Cagayan de Oro Camiguin
En Route to Camiguin : CDO To Balingoan - The Tale of an Unmindful DriverSunday, March 11, 2012Ryan Mach
We were in a giddy spirit that morning, winding our way to Agora Terminal where there are buses and vans to take us to Balingoan Port. With only one bun of sweet Pastel to fill our stomach, we walked a few blocks from the hotel where we spent the night. There are taxi cabs in Cagayan de Oro but riding one of these wasn't an option for us because we were trying to be cheapskates. Motorellas (local tricycles that can fit up to 8 people) were budget-friendly (Php8.00 minimum fare). However, finding one proved to be a little challenging. They litter around the streets but they're rather picky. If you tell them your destination and it's out of the way, they shake their head and speed fast.
We initially planned on taking a bus but we found none when we reached the terminal. There was however a van waiting for passengers who were going to Balingoan Port. Without any second thoughts, we hopped in. The fare was reasonable (Php100) which we heard was the same amount the buses normally charged. The catch was, we had to wait until all the seats were occupied. And that cost us some time. An hour wasted!
It was a bright day, and we kept our complaints to ourselves. Mariah Carrey's 'One Sweet Day' booming over the radio definitely helped us maintain our good mood. And that one bun of sweet Pastel must have done wonders to keep our spirit on a high note. But the driver of the van seemed intent to test our patience. Barely 10 minutes after hitting the road, he stopped at a gasoline station to, well, fill up gas. This irked us up obviously because any sensible driver should have filled up his gas before the trip. We wouldn't have minded this if he didn't stay long enough at the terminal.
Midway through the trip, he pulled over near a bridge to check his wheels which were producing some weird sound. We could only shake our heads in frustration. The last straw was when he turned around and went a few kilometers back to drop off a couple of passengers at some spot he missed! He could have given those passengers a few bucks so they could hop a ride instead which could save him on gas, and us time.
[Ticket booths outside the port]
Ferries are scheduled to leave every hour from Balingoan to Camiguin. Tickets cost 170 per person, discounts apply to students and senior citizens. The next boat was leaving at 10:54am and since we got there at around 10, we decided to pay attention to our grumbling stomach. There are a number of eatery outside the port. They serve rice and meals for a reasonable price, although food choices aren't that great. Still we wolfed down a good serving of chicken, vegetable and fish. One last gulped of Coke Sakto and we were back to our old giddy selves. We marched towards the terminal (entrance fee of 7.00) and waited excitedly along with other passengers. We were an hour closer to Camiguin.
PART OF MY CAMIGUIN SERIES