The jeepney from Ketkai pulled to a stop as I signaled the driver to when I reached Agora, more specifically known as the old bus terminal just beside the market in the fast growing city of Cagayan de Oro in the northern-central part of Mindanao.
Yellow buses of Bachelor Lines located at the left side lined the first few rows. Some are airconditioned, comfy and spankingly new while some are just plain ordinary, waiting for passengers to ferry to the distant northeast that is Butuan and Surigao along the winding coastal roads.
A few more rows ahead, the red buses of Rural Bus occupied the rest of the slots, waiting for people bound to the southern and central part of this huge island tracing the ridges and spines of the cordilleras.
Bus terminals. How I delight in entering one. Looking through each and every vehicle’s wooden or plastic karatula (signboards) for my specific destination and choosing what to take depending on the level of comfort or availability of the bus that I have to ride.
Within the terminal’s premises, varied vendors, males, females and those in between and of varied ages selling different kinds of wares and products. From the usual boiled quail’s and/or chicken eggs wrapped in tubular clear plastic in 5’s or 3’s with several pinches of coarse salt hastily put inside; junk food in stylized and shiny pouches, a few plastic bottles of mineral water, sugared juices and native delicacies crammed and loaded on a bilao (shallow native basket) balanced on the vendor’s head calling out to passengers.
Travelers are everywhere. Some waiting for their bus, some waiting for their companions. Some pulling their luggage while some are holding boxes, bags, and pasalubongs (foodstuff gifts) of fruits or a box of Dunkin Donuts. Some are boarding the bus while some are just coming down. The throng of people going about their business livens up the place.
In the seeming chaos, I found my bus, my seat and am just waiting to hit the road.