LiteAce Chronicles (Marinduque)
Friday – July 27
I was at SM Megamall when my phone rang past 3:00 PM: “Hey where are you? It has been decided to leave Antipolo at 5:00 PM going to Marinduque” (the original plan was to move at 7:00 PM).
Actually, we had just arrived the day earlier (Thursday) from a 3-day trip from Palawan. I have to go to Ortigas (Robinsons Galleria in particular) for some important matters. I was at Megamall, where the FX terminal going back to Antipolo is located. I arrived in Antipolo at around 5:00 PM where the group is busy finalizing the stuffs we need to bring for the trip. After within an hour, we hit the road. It was raining.
I filled-up the gas full tank while still in Antipolo. Our destination is Dalahican Port in Lucena City and the plan is to use Manila East Road (which would include passing the provinces of Rizal, Laguna and Quezon, including (among others) the towns of Teresa, Tanay, Santa Maria, Siniloan, Pakil, Lumban, Pagsanjan, Lucban.
We arrived at Dalahican Port past 10:30 PM and had just missed by few minutes the ship scheduled for that night. The next trip will be at 4:00 AM, via the Montenegro Shipping Lines. The port, aside from a movie being shown on TV for the waiting passengers, also has a free wireless internet wifi signal. Though most simply decide to sleep while waiting for the next trip.
We paid P129 at the gate for the clearance of the van, then P1,872 for the transport of the van itself inclusive of 2 free passengers. Regular fare for adults is P260, half fare (for children 3 to 7 years of age) is P130 , and with special discounts given to students (P221) and senior citizens (P208) upon presentation of IDs. Terminal fee of P30 per passenger was also charged separately.
Saturday – July 28
The sea was as calm as a sleeping baby. The break of dawn (it is now Saturday!) is just perfect to enjoy the trip and sight see the beauty of the island as we approach Balanacan Port.
Soon our van began rolling again to our destination — my father-in-law’s residence in Puyog. This is actually my second time there (the first time though is not as a tourist and via the public transport) four years ago.
After about couple of hours more on the road along with the seemingly countless right and left turns, amidst the ubiquitous coconut trees, we finally reached our destination. Marinduque is dry without the evidence of rain.
We decided to just spend the day at the house, where we just enjoyed the sceneries and explored the place.
A goat was butchered for us. We bought several bottles of Emperador Light. We rented videoke machine. We had the microphone busy all through the day and night (or at least until 10 PM, in compliance to their local ordinance), until we retire to sleep (at least not after frightening ourselves sharing ghost stories, invented or otherwise).
Soon all we can hear were the chirping of night birds, croaking of frogs, sound of insects accompanied by fragrant scent of nocturnal flowers and the deafening silence in between.
Sunday – July 29
The following day, after breakfast, we began our trip. When we reached the town, I have to fill-up the tank full with gasoline (this is the second time since the first one in Antipolo) as we have plans. The cost of gasoline in Marinduque is about five pesos more expensive than the average cost in Manila.
Anyway… We were thinking of leisurely walking on the beach and perhaps having a short bath at the sea. Unfortunately, the water is not cooperative. The waves are restlessly reacting with the fierce wind. We went instead to ‘Marinduque Hot Spring’ in Buenavista where we stayed (this is after transferring from our original target destination — ‘Malbog Sulfuric Springs’ on which the odor is rather very offensive and mood changing).
The entrance fee to the resort is only P50 (day time stay), while we were charged only P100 (or a couple of hundred, can’t remember) for an open cottage (including the seats and table). It is very inexpensive yet the place is clean, attractive and very well maintained.
The hot spring was indeed very relaxing despite the cold weather and the occasional rain drizzles.
Early afternoon, instead of returning back on the same route, we decided to have a road trip circling coastal road of Marinduque. Thus, we completed a road trip from Boac to Gasan to Buenavista to Torrijos to Santa Cruz to Mogpog and back to Boac. We stopped by at various places of interests, including ‘Poctoy White Beach’ for some photos and even a short dip, Santa Cruz market to buy some meat and vegetables for our consumption (including extras of dried fish to bring back home in Antipolo).
It was already dark (around 7:00 PM) when we reached back home in Boac. It is raining a little bit harder this time, with lightning and some claps of thunder.
Monday – July 30
Morning, we are on the way back to the port, yet we still have few hours to explore Boac. After visiting the Cathedral, other members of the group hunted for souvenir items (to which there are none, or not much to choose), I am with the kids at Boac Museum. Thereafter we headed to the port.
When we reached the port, we were informed that the Philippine Coast Guard had suspended the trips due to rough seas. We noticed a pool of stranded passengers (which eventually included ourselves).
If our first leg of the ship ride is as calm as a sleeping child, our return trip on Monday (July 30) is like under the wrath of a scorned girlfriend (err, I have to correct it as ‘scorned lover’ for the sake of political correctness, anyway this should give the idea). The wind is strong and the waves are high, and I felt dizzy and sea sick for the entire duration of the trip.
On the way back to Antipolo, we had decided to use the South Luzon Expressway this time, therefore greeting a new set of towns and cities along the way — and thus effectively circling Laguna de Bay from and to Antipolo.
One thing worth mentioning though is that we almost have had an accident on the way home at C5. God only knows things would be completely different if the timing and the place of the incident is not as what had happened. We are very very very lucky (I counted three ‘very’ because indeed that was the case) the rear left tire is within seconds of flying to the air (only a single wiggly bolt remains attached to the wheel when we stopped after noticing a strange sound that we just though we had a flat tire).
We are lucky it did not happen on the expressway or that it did not happen when we are running fast, with no possibility of stopping immediately.
We thank God (and the van) for not letting ‘it’ happen.
And this is our travel chronicle — July 27 to 30, 2012. Destination: Marinduque.