Camiguin Series

En Route to Camiguin: Balingoan to Agora - Timid Sun and Showy Boys

Friday, March 16, 2012Ryan Mach

Our intuition was right - this was going to be a great day. No dark clouds looming over the horizon, temperature was high, the humid air smelled of salt. We could tell that the sun was trying its best to emerge from the cottony mid-day mist. The waves however were a bit rough making the ferry sway a little violently as it's parked in the wharf of Balingoan. 
Normally, seeing angry waves slapping against the shore makes me worried sick but I found comfort in the size of the boat we boarded on. Well, it's not that big, but the fact that sail time wouldn't take 2 hours was enough to calm me down. And the sight of life jackets was pretty much reassuring too. I don't remember how long the ferry stayed docked, I'm sure it didn't take too long. I also don't recall feeling bored at all. I guess it's because I was busy conversing with my travel buddies. That's one good thing about traveling with friends - there are hardly boring moments, unless of course your friends are a buzzkill. Ross and Erpe are anything but. As the boat sailed on, we plucked topics from the air and discussed them enthusiastically while nibbling on a pack of sweet peanuts oddly bagged inside a plastic container that had a name of juice brand on it.  
Staple nibble food - peanutes

Meanwhile young boys were performing a dangerous stunt by jumping off from the ship's topmost deck down the restless water below. This precarious exhibition serves as a side-line for these wind-swept and sun-tanned lads who hope for spectators to throw some coins for them to catch.  But a familiar show like this can get a little weary to locals and travelers alike, so fewer coins get hurtled down, leaving the kids empty-handed. 
Passengers wandering about

The plank had been raised, which sent the exhibition boys scurrying away from the boat. The dispatcher began collecting tickets and some passengers settled in on their preferred seats for a short siesta. It was the kind of sail that could lull you to sleep, thanks to the rough waves that pretty much rocked the boat ever so lightly. The sun hadn't come out yet and despite our fervent yearning for a sunny afternoon, we couldn't be more thankful. With an overcast sky, we need not worry about getting a sunburn. 
My travel buddies whiled the time away by taking photos of themselves.
We also did not have to worry about our itinerary in Camiguin. Teddy, a young businessman running a small cottage in Mambajao, had prepared for us a 3-day itinerary. This guy who I met through PinoyExchange gave us an offer we couldn't refuse - a 3-day stay at their cottage, a multi-cab service and a number of local attractions for a total rate of 2800, split among the three of us. Best bang for our buck. As soon as we arrived in Agora, we could feel that we were in good hands. 
"Welcome" says the board. No, that's not Teddy. His assistant, we supposed.
Waiting for us expectantly at the pier was a small yet conspicuous board that bore these heartwarming greetings: "Welcome Ryan Mach & Company." It's a simple gesture which went a long way toward establishing our trust in Teddy, both as a host and a tour guide. When he asked us whether we fancy some fresh sea food for lunch, we knew that we'd be in for some pleasant surprises. 
Calm waters in Benoni Port


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