Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Arriving Ormoc From The Sea

Very easy! If you are on tour, you’ll probably be doing this via the fastcraft from Cebu (Supercat or Weesam) because the other boats and ROROs are rather so time-consumingly slow, and usually traveling at night. That is unless, you are approaching Ormoc from the town of Pilar in the Camotes islands where you ride a different kind of “wonderboat”. But that will be a later story.

Unlike the big but ugly Batangas Pier, there are no peste persistent vendors who cling to you like leeches wherever you go in the vicinity. The free-bus (if you took the Supercat) to Tacloban and Naval are right at the parking area, immediately after you emerge from the side of the terminal building. Public utility vans like Duptours, Grand Tours or Van-van’s are also lined there (between areas B and D in the aerial photo above), and the drivers or their own dispatchers could be calling out for passengers to various destinations. But there is no shouting under your nose, and there is no tugging or pulling like at the ugly Batangas Pier.

Arriving at Ormoc is no hassle at all. You disembark and trace the covered walk going all the way out to the city’s streets. Photo above is a scene at the "exit" (black arrow in the aerial photo). And mind you, at the very end of that covered walk, before you step unto the city street, is the well appointed office of the City Tourism’s Information Office. Very convenient with very helpful staff, though better if we also talk about them later :)

One little hitch that many of you may like to take note though is: if you feel nature calling, do it before you disembark or before you make a turn to the side of the terminal building (area C) to exit. Enter the door once you reach the building, ask permission from the staff there (because that is actually the pre-departure area). And don’t wonder why when you enter hundreds of passengers are seated all looking at you hahaha! They are waiting and anxious to board the craft where you arrived from, okay?! And that comfort room you are looking for is right behind all of them!

Never feel the urge to answer nature’s call when you have already passed the guard at that terminal’s arrival area and you are already at the big parking lot. Why? Because this story might happen to you…

One time I was already seated on a Grand Tours van headed for Tacloban. It was still waiting for more passengers (near area B) so I told the driver to reserve my seat no. 2 as I will just go pee. I asked the porters where the comfort room might be and they told me to go back to the terminal. Naturally, I traced back to where I came from (C), but the idiot of a guard (black arrow) would not let me in anymore. I said I just arrived from that boat and needs to visit the “CR” urgently.

His advise was: I must walk to and enter at departure area (A) to be able to use the CR. I protested that I was not departing but just arrived, His reply was still I must go as he just described (that's the yellow line in the photo). So I went forth running as I felt I was already involuntarily peeing my pants. Guess what?! At departure area, despite my explanations that I needed to visit the comfort room urgently and that I just arrived showing my ticket and that the guard at arrival won’t anymore allow me back, all these idiots there still demanded that I go through the ceremonies of lining up, have my ticket inspected, have my body frisked, my backpack searched by another idiot before finally putting it into another line for the dog to sniff! That's the little red dot on the photo.

There were something like 30 or more passengers in line waiting to pass by the guards (boarding has started). My insides were already exploding! Solution? In a combination of frustration, anger and panic that I was already wetting my pants, I dropped the backpack in front of all of them and ran for it! Yes, I ran for it since the toilet is at the end of the whole pre-departure area, just a thin wall away from where we arrived at. Some of them guards shouted whatever, one even attempted to catch me. But I was just faster with an exploding pantog!

Relieved, with a better composure, I went out of the toilet and back to the guards to get my backpack. No one was saying anything but most were looking at me as if they wanted to crucify me! So I said “bakit ganyan ang tingin nyo sakin? Hindi ako magpapasalamat na naka-ihi din ako dahil hindi nyo naman ako pinayagan at pumuslit lang ako". I continued with "Now, I am ready to face each and everyone of you, sige kasuhan nyo ako, bring me to court if you wish”.

None of them said anything. I was already grabbing my backpack to get out of the place when somebody (friend) who I did not notice was watching said something to the guards in my favor. But let us not delve into that. I just know he told them "I will be his lawyer" hehe!

Anyway, except for the comfort room thing, this Ormoc fastcraft terminal is nice and easy to be at!

Let’s go back to the arriving thing! Once you emerge out of the terminal’s compound - that means just outside of the tourism office, you just cross that busy street and those two roof-only buildings, each the size of probably 4 basketball courts are Ormoc City’s public transport terminals. Virtually all rides going anywhere from Ormoc start and terminate from either of those two humongous structures, even air-conditioned buses to Mindanao! Otherwise, you just take a tricycle going to your hotel or anywhere else in the city!

Let’s talk Ormoc next! It’s another wonderful city!

ISSN 2512540.625-1338

1 comment :

  1. Kawawa ka naman :(
    But I will remember about that CR thing. :)