ride from Calbayog.

This had to be so. The self-confessed “son of a beach” that I am does not like the combination of sea and rain. No no, not me! Not even mountains, caves nor falls when it rains. Never for me! Thus, Naga City became my next target telling myself that at least I can wallow in its urbanities even under the rain. And probably even enjoy rain at the CamSur Watersports Complex. Go go go!

I was touched at the reminders from Marju Krisel’s manager over lunch. Together with his wife, they told me dinnertime will be on the road and I might not like the food along the way where the bus may deem to stop. And they already told the waiters to pack my left-over lunch to go so that I could eat them on the bus or ferry boat when I needed to. I said no need when they asked if they should cook more food, but they did remind me and insisted that I bring at least a bottle of water with advise not to buy drinks from just any vendor but at reputable-looking stores or restaurants.

All the fuss made me ask how long this “long trip” was going to last me anyway? And I was told, your bus will leave Calbayog at 2PM, in time for the sunset ferry crossing from Allen to Matnog where bus driver will decide dinner should be somewhere near or at Sorsogon City. And, I was told that without any hitches, I should be in Naga by about midnight! Argh! Ang tagal pala! And all I could say was an exasperated “gosh”!

Am not new to long bus rides. Even did Sydney to Brisbane, Bangkok to Singapore, Paris to Madrid and so on. But the “gosh” came out of me because of the realization that I was spending the whole of an afternoon and way into the night-out period sitting my butt on an ultra-cold bus with only the darkness of night for an outside view! Aruuu! Anyway… So there I was, driven off to the nearby bus station by no less than the manager of Marju Krisel in his blue pickup truck with one of the crews in tow – as if I had tonnes of luggage. Yey!

The bus station? Its muddy! But what the hell, am not in a bus station to romp and wander around! I was just there to get the next aircon bus to Naga. If the rains keep pouring though, I might stay put on my seat and go straight home to QC. That was the plan. Oh these big buses just come and go passing by Calbayog. None really emanates from or terminates here. They go to as far as Borongan, Guian, Tacloban, Maasin, Naval, Surigao, Butuan, Davao, Cagayan De Oro and all other places south from Manila, QC and Pasay and back of course! Whoa!

And hey too, Calbayog actually has two bus stations. This one I was waiting at, on the northern side of town and near the airport, plus the other one being at the southern end or entrance to the city from Sta. Margarita. So I hoped there’d still be available good seats when that bus comes along. This was going to be a boring long ride so I really hoped to having a good seat.

By advise of the Marju Krisel Manager, I was to take Silver Star for he says they have newer buses and more reputable on the road than the other choices that pass by this station. So I got a ticket and ogling at their schedule, my jaw almost dropped to the ground at what I saw. It says 2-5PM Calbayog to Manila. Like hello? Ano ito, “edroplano”? 3 hours lang?! Ah the dispatcher clarified that for my lowly brain. That means, the bus will be coming by and departing anytime between 2 and 5PM from Calbayog to Manila. Oh okay, so that is why I was told the schedule is 2PM. Manong dispatcher further clarified that with “2PM if the bus does not encounter any problems or issues along the way, sometimes it stretches down to 5PM, and sometimes they never appear” hahaha!

Quite a bunch of learnings there! And so my bus arrived. Passengers got off to grab snacks and even lunch at the store while dispatcher and conductor assisted me to settle on a vacant seat – UP FRONT! Yeah! So, it was goodbye Western Samar for me, and hello Northern Samar, Sorsogon, Albay, Camarines Sur!

But let’s continue my interesting journey in the next story, aight?!

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