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The Never-Idle Trip

This is my attempt to recount the details of my 4-day Mindanao and Visayas trip that felt like two weeks.

Due to a(n) (un)fortunate event, Typhoon Biring blew our plane bound to Cagayan de Oro City and landed us in Cebu instead. At Mactan, the crew gave the passengers their options: either disembark at Cebu, wait until the weather clears up then take a ferry to CDO or travel back with them to Manila.  

Back to Manila? No way!

What the crew didn't tell the passengers was, if you'd just go to the CebPac office, they'd gladly book you a Cebu-CDO ticket for free.  

Arriving at Mactan at 6PM on a Friday night was a problem too. There's nothing to see at night, plus nobody wanted another city tour of Cebu the next day. 

We decided to go for a quick trip to Bantayan (though quick is not a word to describe the almost 6hr-bus ride).

At 6PM Friday, from Mactan, we went straight to the bus terminal. Had dinner at one of the bus stops, and by 11PM we were at Hagnaya port.

And here are the "how to keep it cheap" lessons we accidentally learned on that trip, aside of course from the fact that sometimes you've got to hand it to Mother Nature to amuse you with her ways:
Cheap Treat#1:  Sleep where it's free. The first RoRo bound to Sta.Fe leaves at 5AM. What will you do from 11PM-5AM? Sleep of course! But no you don't waste money by sleeping in a pension house for 4 hours. You sleep in the RoRo instead.
So there. We went up the RoRo and were surprised.  We were going to spend the night with other passengers who were stranded for the last two days.  Apparently, the weather was bad a couple of days ago and no one knew if it would be safe enough to sail the next day.

Good thing the waves calmed down.  The ferry made its way and by 6:30AM Saturday, we were in Bantayan.
Cheap Treat#2:  Haggle. Budyong Resort agreed to take all 4 of us in for only PhP 500 because we weren't sleeping anyway. We just needed a shower and a place for our bags.
The plan was to go around Sta. Fe, then be back to catch the 3PM ferry back to Hagnaya Port.  
Sta. Fe shore line - a long stretch of white, sandy beach
Overcast - it was still rainy in the morning
Ogtong Cave
I heard they no longer allow swimming here now :(

At 10PM we were back in Cebu.
Cheap Treat#3Get in touch with relatives in the area. What will you do if you just got back at 10PM with a 4:30AM flight the next day? Hotel? No. Pension house? No. If you've got relatives around the area, ask if you can crash for 4 hours of sleep.
My aunt who lives nearby the airport took us in for the night.

We said hello to the City of Golden Friendship early Sunday morning.

First in the agenda: rafting.

Basic rafting. Bitin. Next time I'm going to get the advanced package!
Cheap Treat#4:  Still involves relatives. Relatives who know you are coming by for a quick trip will most likely invite you and friends for a quick meet-up.  For us, it was my CDO-based aunt who invited us for a sumptuous lunch.

After having lunch and a getting quick shower, we were back on the road to catch the last ferry to Camiguin. 
Cheap Treat#5:  Find a fun bunch of people. We met a group of friends from Cebu who were also going to Camiguin. We agreed to go together, so from 4 people, we were 10. Everything divided by 10 is way cheaper!
Checked in at Seascape Resort. Just because you get to a place at 7PM Sunday doesn't mean you shouldn't go exploring. We spent that Sunday night having dinner and exchanging stories with new friends then capped it off with a swim at Ardent Hot Spring.
Cheap Treat #6:  Talk to the boatman/locals. Ask if someone can cook your meals when you go island hopping.  Chances are it's a lot cheaper than if you ask the resort people to do it for you.
Monday morning. Up early to catch the sunrise and have breakfast at White Island. Breakfast taken cared of by the bankero's wife. 

White Island
With the fun bunch from Cebu
Back at the resort before lunch.  Had a quick rest, and by lunch time, we were back on the motorella for a swimming tour around Camiguin. (Because Camiguin has all sorts of bodies of water and you won't be able to resist taking a dip!)

Seeing the ruins at the Sunken Cemetery
Randy at the Katibawasan Falls
Sto. Nino Cold Springs
Around 5:30PM, the group dropped the 4 of us at the port to catch the last ferry back to CDO while they were all bound to Mantigue Island.

At 7PM, we were back in CDO. It was the only time to that we didn't have any agreed call-time to follow. We met with a couple of friends for dinner, went back to my aunt's place by 11PM, and rode the plane bound to Manila at 6:30AM Tuesday.

9AM Tuesday - Back to work. :)

And that's how we did Bantayan-CDO-Camiguin in 4 days.

Total damage: a little less than five thousand pesos and tons of energy.  The 4 of us were all up to it, stealing sleep whenever we can and running all the way to catch all the last trips we took.  In the end, we were a happy and proud group who's luck happened to come with the typhoon.

My goal is to beat this trip on the cheapest category, but hopefully, not as tiring. ;)


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