Sunday, February 23, 2014

Amazing Race Christmas 2013, Team KoKo: Iloilo

Bye Boracay

Ay before anything else, I forgot a part of our Boracay trip pala. On our way to Caticlan from the island, the water was a bit choppy, and it was very windy. Then, a few minutes later, hindi na "a bit" lang ang alon -- very, very, very maalon na!!! The guys manning the boat unfurled the tarp to prevent any waves from splashing inside the boat and told us to wear out life vests na. TheHusband wore his life vest but seemed unfazed (although malamang eh di lang nya pinaparamdam na takot sya kasi alam nyang matatakot din ako. hehehehe!)  Sharkteeth was getting frightened. I was a bit afraid but not totally -- I thought that should the boat capsize, hindi naman kami masyadong malayo sa shore and we'd be rescued immediately. May co-passengers kami who seemed native to the island and appeared blasé about the shaky ride -- dedma nga sa advise to wear life vests. Tatawa-tawa pa nga ang mga mokong. A-tapang a-tao! Tapos biglang umalon ng malakas and so much water got inside the boat. Etong mga a-tapang a-tao, they squealed like a little girl, with matching nandidilat ang mata sa takot sabay suot ng life vest. Hayun, doon! Doon ang point kung kelan natakot talaga ako. Isip ko lang, kung sila ngang sanay na sanay sa boat ride at kulang na lang ay tubuan ng fins and gills eh natakot, ako pa kaya na lumaki sa land-locked place. Luckily, the pier came into view shortly and we were all able to breathe a sigh of relief. Sinita ko si manong. Sabi ko, "Manong, 'di ako masyadong takot nung una, kaso nung sumigaw ka, nalulon ko yata puso ko!" "Kasi naman, ang laki nung ulan na tumama sa may likuran nyo," sagot nya, all the while smiling sheepishly. All of us seemed happier upon stepping on terra firma. Alleluiah! Alleluiah! Alleeeee-luiah!

Okay, onward to the Iloilo trip. Two words: TERRIBLY. LONG.

We left Caticlan around 1.30 pm and reached Iloilo around 8 pm. It was supposed to be just 5 hours but turned out to be more than 6 hours. Ang dami-dami-dami-dami-dami-daming terminal stops. And just when dere-derecho na ang takbo ang bus, saka naman nakaramdam si Sharkteeth na maiihi sya. And although nakakahiya sa co-passengers and sa driver and conductor, I couldn't let her hold her pee kahit pa 45 minutes na lang ay nasa terminal na. So kinapalan na namin ang aming fez. The driver was very understanding naman and dun kami hininto sa tapat isang sari-sari store. I was about to let Sam suffer the indignity of making her pee at the roadside, but the kind couple who owns the store told us that she can pee in their restroom. Sila pa ang humihingi ng pasensya kasi wala silang kuryente. Such a humbling experience. I offered to pay, but they steadfastly refused. They were so gracious. In this world dark with greed and opportunism, this kind couple shines so bright. Char.

Oh, did I mention that the trip was VERY LONG? I did? Hehehe. It was so long I finished the first Percy Jackson movie and the first two Harry Potters. The third Harry Potter installment was about three-quarters done and I wanted to finish it. I would have done so had the driver let me. Hahahaha! We reached Iloilo around 8 pm and got in a cab. We asked the cabbie to bring us to an affordable hotel in the city, and he said he knows a new place that we might like. He brought us to 88 Plaza Hotel, and true enough it is new. Triple occupancy is merely 760 pesos! I was expecting affordable, but not THAT affordable! It is so new, the LCD TVs still have their plastic film stickers, all waiting to be peeled. So I did. Hehehe! I know it's so mababaw, but I really like peeling plastic films from new appliances and popping bubble wraps. And acne. (Tangent thought: Gross, but true, and I think I'd really enjoy working as a facialist.) Room rates include breakfast, but it was nothing fancy, just the usual -silog fare. Pero diba nga, may vetsin ang dila ko. :) And, oh, other negative points: they don't have elevators. Imagine having to lug travel bags full of stuff four stories up. Their pillows are so soft. As in it was like I didn't have a pillow at all. Still, the rate was value for money. We asked for notable places to visit. Ang sagot ng front desk: SM. Hahahahahaha! SM talaga ha? So, ayun, off we went to SM.  May Starbucks sa tabi ng SM and we stayed there for a while. Syempre, si S, at home na at home and took that break to read her new books. (By the way, thank you to all my friends whom I coaxed, badgered, bullied, and pressured to give Sharkteeth Thea Stilton books. Hehehehe. I love you all. S loves you all.)
Starbucks Iloilo, with one of her Theas

Ang aking favorite, blueberry cheesecake! :)

 A trip to SM without going to National Bookstore is never complete. It is one of my, and Sharkteeth's, favorite places.  One of my clearest memories of childhood is the trip to National before the start of classes. Laking National. I love the smell of plastic covers and brand new notebooks and pencils. I have never outgrown that.
Hmmmm...are you eyeing a book again?!

On our second day sa pag-iikot sa SM, S wasn't feeling well. Nahihilo and may slight fever -- sa sobrang pagod siguro sa byahe namin. TheHusband bought her medication and water and a bonus, the plushy giraffe from Watson's S has been hankering. That giraffe is odd though: it doesn't have a neck.

TPS: Anak, why doesn't Giraffie have a neck? Maybe we should call him Giraffie No-Neck...
Sharkteeth: [whispering to Giraffie] Don't listen to her. [patting its head] It's okay, it's okay...she's chubby.
TPS: What the...

Should I be thankful that she thinks I'm only chubby, and not obese?

Giraffie and S, at home

By the way, across 88 Plaza is a carinderia. We ate there the first night we got there. They serve one mean sinigang na maya-maya sa batwan. Di pa ako nakuntento sa isang order, I ordered another. Ang sarap. It prompted me to look again for batwan. I've been looking for it here in Dumaguete since 2011 but unsuccessful. I mentioned it to Derdo and she volunteered to ask her best friend in Bacolod to get some for me. Saka ko na ikwento ito, sa Bacolod leg na lang ng aming Amazing Race 2013. 

We left early on the 30th for Bacolod. I can't remember how long it took us to reach Bacolod -- wasn't very long, I think. The trip was fairly calm save the last few minutes near Bacolod port. S and TheHusband slept it off. Ako, hindi nakatulog. As always, I'm thankful when I'm on terra firma.

S with her PopCake and Giraffie, in the fastcraft on our way to Bacolod

I'll continue on the Bacolod leg of our Amazing Race 2013, Team Koko, next time. At the rate I'm going, I'll be through before 2014 is over. Hehehe.

Bye, Iloilo!

88 Plaza Hotel
Dalan Delgado, Iloilo

Tel.: 335-0053, 335-0278
Room rates (as of Dec 2013)
       Single occupancy: 560
       Double occupancy: 690
       Triple occupancy: 760
Cafe open 24 hours


  1. Anonymous12:36 AM

    How long was your bus ride? Seven or eight hours? No wonder a friend from Bacolod goes to Manila and flies to Caticlan and then takes a boat(?) to Boracay. The shortest distance between two points is not always a straight line apparently.......

  2. More than 6 hours. There are rental cars, and using one will definitely shorten the travel time, but with such a long distance, I don't wanna get stuck in the middle of nowhere in case we'd encounter car problems -- unlike in buses, which will provide a replacement in case of engine trouble.


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