Tuesday, July 17, 2012
IT IS ONE OF those days when I need to go out from behind my desk and look over the areas where my employer have tasked me to oversee and I choose a Saturday – April 28, 2012. One of the few reasons why I love my day job is I am given the opportunity to travel. Travelling complements my hobby of writing and maintaining a blog.
My blog – WARRIOR PILGRIMAGE – is all about bushcraft and survival; explorations and adventure; home life and parenting; amateur photography; and travel. I love the outdoors so much that, given the opportunity, would shelve the comforts of an airconditioned room for the labors of walking a mountain trail on any day. Yes, the travel is a bonus for my work. Without it, I feel like a zombie stuck to the entrails and detritus of a pressure-laden job that demands so much for (almost) so little.
My itinerary would be south of Metro Cebu with brief stopovers in Talisay City, Minglanilla and Naga before proceeding for Oslob. I need to distribute two mountain bikes and it is urgent. One bike is in the office in Mandaue City while the other I have to retrieve at Upper Pakigne in Minglanilla. My buddy, Joe Patrick Uy, will drive the Mitsubishi Lite Ace with a cargo of one bike with which tires I fill up with air at a vulcanizing shop.
First destination is in Upper Linao. It is a hilly part of Talisay City where there is a high-end subdivision called The Heights. There is a finished and fully-furnished prototype residential house that is open to prospective customers with lots of wonga. I inspected the three-level house that has a driveway and a wide garage. It consists of a master bedroom with two smaller rooms at the uppermost level offering an unimpeded view of the coastline, the sea and faraway Bohol Island.
After leaving the cargo at The Heights, I proceed to nearby Minglanilla town and direct the Lite Ace to Upper Pakigne where there is a low-end government housing project called Sugbu Gawad Kalinga. I had been here many times and, I believe, the few recipients who were rewarded of this project are most fortunate because Sugbu Gawad Kalinga is on a high location with a good supply of water.
The vegetated surroundings, fresh air and good view of the sea contributes very well to the health and welfare of residents but I may have to retrieve the idle mountain bike with deflated tires here and transfer it to Oslob. Since it is 30 past twelve noon, I look for something to fill up mine and Joe Patrick’s tummy and found it at the waterfront of Naga. All the tables are vacant and that would help whip up my appetite plus an opportunity of dining by the sea.
The bike from Sugbu Gawad Kalinga got its tires filled up with air by hand pump inside the Lite Ace by a local from Naga. The Lite Ace rock up and down as the man pushed the pump handle down and up vigorously for several countless times until the two tires look stout again. Then Joe Patrick stepped hard on the gas pedal converting the Lite Ace into a light rocket passing by the towns of San Fernando, Carcar, Sibonga, Argao and Dalaguete before taking a brief respite at Tingco Beach in Alcoy to stretch our legs.
I take the time to snap a few shots from my Sony Cybershot camera on the white sands of Tingco which is just below the highway. After that, I stop again at that famous bend of the road which is about 600 meters approach to Boljo-on town. I snap again the seaside strip of road and sea and the landscape of the old town that hosts a very old Roman Catholic church. Beyond Boljo-on is Oslob, which is just nine kilometers away and a half-hour of rest – maybe. It is already four in the afternoon.
We reach Oslob and I unload the bike for use in maintaining order at the place called the Cuartel de Infirmaria. The Cuartel, is a remnant from the Spaniards which have colonized Cebu for 333 years. A hundred meters away on the same beachline, is the Royal Watchtower – one of a series of armed towers erected by Spain to protect the coastline communities from pirate depredations. Both structures have been undergoing repairs and reconstruction.
Oslob is a popular place nowadays due to the sudden appearance of whale sharks attracted by its warm and crystal-clear coastal waters abundant of plankton and krill. I scan the sea hoping to get a glimpse of “toki”, a name used by locals to describe the big fish. Well, of course, I did not see it.
It is a hot day and Joe Patrick is thirsty so we race back to Tingco Beach and decide to drink cold bottles of beer by a roadside bar offering a good view of the sea with its weekend bathers. The sea is so clear and so inviting but I am sober this late late afternoon despite finishing three small bottles. Water current goes south and, probably, out to the Pacific; a sure sign that it is going low tide any moment.
We move north though, the tide of our focus is Mandaue City, the place from where we start. It is dark by the time we reach Minglanilla and the flow of traffic is getting tighter and tighter as we approach farther north for Metro Cebu. The South Road Properties is a temporary respite from traffic but once we were out of the tunnel, it sticks at you again like a leopard gecko.
The main roads of the reclaimed areas of the north are filled with all sort of vehicles, moving in driblets until one finds such one rare moment of free space and cover it up in one swift move of locking gears and revving engine and look back no more. The Lite Ace move like an eel slipping out of the constricted channel until the red light put a halt to our momentum and a stop to our crazy notions. We reach at seven in the evening in one piece and it is a nice thought.
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