activities, adventure, philippines, places, travel

An appreciation post to the people who helped me on my trip to Sibuyan and Romblon

HOW’S IT BEEN?

Let me start off with a little life and work update. It’s been a long time since I made a post and I feel so bad about it. I am currently quite busy with work, not work like stuff I do at work per se, but traveling to work rather. Every day, I have to travel around 4-5 hours (including waiting time) to go to work.

I love my job. It’s always been a dream of mine to work in public health but opportunities in that field don’t come very often and if they do, there’s always a lot of competition. Therefore, I am very grateful and I thank God everyday for having given me this chance to do what I wanted even just for the meantime. I know I can’t continue working in this country for a long time because my career growth and income will be stagnant. I actually feel really sad thinking about that, so I try not to think about it and just live in the moment. One day at a time, self. One day at a time.

SIBUYAN

Anyway, my friend, Erica, and I had been planning to go to Sibuyan since our failed trip 3 years ago. I really wanted to see the “Galapagos of Asia” for myself since I may not be able to go to the actual island.

We planned to meet in Sibuyan island. Erica going there by ship from Batangas and myself by outrigger boat from Roxas City.

I won’t go into detail about our trip nor make a guide about it in this post but I will take this opportunity to talk about the people of Romblon and Sibuyan.

The people of Sibuyan

I was supposed to take the boat to Sibuyan on the 8th of June but the boat scheduled to arrive later in the day and will go back to the island the day after. I met a woman who was also waiting for the boat, but unlike me who was waiting for only a few hours at that time, she had been waiting for 2 days. We chatted a little but with every person telling me that the boat won’t be able to leave on that day, I had to go back to Iloilo and try again the next day. The security guards at the Culasi port were so kind, patiently answering my every question and they even gave me suggestions on what to do next and where I might stay if I decided to stay in Roxas. Having decided that going back to Iloilo would cost me less and I needed to leave some things home anyway, I asked for directions on how to go back to the terminal without having to ride the tricycle. The drivers were ripping me off charging me Php 150 when the fare should only have been Php 50. They even hailed a trike for me and haggled the price. So I only paid Php 50 going back.

Panpan says “Hi!”

One particular guard gave me his phone number so I could call him for information. I did contact him later in the day when I arrived home and he told me that the boat had indeed arrived. I asked further what time they’ll leave the next day but he was off duty so he had to go back to the port to ask questions. He needn’t do that but he did and he even called me up to inform me of the schedule and offered to pick me up from the bus terminal (probably because I previously complained about being charged 3x the normal price). He also followed me up the next day, asking if I had arrived and boarded the boat. I really appreciate the concern and the assistance. Thank you so much, Kuya!

Remember that lady I mentioned who was stuck in Roxas? She helped me a lot in this trip. She just seemed so happy which lessened my anxiety about not being on schedule. While on the boat, I kept thinking about how to get to Magdiwang which was located in the northernmost part of Sibuyan. We were docking at San Fernando which was at the opposite side so it was looking to be a long trip with no other means of transportation save for a jeepney that leaves once a day, early in the morning. Being an introvert and a shy person, I am not so outspoken as to announce to the passengers that I am going to Magdiwang and I need some people to share a tricycle ride with. But she did it for me. She kept asking people until a family immediately spoke up and so willingly agreed to take me on. Thank you so much Manang!

Here comes the best part…

Having docked at San Fernando, we struggled to find the means to go north. They weren’t actually going to Magdiwang but to another Barangay kinda near the town. Since no one would agree to bring me to Magdiwang for less than Php 1000, the family struggled really hard to think of ways for me to reach the town. I felt so loved by their actions. Finally, the mom of the family found a tricycle driver that would bring us to Danao for Php 700. They then said that they would have their relative who has a tricycle, bring me to Magdiwang. If all else fails, they offered that I stay in their house for the night. At this point, my heart was figuratively swelling. I wanted to cry.

Then, after getting off Danao, (it was really dark at this point) they looked for someone to bring me to Magdiwang and since no one would seem to agree, they were literally begging in my place. I should have done that but they won’t let me do anything nor even leave the tricycle unless they have secured the means for me to go there. Now this is the point where my heart was nearly ripping at the seams. Why are these people so nice? Why do they care so much? How are they so loving and caring? HUHU.

Anyway, since we agreed to split the bill 4 ways, I offered to give Php 300 since they have already helped me so much. But to my surprise, they declined it so fervently. They told me I could just give them my part and no more. And that doesn’t end there. When we reached their house, (I was already riding the other motorcycle) they gave me a raincoat that I could just leave with the driver because they were worried I would get wet if it rains again suddenly. huhuhuhu What did I do to deserve to meet such kind people? Lord, seriously, thank You for bringing them my way. Thank you and God bless your family, Uncle, Auntie and Kuya! (I asked their names but I couldn’t hear it properly since the motorcycle was noisy and it kept raining hard)

Another thank you to this really nice man who helped us cross the dam and find the means to go to the DENR substation. Thanks Uncle Ernesto!

What I noticed about people here is that they won’t stop until they have found a vehicle or the means to go to your destination for you. In the city, when asking for directions, we just point and the person who asked says “okay”, that would be it. But here, noooooo… they will find a trike for you, they will hail it for you, they will talk to the driver for you and they will even negotiate the price with the driver if they have to. ( Like telling the driver, “Trenta lang asta terminal, ha?” “Forty kuno ma’am, okay lang?” “Trenta na lang bala”)

To our host who has been really friendly, who has even helped us with our accommodation in Romblon and for keeping Erica company (Lol) while I was stranded, thank you Uncle Edgar!

Romblon

We also had a great time in Romblon.

We met Auntie Baby, Uncle Ferdinand and their son who was so hospitable and has made made things really convenient for us. Salamat! Looking forward to seeing you again!

Finally, Auntie Bella who my diet hates. She made us really good food and even kept us company. We especially enjoyed the dinner she made. And her stories kept us wanting to visit the other islands in Romblon. Salamat gid Auntie Bel, mainom gid ta liwat magbalik da kami.