Notes by yeyette on Monday, May 11th, 2015 under Visayas
A night before, I told Ruben that I will cancel my island hopping. I need to get back to my hotel before 9am. I was able to make a friend named Loloy who is kind enough to volunteer to let me see Hinagdanan cave. He was also from Mindanao and he knows our city. There is no direct van or jeepney to Hinagdanan. You have to either hire a van from the hotel or negotiate someone outside the hotel. Try to befriend some locals and they are much willing to help. If you are going to cancel your reservation for island hopping, you cannot get the refund anymore, unless you will fight for it. So one small advice, just pay a hundred peso downpayment if you are not sure that you cannot go.
We went at 7:00AM thru his motorcycle and we were glad that the cave will open at 7AM. We reached at around 7:30AM. The cashier smiled at us and told us that we are the first customer arrived at the cave. There was an entrance of Php25/person (USD0.60) and if you want to swim, you have to pay Php100 (USD2.25) for maintenance.
It was small cave. The cashier told me that the guide (which is free) is good in taking pictures and he can tour us personally since no one is around yet. I gave him my camera and let him operate it, and the result? Fantastic!
The water was 12 feet deep but if during high tide, it will be 15 feet deep. That deep for a small cave. The water was inviting. They ask me to dive but I didn’t bring my swimsuit. They said it’s okay since nobody is around. I told them that I’m scared of deep waters. Then Loloy joked that there’s an 80 year old man who swim and when he got out of the water, he suddenly looks like 50 years old. I laughed and I told him that it will be scary if I will become a teenager. Our laughs echoed the cave. But seriously, the water is very very clear and really tempting. Then our guide told me to touch the water to make a ripple. The water is nice cold and true enough, it forms into a ripple. It was a great experience.
Ripples of life
We just stayed for a few minutes and I went back to the hotel. I gave Loloy Php100, as a driver and as a new friend. He accepted it shyly and told me that he will use it to buy for a gasoline. We said goodbye.
I checked out at 9:30 and luckily, there was a van waiting outside the hotel. I asked the hotel staff how much is the charge going to Tagbilaran and he said Php600 (USD13.50). Argh! My budget is only until Php300. Then, the van driver asked me where will I go. I told him to Tagbilaran port terminal. He said he can send me there for Php300 (USD6.75). I still asked for a discount and he told me that normally, the van should be full before he will go. Since I am the only one around, I should pay the whole van! He asked me what time is the ferry and the schedule was 11:40AM. He said that he can send me directly to the port for Php300 and he will go without picking up passengers (unless there are passengers going to the same destination) OR we will wait for passengers to pickup until the van is full and I can pay a lower fare. I don’t want to sabotage my time so I accepted the offer. Go for P300!
For 30 to 35 minutes, he talked a lot about his family, their life and his children. I can say he is a happy man. His younger son is with us since it’s Sunday and no class. He is in his 4th year high school.
One conversation that let him ask me for a high five was:
Him: What course did you finished Ma’am?
Him: Maybe your parents can afford to send you to school and you only have 1 or 2 siblings. I have six children.
Me: (I looked at him and smile) We are all 8. I was a working student and my father doesn’t have a stable job. My mother was a market vendor after she quit her job. You cannot depend on your parents if they can only give you what you need for a day and if your future is at stake, you have to do something with it.
Him: (He looked at the front mirror and talk to his son at the back seat). Did you hear her? Blah blah blah blah….
I was smiling by his nagging while his son was quiet. Then I heard him say, “But this son of mine is a good son. We are poor but we still can eat”.
Me: Don’t mind being poor as long as you are happy. (Well, I cannot brag about the benefits of being rich).
He hold his hand in the air and asked for a high five. Sometimes, talking to strangers just about anything might give them encouragement to go on.
We arrived at the port at 10:30AM. I paid him my fare, said thank you and bid goodbye. There are 3 shipping lines from Tagbilaran to Cebu and you just have to choose the timing. I choose 2Go because it will depart at 11:15 (the earliest after 11:00) and the fare was Php400 (USD8.90) plus an admin fee of Php10 (USD0.25). Tagbilaran is expensive than Tubigon.
We reached in Cebu at exactly 1:15PM. I am glad I have a friend in Cebu who became my service driver in getting my ID and sending me to the airport. I was way too early but it was good.