August 30, 2014

Screwed till Rescued


“We’re screwed.”

I looked at our bus ticket again and back to the stranger’s ticket thinking that somehow she was just mistaken and that maybe we’re actually on the right bus on the right date. But no! To my disappointment, our ticket was dated a month later and she’s right. She got the seats. I hated how the lady smirked as if she just won a battle; she was almost yelling at us even though we were trying to talk to her as calmly as we could.

It was around 1 am and the bus is about to go. By the way, this was the only operating bus line bound for our hometown. All their buses were fully booked; it would be Maundy Thursday the next day and we had to go home yearly during the Holy Week.

My sister, who made the reservation online, sent me a copy of our ticket details a few days before our trip. Perhaps she and I were too excited to even bother looking at the date. Damn, I paid for it. I paid for the reservation of three people with additional charges and, unfortunately, the date was wrong!!!

As we walked to the ticket reservation office, I was in deep thoughts trying to recall the date stated in the e-mail. I must admit I wasn’t even sure about it, but I still tried to convince the ticket lady that we reserved for April 17. I asked if she could prioritize us on the chance passengers’ queue though I was, at the same time, feeling sorry because I was, well, 50% lying!

“I told the lady on the phone that it’s April 17, 2014”, I heard my sister telling her. Damn the lady on the phone, she had ONE job!!!

Well not one staff really helped. I regretted feeling sorry for lying because they were not listening anyway and they didn’t care at all if we wouldn’t make it.

“Your ticket says May 17, end of discussion”, yeah, why would that concern them anyway? Ugh. That feeling of despair, it got on my nerves that this bus line was taking advantage of the situation: they were the only one on operation between the two major bus lines bound for Cagayan. The other, the pink and flowery, had been on suspension for six months.

On top of it all, their outbound trips were almost four hours late! If only they were a bit earlier, then we could have realized our mistake right away and could have been on our way home by then.

Nonetheless, there wasn’t much time figuring a way out, though. We were dog-tired and sleepy; however, we managed to hail a cab and asked the driver to bring us to another bus line heading for Cagayan. Sadly, he told us there were no more Cagayan-bound buses from this particular bus line. “Let’s just try” was what my sister uttered with a hint of hope. 

So there, we travelled from south to north of Metro Manila direly wishing there would be a bus to accommodate us. But then, all were fully booked. I didn’t know how I should feel about my sister’s honest mistake. I actually wanted to get mad but, fine, I rather conceded to how miserable she looked. Besides, I was really exhausted so I remained calm instead. Meanwhile, our orgmate, Trish, who was going on the trip with us was losing her temper towards her so, I got that going for me. :D

After the rough, gruelling night, we made it back to the apartment at around 4 in the morning. My sister was awfully bothered, that she almost didn’t get some sleep. At 7 in the morning, she, together with Trish, hurriedly went to BBL and, voila! Seats for us, at last! It’s our go-to bus line when we don’t have any other choice. “Take it or never make it”. LOL.

This time, my sister made sure that the date written in our tickets was correct.

As for BBL, yes, the bus line that rescued us from being screwed, their buses are, well, acceptable, but we almost flew our way home! It took us only nine to ten hours from Quezon City to Tuguegarao, and mind you, we had three stop overs! Trish even told me she could smell the tires burning. O_o


See, guys, when making a reservation online, always double check before you press SECURE CHECKOUT or CONFIRM!

Credits to VL

To be continued...

Goodnight! - donna

August 10, 2014

Where To Beach Drink

I have been looking forward for this trip that I purchased a tour package a month before. I just need to get some things off my head and a weekend getaway in the beach would be perfect (and I don’t have to file for a vacation leave).
Our contact person (let’s call him Miss J for I can’t remember his name) informed me that we are going to leave Metro Manila at 9 pm sharp (Friday night). I decided to change my shift from 8 am – 5 pm to 6 am – 2 pm in that way I won’t have to take a half day leave and still have the time to finish everything that I have to finish at work (I’m coming from Bataan). The trip from Bataan to Metro Manila usually takes 3-4 hours which depends on the road situation.
My friend and I arrived 30 minutes early at Amihan Terminal but sadly we cannot go into our bus yet. The seats at the waiting area were all taken; we ended up standing for 30 minutes watching passersby and stray dogs. Miss J at least had the decency to let us in the bus first because we were the first in our group to arrive.

I did not expect that our group would fill up the whole bus. Most of them ate their dinner inside the bus and I heard my stomach growl although I just had a heavy dinner. You see, whenever I smell food I get hungry.
The first hour of our trip felt so long because I was hungry and my mind s*cks because it kept thinking about food. I was so relieved that we had a stopover and yes, we bought food. The rest of the trip was purely dedicated to sleeping.
Finally we arrived at Daet, Camarines Norte. The trip took 10 hours, from EDSA Cubao to Daet, which was supposed to be 7-8 hours only. Road works were ongoing and there was a long traffic somewhere in Quezon (which I didn’t notice because I was sleeping). It was 7 in the morning and again I was hungry. Our bus stopped besides Jollibee but Ayankins was craving for a Daet-feel food. We tried to look for a restaurant but it was 7 am (they’re still close) and we were advised not to go very far from our bus. There was a near tapsilogan and we chose to eat there and their tapa meal was delicious that Ayankins ordered another cup of rice.   
Vinzon’s Fishing Port was only five minutes away and we hopped on a small boat that would take us to a bigger boat that would take us to Calaguas Island. I was a bit disappointed when I saw our boat to Calaguas: it was a fishing boat. There were nets but there were also life vests placed in big plastic bags at the side so I got that going for me. Although the boat smells fishy I just filled my mind with other stuff like pushing the couple (who are 2 meters away from me) away to the sea or putting a tape to a girl’s mouth who had been talking the whole boat ride. The boat ride took three hours.

See?! It was a fishing boat.
At least there were life vests in the boat

Three hours and we’re at the island and boy the water was crystal clear. I wanted to dive in immediately. I just realized that I was still wearing my office clothes. But it was time for lunch and I don’t want to be the last in line. Food is my top priority and the beach is just next. 

During lunch, we noticed an on-going construction somewhere at the back. My instinct told me that it was going to be our bathroom for our stay at the island. It’s fairly acceptable; at least no one’s going to see me taking a dump. By the way, electricity and air conditioned rooms are not present here. We stayed on tents but the organizer brought a generator just so we can have a light during dinner (and sounds). We also have to fetch water from a pump well when we need to use the bathroom. Well, I can go on 3 days without taking a bath. haha!

No hotels, just tents

Applying sunscreen :)

Preparing for the beach

Inside the tent, with Ayankins

After sorting out our things we swam right away. Who cares if it’s 2 pm, the beach is so inviting even though you’re going to swim with boats. There are less boats during weekdays. The water was so clear that you could see your toes clearly under the sea.  I think we swam until around 5 and we hit the beach again before eating dinner.

Today's a good day, more boats!

I know, I'm good at taking jump shots.

Meanwhile, Ayankins' shots

Who knew that we’re going to have new acquaintances (and now fb friends) here? While drying ourselves at a hut, a lady offered us lambanog (there were three of them drinking). Learning that we were from UPLB, they told us that they thought a woman would get pregnant if she went to the famous Fertility Tree at UPLB. Well, I've never heard of this but it's not true. :D Then another two couples joined us. What I like about these people is they were very friendly and accomodating. We exchanged stories and didn’t notice that there was no more lambanog. We decided that we’re going to drink more after dinner. :D

Api, Len, Rhea and Ayankins

The organizers cooking dinner

This would have been better without the boats

Fail! ahaha!

The organizers had a mini presentation on wine mixing and poi dancing after dinner. The only thing I liked about this is that there are free drinks. Yeah!

L-R: Len, Api, Jov, Clem, Rhea, Ayankins
Andrej, Jhong, and me (credits to organizers)

Truly we continued drinking after dinner, which finished around 3 am. Drinking is fun; it makes you feel happy, crazy and sometimes sad and horrible all at the same time. Although it sucks the morning after. We talked about random things but I don't remember most of them. I remember us talking about our work and that Calaguas was much better a year ago. That one of the couples in our group is getting married. Well, we had so much fun that they want our group to have another beach getaway.
I woke up at 6 am feeling sluggish. We are leaving the island at 8 am that's why. This is the time where I regret drinking the last night. I went directly to the sea and swam thinking that the water might wipe off the alcohol I've consumed last night. Somehow it did.

Smile at the camera even when your head feel like it's gonna explode

I slept on our boat ride back to Daet (still the same boat). I was too tired that it didn't matter if I was sleeping on the part where the fishes caught are stored. I didn't even wash myself after swimming at the beach. I took pictures before sleeping :D

Going back to Daet :)

We had a stopover at Bagasbas Lighthouse Hotel Resort where we ate lunch. It has a restaurant overlooking the Bagasbas beach but the beach doesn’t really feature a picturesque view:it’s a surfing spot. We had a quick dip at the hotel’s pool before showering.

the organizers offered free henna, i asked for bird feet and this is what i got

one last picture before sleeping :D

I was asleep throughout the trip back to Metro Manila. But it doesn’t end there; I still have to catch the 4 am trip to Bataan and go to work at 8 am. It's all about time management haha!