Saturday, July 20, 2013

Discoveries on 2GO’s ‘First Trip’ to Ormoc

That is the “Supercat”, now called “2GO Travel”, and this ‘first trip’ from Cebu to Ormoc leaves at an unholy hour of 5:30AM. Argh! But I was too damn excited for my Livelihood Tour of Leyte, so 5:30AM was it. The best way/time to leave Cebu since I arranged to meet my friend 8AM in Ormoc. Yeah, argh again hehe!

I have taken this craft on this very destination a number of times, but golly, this was probably the first time (or 2nd time) I was going to bite the ‘first trip’. A dawn departure? Me? Well I had no better choice. But, I discovered some funny facts that better be etched in my brain (and yours) from now on. Anyway..!

Tuesday night, tried sleeping early so I could wake early. No can do! So, I just laid in my bed with a little bit of facebook and candy crush until my 2AM alarm went blaring. Washed up and left the Cebu house exactly 3AM so I could be at the 2GO port by 330AM – two hours before departure, right? Yeah, it’s in our system. Flying off to other islands every week just gives you that ‘in the system’ routine. But Oh My Gee, alas dimalas, I discovered it does not work that way with the fastcrafts!

330AM on a Wednesday, cab driver and I thought for a moment we were in the wrong pier. But we both know and knew there is only one Pier 4 and that is where the Supercat or 2GO docks at or depart from. Yes Joana, it was closed with nary a soul around! Might my boat have been cancelled or re-scheduled? If so, how come it seemed only I was not properly informed. The entrance door did not look like it was to open any minute soon. Gosh!

I paid and got off the cab, telling driver I would go find someone to ask. Not sure if Mr. Cab Driver was just curious or concerned, but he did not go off just yet. He was inside his vehicle alright, but I knew he must have been watching me. Fine I thought. If he was indeed concerned at the thought of leaving me alone in a dark and desolate place, well thanks to him. If he was just thinking he could still earn more if indeed I was in the wrong pier, thanks to him still, as that meant I had something if I needed to grab another ride.

I saw 3 porters bantering with a guard over at one end of the building. I walked to them to ask what time the pier opens.They told me 5AM. Wheh?! Concerned, I asked “eh di ba meron 530AM fastcraft papuntang Ormoc”? And they almost chorused telling me ‘yes, that’s why the building opens at 5AM’. Unbelievable but definitely true hahaha! Now what? I had to wait it out by the door for an hour and a half. Argh! But some things kept me lowly sleepy brainie occupied.


Like by and by, my fellow passengers kept trickling in and at about 4:20AM there was something like just about 20 of us in front of the main door. And there were bales of local papers ready to be shipped to various Leyte and Biliran towns like Maasin, Naval, Palompon, etc., And the first person to enter main door (at exactly 4:38AM) was a woman who seemed a to be worker in this building. She brought some of those bales of the day’s dyaryo and a porter (her husband?) followed in with the push-cart containing the rest of the bales. They were probably loading those ahead of the passengers.

4:43AM, the main door was opened by the woman for all of us to enter. But only to this kind of lobby (previously the ticketing counters area), and not yet into the x-ray area so we could proceed upstairs to await boarding. Something cute, when we entered this place, the woman was all set-up with a rack, selling dailies. The fresh news of the day ready for anyone to grab! Those probably came from the unmarked bales of newspapers. Nice of the management to let her move-in ahead of everyone hehe.

Another few minutes of waiting for the next door to open. Yep, the one that leads to the authorities who body-frisks everyone while all luggage are passed through the x-ray machine, before asking owners to line their bags just after the machine so a dog can sniff them for whatever things that may not be allowable – as per the dog’s order hehehe! I did amuse myself watching the increasing number of people in this ‘lobby’ that was fast becoming a big crowd. Include that kid who was already wearing his sunglasses way before sunrise! Ever ready hehe!

When that second door was finally opened at 4:58AM, most everyone trooped to “check-in” (that means ‘to get seat assignments’ upstairs) and buy breakfast or coffee or hot chocolate at the only two concessionaires already open(one of them is Dunkin Donuts). Yup, all the others were not yet ‘in business’ when we entered. I saw that many had an issue about change. So folks remember to bring smaller bills for this unholy time of a departure. Good I had 20 & 50 peso bills plus coins in my pocket. Also realized that when people eat boiled eggs, the ‘shreds’ of eggshell are scattered bare on the table. Even a group of 3 nuns and a guy (priest?) were doing the same! I followed suit - lest I be thought of as not conforming with proper decorum hahaha!

5:14AM the fast craft started boarding, and I had to hurriedly finish my hotdog-rice with boiled eggs. Many of those who were just still ordering food or drinks asked the crews to have everything ‘to-go’ so they could run along and board the craft. As for My Royal Highness, I had to finish eating and run outside (as if to board) so I could still puff a cigarette by the rampway that goes down to the craft. Of course, not without taking a snap of that beautiful early morning sky with the sun slowly inching up! Mesmerizing!

Hey, I noticed that this boat was almost full, yet there was never a time I saw anyone rushing and dashing. And we departed even a bit ahead of the 530AM published departure time. 5:24AM to be exact! Hmm, why couldn’t this happen at airports?!

Anyway, ‘twas a nice and smooth 2 hour trip to Ormoc on a fantastic morning. Though there were thick dark clouds in the distance, it never rained.

Up next, OMG, I was going elsewhere after all!

For a chronology of stories on this trip, please 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


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