from kananga, leyte to davao city to cagayan de oro city

May 20, 2009

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..


ormoc city superdome

May 5, 2009

my header is a shot of the ormoc city superdome, bedecked and filled, for the 2nd Global Pinoy celebration initiated by the Credit Union Empowerment and Strengthening-World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU-CUES Phils) in September 2005.



May 5, 2009

i’ve been shuttling between negros and leyte since february 2009 because of work..


paul vincent

March 13, 2008

this is inspired by selvo’s touching post.

eight years ago today, our firstborn was a stillbirth. it was the most painful experience i have ever encountered in my life. more painful because i attribute the tragedy to my wrong decision.

two months after we got married in november 1998, wifey had two lines. as short as the waiting time before the baby was conceived, it was a D & C going on the third month.

when she conceived the second time, we have paul vincent as a name if its a boy (from the lolo’s of both sides–fulgencio and vicente) or berna isabelle if its a girl (from the lola’s–bernardita and isabel).

the motions we went all through them–regular check-ups, walks, petition at the monastery for safe pregnancy, lab work-ups, etc.

her ob-gyne went for induced labor but it turned out, like in mikee cojuangco’s case, she’s good under C-section. the transfer to another hospital proved a little, but critically, too late.

he went six feet under with my name in his grave marker.

a golfer missing his putt in the last hole in a championship game by an inch, a haggard traveler a second too late for his connecting flight out of a war zone, a rookie cager splitting charities–different scenarios, practically the same sense of loss.

while wifey had her way of coping–she relates the ordeal with detail to anybody who cares to listen–i would


motorcycle road trip to davao city

March 13, 2008



I had been to Davao City four times in the past, all for official trips—visiting model cooperatives in 2002, joining the 2003 PEARLS Olympics, attending the 8th FOCCUS Awarding ceremony, and participating in the CU-TE Batch 8 Trainors’ Training in 2005. The first one was via the ordinary Bachelor trip, the next two were in a chartered Bachelor bus, while the last one was in the Coop service vehicle.


But going there on a motorcycle had always been an exciting idea. Reading the stories of Iron Butt riders gets me drooling in awe and envy. Scaling down their adventures to fit my budget, physical capacity and hardware was an option if only to have a peek into this kind of trip.


A random call to Homer, my behemoth of a riding buddy, brought me close to that trip. He was a newly accepted member of KARANCHO, and together with other members from different chapters in Southern Leyte, they were scheduled to attend the 12th Annual Convention of KABABAYAN RIDERS FOR NEW CULTURAL HARMONY AND ORDER (KARANCHO) in Almendras Gym, Davao City in January 25-26, 2008.


Without thinking twice about it, I signed up for the trip.


The ride would be more than 1,000 kms to and from Davao City. Wow! The longest I had before that was only 300 kms two-way from Kananga to Silago and back.


I picked up some tips from this website on group long distance riding. this was also helpful


My travel checklist has the following items:



  1. tools (c/o 61)
  2. tube
  3. spark plug
  4. rain gear (c/o reynold)
  5. shorts
  6. one pair pants (baggy)
  7. five t-shirts
  8. one pair of socks
  9. face towels
  10. handkerchief
  11. mineral water
  12. biscuits
  13. or/cr
  14. money
  15. mp4
  16. sandals
  17. large cellophanes (at least 3)
  18. luggage support (c/o 61)
  19. cp charger

I was to meet homer and anching with the rest of the group in lilo-an at around 7am on January 25. this quaint little town has a port terminal for ferry boats servicing lilo-an to lipata route. lilo-an for a long time has been the jump-off point to surigao city.

only on the night before did homer tell me that his wife erlyn would be with us for the trip, and that she will ride pinion with me to lilo-an. That’s more than 150 kms of driving with a back rider in an early morning trip!


Excitement with a dose of anxiety is a sure formula to rob you of a deep sound sleep. A minute before 4 am I was at homer’s doorstep to pick up erlyn. ( had this an official meeting I would have been late for a good one hour, I amusingly told myself)




season of the bike

March 6, 2008

dsc07531.jpgThere is cold, and there is cold on a motorcycle. Cold on a motorcycle is like being beaten with cold hammers while being kicked with cold boots, a bone bruising cold. The wind’s big hands squeeze the heat out of my body and whisk it away; caught in a cold October rain, the drops don’t even feel like water. They feel like shards of bone fallen from the skies of Hell to pock my face. I expect to arrive with my cheeks and forehead streaked with blood, but that’s just an illusion, just the misery of nerves not designed for highway speeds.

ut when warm weather finally does come around all those cold snaps and rainstorms are paid in full because a motorcycle summer is worth any price. A motorcycle is not just a two-wheeled car; the difference between driving a car and climbing onto a motorcycle is the difference between watching TV and actually living your life. We spend all our time sealed in boxes and cars are just the rolling boxes that shuffle us languidly from home-box to work-box to store-box and back, the whole time entombed in stale air, temperature regulated, sound insulated, and smelling of carpets.

On a motorcycle I know I’m alive. When I ride, even the familiar seems strange and glorious. The air has weight and substance as I push through it and its touch is as intimate as water to a swimmer. I feel the cool wells of air that pool under trees and the warm spokes of sunlight that fall through them. I can see everything in a sweeping 360 degrees, up, down and around, wider than PanaVision and higher than IMAX and unrestricted by ceiling or dashboard.

Sometimes I even hear music. It’s like hearing phantom telephones in the shower or false doorbells when vacuuming; the pattern-loving brain, seeking signals in the noise, raises acoustic ghosts out of the wind’s roar. But on a motorcycle I hear whole songs: rock ‘n roll, dark orchestras, women’s voices, all hidden in the air and released by speed.

At 30 miles an hour and up, smells become uncannily vivid. All the individual tree-smells and flower-smells and grass-smells flit by like chemical notes in a great plant symphony. Sometimes the smells evoke memories so strongly that it’s as though the past hangs invisible in the air around me, wanting only the most casual of rumbling time machines to unlock it.

A ride on a summer afternoon can border on the rapturous. The sheer volume and variety of stimuli is like a bath for my nervous system, an electrical massage for my brain, a systems check for my soul. It tears smiles out of me: a minute ago I was dour, depressed, apathetic, numb, but now, on two wheels, big, ragged, windy smiles flap against the side of my face, billowing out of me like air from a decompressing plane. Transportation is only a secondary function. A motorcycle is a joy machine. It’s a machine of wonders, a metal bird, a motorized prosthetic. It’s light and dark and shiny and dirty and warm and cold lapping over each other; it’s a conduit of grace, it’s a catalyst for bonding the gritty and the holy.

Learning to ride was one of the best things I’ve done.

thank’s to Dave Karlotski



March 4, 2008

Reprinted from Roy Ayres’ “Against the Wind”:
“The Iron Butt is an endurance rally, and it’s about getting on the machine and staying on for eleven days. The riders see a good portion of the contiguous U.S. They see it in the ever-brightening dawn of day, the blazing afternoon sunshine, the golden haze of sunset, and the cold darkness of night. They experience the Rocky Mountains, and turn up their electric gear as temperatures drop. They experience the reds and browns of the southwestern desert and survive 115-degree temperatures as blasts of hot air envelopes their leather or gore-Tex-clad bodies. They sip fluids from tubes from packs on their backs in an attempt to stay hydrated and to keep their attention on their ever-changing environment. They wipe face shields clear of driving rain and brace themselves against persistent winds as they ride the fringes of hurricanes threatening to alter their course to the next checkpoint. What is the mystique that surrounds the Iron Butt Rally??”

indeed, what is it about riding motorcycle for long distances? 11,000 miles in eleven days!!

i’ve been reading about ironbutt rally since 2004. these are crazy people, and i mean it in a good way. they ride hard, but more importantly, they must ride smart.

check their web site. happy reading, and enjoy the ride.