A weekend that would not go away!

May 14, ’08 4:00 AM
for everyone

I had not been to Dumaguete in ages. I was pleasantly surprised that despite the new establishments around, the city had retained its quaintness and small town charm. I was glad to be there.

APO, our band, our staff and our managers Betta and Butch Dans and their three kids flew in to Dumaguete early last Saturday morning to do a concert for a private company that evening. Everything went great, Good crowd, good performance. Couldn’t really ask for more.

Usually, APO, band, staff and management go home the next day to free the producers of the burden of having to spend extra to entertain us. But since Boboy is from Dumaguete and he and his family talked excitedly about dolphin watching along the Tanion Strait, a passage way to Cebu, I decided at my own expense to stay and join Betta and her family the next day for this exciting activity.

It was a one and a half hour car ride and another hour boat ride to the Tanion Strait. And there they were—schools of dolphins of all sizes swimming in crisscross fashion along and around the boat. To say that it was a thrill is putting it mildly. It’s really exhilarating to see these beautiful, playful mammals in their natural setting, not in some aquarium or theme park but right in their own habitat. We were screaming with glee as they appeared, breached, jumped and swam close to us. At times they would disappear but then would suddenly make themselves visible again by splashing and jumping not too far off from us. We would in turn go in their direction for a better view.

After the moments with the dolphins, we took lunch in a spacious hut on stilts in the middle of a submerged sand bar. It was quite an experience to be around one of the most beautiful sites of Negros province.

We capped the evening with a sumptuous dinner with the Garrovillos at Bingbing’s, Boboy’ Ate.

The next day, I awoke to strong rain. I got dressed, ate and left the hotel for my trip back to Manila only to find out that the flight was canceled. Bad weather made the visibility impossible for landing. The afternoon flight was canceled as well and I immediately resigned myself to staying another night. Too make things better, Boboy invited the group for dinner at one of Dumaguete’s foreign owned restos and it was a wonderful night capped at his mother’s house for some coffee.

Again, I awakened to heavy rain the next morning and even darker skies and although I felt that our flight would be canceled again, I still dressed up and headed for the airport. Sure enough, it was canceled, and we headed back to the hotel for some breakfast.

I was beginning to feel like it was a weekend that would not go away. I was restless and wanted so much to go home. I was down to my last smelly shirt and I had already postponed my Manila workshop run for a day. I knew I had to find a way home that Tuesday.

After getting some advice from the front desk about how to get to Cebu, (I figured that they will always have flights to Manila from there), I went to my room, pondered on this jump-to-the unknown adventure and decided to go for it.

I flagged a pedicab for a twenty minute ride and headed for the ferry dock. There was one going to Liloan in Cebu at 11 AM. While riding the cab, I was adrenalin charged and caught myself repeatedly telling the pedicab driver to speed it up so we would not miss the boat. In turn, he told me while chuckling that we were running out of gas! I told him to just drive as close to the dock as possible and if his vehicle stopped, I would just walk from there, rain notwithstanding.

Luckily, we did not run out of gas and reached the dock. I bought a ticket and hopped on the fast boat. In twenty minutes, I was in Liloan and boarded an air conditioned bus to Cebu city. It would be a three hour and 15 minute ride through small and medium sized towns while watching two entertaining Bruce Willis movies.

Quite a pleasant ride actually. Nice scenery. On the bus, I made friends with a woman seated behind me who was also going to Manila out of Cebu. We agreed to just share cab fare from the bus station to the airport.

When we got to the station, we caught a cab and headed straight to the airport through excruciatingly slow traffic. I was worried I would not catch the flight. Once there, I ran to the Cebu Pacific ticketing office and arranged for my seat on the 4: 25 flight. We got to Manila around 6:20 because of some delays caused by late passengers in Cebu. From the airport, I rushed home to a waiting class of TCU students. After a few minutes setup, I opened the workshop!

I have not had a day this hectic for some years now. All throughout the transfers from pedicab, to boat to bus to taxi and to a plane and another car ride to my QC home, I kept on singing a line from the song ‘Get Here’, which goes, “I don’t care how you get here. Get here if you can.’ I did!


Talk about an adventure.