as a matter of procedures, we Area Managers are required to submit our workplan one week before the start of the applicable month. so, for the month of may, i submitted my workplan on april 27 (hehehe, late pa rin.)
may 4, i was called by the mpm that i have to attend a 10-day seminar/workshop in iligan city starting may 20-29 (the word ‘fattening’ was playing on my mind hehehe). the venue was later change to cagayan de oro city.
ura-urada, i change my sked to include a sidetrip to davao before the start of the seminar. in this post, i shared my trip to davao city by motorcycle from kananga, leyte to lipata in surigao city to davao city via butuan city.
this time, since i would be going to cagayan de oro city, i purposely have davao city as my entry point so i can cross buda or bukidnon-davao. an 8-hour bus ride stretching almost 300 kms cross-country.
since my flight to davao city from cebu was 8:55am on may 18, i boarded a slow boat to cebu from ormoc on the night of may 17. sunday is usually peak passenger day, leaving me with a sitting accommodation for the 5-hour trip.
the boat trip was made bearable by the fact that i had barkada on the same voyage. and after a 3-hour nap on a 2-gang chair, the ship arrived at the port of cebu city a little past 3am, a very safe 5-hour window for my scheduled flight.
a random small talk with a clueless pastor from gensan proved beneficial as i offered him to share a ride with me by taxi to the airport. he was inquiring from me if there’s a motorboat ride to lapu-lapu city crossing the narrow mactan channel. his flight with his wife to gensan was at 10am yet, but he agreed to share 100 pesos with me on taxi fare on that 5am early morning trip to the mactan airport. the taxi meter only read 130 pesos when we arrived but i handed the driver two 100-peso bills.
i have decided to be very casual, even rugged, on this trip. get-up consisted of my tribu sandals, lee cargo shorts and yellow novo t-shirts.
morning hygiene was limited to brushing my teeth and facial scrub. i project to be in my reserved accommodation in lispher inn in matina, davao at about lunch time and have my much-deserved shower there.
it was a ho-hum 3-hour wait for my flight enlivened only by breakfast in my lonesome; sharing check-in line with the two gays who were incidentally in the same boat ride i had the night before, and; talking with ma’am butch salera, the manager of vcf, and a bcbp brother on his way to his post in pag-ibig bacolod.
i was behind the two gays in the line when we were checking in. i learned they were both from deped on official business to davao city. gay 1 was from caibiran, biliran while gay was from giuian, eastern samar. both were in the 35-38 years range in age. gay 1 was bent on getting the attention of a member of the male specie before him who i overheard was from davao city. he inquired direction about the venue of their activity in davao city. the guy was a fair game for gay 1 who i could safely assume has honed his skills in handling conversations and pick up lines.
when it was male specie’s turn for check-in, his check-in baggage exceed by eleven kilos from the 20-kilo weight limit. gay 1 who was right behind him quickly came to the rescue by giving him his check-in luggage privilege, saving male specie a good php 1,100.00 in the process.
how dynamic. now male specie has one thousand and one hundred reasons to give his attention to gay1 until they part in davao airport.
one thing i anticipate in a plane ride is the take-off. it is very romantic to think that you fly. being airborne is always a memorable experience.
landing was very smooth. the wait at the baggage carousel was short, my luggage was the 3rd item that came out.
it was the ride to the city of davao that made a mark on me on this trip. or more correctly, my search for a good ride to downtown. no taxi line. nobody controls the crowd to queue while waiting for a ride. it was chaotic as the more mobile, meaning less baggage or travelling alone, has the built-in advantage of meeting the incoming taxi. most of us decided to walk to the highway.
in the highway, metro davao shuttle doesn’t take in passengers as a matter of policy according to the conductor of the bus that stopped before us to drop passengers. bachelor buses were all full. jeeps don’t pass by my intended destination. and taxis were all taken. what limited my mobility is my 15-kilo maleta, hence, i couldn’t take jeep that easily and prefer the more expensive but more convenient taxi.
after a few minutes of dillydallying, i decided to take any jeep with route going to the city, and take a taxi to lispher inn.
this was where we stayed in my very first visit to davao city with occci big bosses in 2002.
my stay was uneventful. i was scheduled to take a rural transit bus after breakfast the next day so that i’ll be travelling the whole eight hours in daylight, obviously to take in the view as it would be my first time in this route.
my host hold me for lunch the next day, so it was a 1pm airconditioned rural transit bus that i was able to catch up in davao ecoland terminal.
davao city is indeed the biggest city in terms of land area in the whole world. from the bus terminal, it was only after more than two hours and more than 100 kilometers that we reach the next municiplity which is quezon in the province of bukidnon.
some portions along the route were good only for one way traffic adding an hour to the usual 7 hours.
the trip has pre-determined stops–four for this particular trip. i always have liquidity problem during long-distance trips. naiihi ako palagi. less than an hour after leaving the terminal, i already felt my gall bladder bursting. good thing, the driver pulled over when an inspector, bus company staff who checks if all the passengers were issued tickets, came onboard. i also got off the bus to pee when the driver got off.
the first stop was still more than 50 kilometers after that. i read a marker that read lorega, kitaotao, bukidnon. i again got off to pee. this time, almost all of the passengers also got off to empty their gall bladder. each of us paid 3 pesos for using their cr.
i took notice that it was a regular military checkpoint. there were a lot of itinerant vendors. some stalls sold snack foods, bracelets, necklaces made of indigenous materials and other stuff. it was a sleepy fifth-class barangay which comes alive everytime a passenger bus plying this route stop for rest and pee.
i dozed off most of the time along the way. my seatmate was more interested in watching tv, first wowowee and later some forgettable van damme b-movies, than talking to me. good thing since i preferred it that way too.
after 3 hours on the road, i craved for a cup of steaming hot coffee. the boxes of pizza was in the overhead bin.
hunger pangs finally took over my shyness to eat pizza in a loaded. i got up and reached for the box of pizza and grabbed two slices.
it was the last stop when i got to reach for my pizza. i think the place was manolo fortich, bukidnon. a young US-trained afp officer got on board the bus and sat beside me. his training in the US was focused on CMO or civil-military operations.
he was articulate and a keen observer of the political situation and social condition especially of the indigenous people, and its effect on the military functions and operations.
i was educated on that brief one-hour chat on the functions of the CMO, how AFP as an organization view its importance in peacekeeping which is lasting and sustainable.the challenges of the unit as the most neglected in the afp budget priority. the challenge of cmo officers like him in convincing his camp superiors of the benefits of the cmo, the results of which are not quantifiable.
he was the one who told the driver that i was getting off in chali beach, the venue of our 10-day seminar.
from the length and details in this post, it is obvious that in the seminar i am physically present but mentally absent..