Anyway, when the line reached the door of our ‘Tourist A’, I thought that was too long enough, so I joined in. And most everyone already did so. Note: the boat was still even maneuvering towards the pier. I checked the time, it was 5:24AM! We all had to keep inching our way. Many times I was not even moving yet but I was being pushed! There were so many lines from all directions gunning for that single exit stairs, although the bulk of humanity was from that which I was in. This only means, those other lines were made by ‘cutters’, ‘cheaters’, ‘assholes’! The many who came down from upstairs would even walk far to join the end of my line, yet those “other lines” were made by people who came from the same floor as us. I was not too pissed since some of them looked aged or had too many luggage.
Thud! We were all jolted by one quick bump and that meant the ship already positioned itself on its final docking position, I think. Then there came a stream of rushing sanggano-looking guys in uniform, some wore hard-hats, others didn’t. They came from the stairs at the other side of the RORO where no passengers were lining-up to exit. They were all shouting “baggage”, “porter” repeatedly. Some passengers were calling on them, others they approached to ‘transact’. But I was so aghast at the next thing these porters did. They would lift all those things entrusted to them big or small AND immediately make their way towards front of the line bumping and shoving passengers away!
Some had the nerve to shout “excuse me, eeekskyuuus” but in my mind I was saying “putanginang mga ito, what gives them the right to break the line and go forth up front?”. That was just not fair to others like me who were already in line for something like 15 minutes. Worse, those who availed of their services would usually cling behind them, thus jumping the line, getting ahead of others. I did observe that these porters have no care about bumping and hurting people. As if their “ekskyuuuuus” was authority enough for them to shove anyone. I saw not just two or three, but many of them who even use the boxes or luggage they were carrying to bump people aside. Otherwise they use their elbows. Tangina talaga!
Anyway, as if to appease myself (lumabas pagka war-freak hehe), when two of them passed both sides of me (together), I quickly and forcibly turned so my backpack struck the one passing on my left. He fell to the wall and looked at me with fiery eyes, but I slightly bowed and told him “sorry, he pushed me” pointing at his colleague to my right. Hahaha, I heard some of my co-passengers teasing them to argue with me in English. That quickly, he smiled and said to me “es okay sir, ekskyus me ples”, then he moved forward again. Some 3 or 4 persons away and front of me, that same porter exclaimed “ataya nose bleed”! I was fine with that since it made everyone laughing in the perspiringly hot pile of humanity trying to disembark!
Not long after, another “ekskyuuus me” passed by us, as if really they were licensed to overtake everyone. The more irritating part was that the owner of that box was closely following him to jump the line. I imagined these idiot passengers are like motorists who tail a rushing ambulance to get away from traffic. Hmm, aminin mo Ariel, isa ka sa mga yun! But my equally asshole of an attitude was all already awake. When that fat lady-owner of the box was already some inches front of me, I stretched my right foot out to tangle with hers. Tumba! The next thing we heard was the same ‘tabachoy kulot-salot’ of a business woman exclaiming “aguy, anay anay”! And some passengers helped her up, then she proceeded to follow her porter.
Finally, when all seemed settled, conductor started collecting fares – Tacloban was P180++, Baybay P70 (I was told on board it was P78). No tickets, he just collected our cash! Passengers were all wildly exclaiming that we already start moving since everyone expected were already aboard and that the bus was already in fact full with some standing on the aisle. Conductor reasoned in his loudest voice that bus can only move after he collected fares as he must leave all those money behind. He said “kay ibilin ni” to those who were egging driver to already move forward.
I sat there silently, avoiding any unnecessary movements as I was already drench soaked in my own perspiration. Plus, any kind of movement would cause me to fall to the aisle (too narrow seats). The cool morning breeze couldn’t enter as the sliding glass windows were stuck!
At 6:33AM, bus finally moved – exactly 47 minutes after I sat foot on Hilongos!
Uneventful ride to Baybay on very fine roads and a beautiful countryside. Views were even grander from the town of Hindang onwards as we could see the calm seas to our left. So I don't know what to feel now, was it a good morning or was it not? The disembarking and the bus thing were really irritating, otherwise, it was such a fine day to arrive at Hilongos.
But my Baybay to Ormoc trip was different... let's do that next...
For a chronology of this trip's stories, click these numbers: