That 3D/2N ferry ride

Due to our desire to experience travelling by sea from Mindanao to Luzon, we did not give up even if all Ozamiz to Manila ferries were full. Instead, Dai and I booked one that leaves from Cagayan de Oro which was six hours away by bus from Pagadian. First off, no matter how many baggage you bring, I think paying 150 pesos for a porter is too much. After kuya carried pulled our baggage from the port to our assigned room, bebe and I decided to give him a hundred peso bill thinking it’s already a pretty decent amount but he demanded fifty pesos more. Haist. The staff of 2Go wear pink shirts. Kinda cute. Main lobby. Corridor. Basing on our ticket, we were supposed to be in room 507. According to the lady manning the front desk, only Super Ferry 12 has five stories and this ship only had 3 so we were lead to room 200. Bebe in our very basic room, shared with six other strangers. Good thing we were the first to arrive! Lower bunk beds for the both of us! Once you step in the ship, everything comes with a price. Though we were given a bedspread and pillow with pillow case, blankets weren’t provided and our room was freezing. I was broke and unable to rent a comforter. I asked myself which was more important at the moment: a bed sheet or a blanket to shelter me from the cold? And so I slept on a mattress filled with I-don’t-know-what stains. I just told myself I have a nice bed waiting for me at home. The worst part of the journey is the common bathroom. At first they were okay but people without manners use them so peeing alone became a challenge (how much more taking a bath). The sight still haunts me sometimes. Dai and I wanted to upgrade to a cabin for the sole reason of having our own bathroom but the steward said we had to wait until the next day. On the third floor was the economy area. It was composed of hundreds of double beds in open air. To think that we were supposed to book this ticket. Ah, I hate misleading advertisements! We found refuge in the prayer room. The place had the right temperature (unlike our room, it wasn’t too cold. unlike the open area it wasn’t too hot) plus our cellular networks had signals! I appreciated my ancient Nokia phone more because I could leave it at the charging station without fear that it will be stolen. Our tickets came with on board meals. As always, there were discrepancies between first and economy class dining areas. The economy area was always filled with people and the queue for food lasts as long as two hours. The meals are okay. Some were actually good though the serving of the viand was always small. Meanwhile in first class, queues are non existent. Plus there are flowers and napkins. One time, Dai and I were just too hungry to fall in line so we paid 65 pesos each and upgraded our dinner. The same viand was served but it came with vegetables, banana, and unlimited ice cold water. Staring at the sea and the disturbance that our vessel makes calmed me. The water looked harmless though I know it’d kill me in less than 10 minutes if I jump. Yes, because the thought of jumping have crossed my mind. It’s as if there were invisible naiads luring me into the water. For three days we were stuck at sea. I had a tiny glimpse of a seafarer’s life. After the initial excitement of riding a ship for the first time, what came next were hours in search for something to do other than sleep. Good thing Dai’s laptop was fully charged so we were able to watch our favorite episodes of How I Met Your Mother. Also, since our roommates brought Precious Heart romance pocketbooks with them, I borrowed one and gave it a try. The title was Tipsy in Love and I remember being irritated by the adamant use of “niya”, “nito” and other pronouns starting with N. For lack of other things to do, I finished it in one afternoon. The girl worked as a matchmaker and the guy was a supermodel. They were classmates in elementary and college. The guy was adopted and a bully…Blah, it is not worth narrating. Dai and I were so happy when the intercom announced that we would be docking in Bacolod for 3 hours! Finally, a way out of the boat! Only problem was, we didn’t have money on hand. Not a single dime. No worries for we had a contingency plan. It was to ride a jeep, ask the driver if we could withdraw from the ATM first and then pay. Again, by the grace of God it worked! HAHA We happily roamed Robinson’s Bacolod with our pockets refilled. We bought lots of drinking water and feminine wash! Also, we used the opportunity to try Calea pastries and coffee! Ever since Doc Sorongon brought cakes from this store during our review classes in Alfonso Cavite, I have wanted to have a bite of that yummy carrot cake again. From what I read, Calea is quite popular in Bacolod. Of course we had a slice of the carrot cake! It was only 80 pesos and the size was good for two people (three if the persons in question aren’t fond of cakes). My memory served me right. Ahh! I love addressing month-long cravings! When we asked the staff about their other best sellers, she said the triple something chocolate cake which I was not fond of. Another recommended flavor was White chocolate cheesecake with strawberry jam so we ordered. It was delicious. Better than the carrot cake I must say though this one was more expensive at 85 pesos for a small serving. The jam made the cake less nakakaumay. I am starting to crave just by staring at the picture. Because we sleep during daytime, we always found ourselves wide awake at night. Good thing there was Harbor Bar and Disco where performances start at 9 PM. I would have a can of beer which would lull me to a good slumber while Dai, inspired by a certain episode of HIMYM, would order cocktails like Daiquiri or Tequila Sunrise. Plus their food wasn’t overpriced so if we weren’t satisfied with the generic dinner, we’d grab a snack of fries, burger and pancit bihon. On our first night, the place was almost deserted so we used the opportunity to own the stage! HAHA On our second and last night, the bar was full so we kept mum and watched this 17 year old drink and sing onstage. She sang Sampaguita’s NOSI BALASI and Avril Lavigne’s Complicated with much gusto everyone was laughing really hard. I thought the ride would make me nauseated all the time but apart from our first night when the waves were too strong I had to hold on to the walls of the corridor to keep myself from falling, the journey was smooth. Luckily, I spotted lightning one time while I was again staring at the sea and fighting the urge to jump. Best part of the whole trip was the sunrise. It was Iligan all over again. I amazed myself by waking up early despite sleeping in late. Classic example of the saying if there’s a will, there’s a way. And the lengths I go through for the sake of vanity. I. WANT. A. MONOPOD. PLEASE. (and be one of those annoying people who couldn’t stop using it in public nyaha!) After realizing that there was a better view of the sunrise from the back portion of the boat, I braved hundreds of sleeping and milling people for this one. Ah! Thank you Lord for another day. Watched this scene unfold before my eyes while listening to Cat Steven’s Morning Has Broken and Eraserhead’s Fine Time. :] Next to the nightmare aka the bathroom, another setback with 2Go travel is the delay. We were supposed to be in Manila at 12 noon. It would have been okay to arrive at 4:30 except we had a concert to go to at 7 or 8 (hello Ely Buendia!). And one could only sleep/stare at the sea/read so much Precious Hearts in three days. And if the delay was not enough, the stench of Manila Pier plus the garbage-filled waters surely completed the package. I was traumatized by the barkers and taxi drivers. One barker locked our baggage in one vehicle and then refused to open the trunk despite our pleas and demands. We were sort of forced to pay 250 pesos for a journey which would have costed us 100 pesos using the taxi meter. We really are back in the Metro. Thank you very much for the warm welcome. Way to go 2Go! Our vessel by the way was St. Joseph the Worker. It was an experience I would probably love sharing to anyone willing to listen. Dai and I promised ourselves we’d only ride 2Go (superferry, etc) again if (1) there is no other choice (2) there’s at least four of us (3) we don’t have to dock at the pier in Tondo, Manila or (4) we’ll a cabin with our own freaking CR. JayZ said that if you can make it in New York you can make it anywhere. Well, I believe that if you can survive in Manila you can survive anywhere and that thought fuels my lakas ng loob to go to other places and explore. haha. Hello again Manila, you dirty yet charming bastard!

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