I was already tired and sleepless when I arrived in Daraga, Albay at around 0700H. And God, it was a rather drab morning and wet with the slow but constant drizzle. Nevertheless, I dragged myself to a waiting tricycle before catching a jeepney to Legazpi City where I had a quick breakfast.
This was not the first time that I have been in the city in this kind of weather. But when it’s like this, not seeing Mt. Mayon is depressing. I mean, come on, the only thing that a visitor expects to see here is the majestic cone. But unexpectedly, just before my ride left for Bulan in Sorsogon, the mountain beauty peeked through the clouds, faintly. Its almost indiscernible outline rising into the sky like a bride looking through her veil. For a brief few seconds I was mesmerized before she hid again. Maybe she knew my predicament and consoled me with her appearance? It was enough for me though to see her and have her image cloaked with clouds etched in my mind.
I was a bit apprehensive that if I will take the bus directly for Matnog in Sorsogon, I might not be able to stick to my schedule that I opted to take the passenger van or vhire, as it’s popularly known, bound for Bulan. Its terminal is within the Legazpi Central Terminal just located a few meters from where the buses are. Like anywhere else, the vans only go when it is full. I waited for around 30 minutes when the full capacity of 10 was reached, packed like sardines for the two and a half hour trip across scenic vistas.
I can’t help but notice the food stalls located at one side of the terminal. As usual, the stuff on sale is overpriced consisting mostly of bottled drinks, junk food and biscuits that gathered a fine layer of dust tended by a bored salesperson. But one thing that caught my attention was that these stalls are almost all the same from Luzon down to Mindanao.
While sitting inside the van waiting for it to fill with passengers, men were gravitating towards us selling knives, bolos and scissors, which might indicate a thriving industry in this parts. Women on the other hand were bringing baskets of Chinese fruit imports (or more like dump?) like oranges and apples that are available all year round.
The Sorsogon countryside is just amazing! Just imagine the volcanic mountains, especially active Mt. Bulusan, perfectly framed with rice paddies or when within the vicinity of Juban and Irosin, a geology enthusiast will easily be captivated when passing through the valley bordered with mountains. Not many know this but this region is an ancient caldera! I was just full of imagination thinking how it would have looked like and how tall this volcano might have been eons ago. Unfortunately, as I was in the middle part of the van, I wasn’t able to take any photos but instead, did mental notes on what to do next time I am in this area.
Bulan is where one can get on a boat bound for Masbate but since I’m bound for Allen in Samar, I went down at a junction just before entering the town proper. There are really three options at this point: wait for a bus, wait for a van or hire a tricycle to take you to the pier. I took the latter and when I asked how much it will cost me, I was quoted P150! Now, its always advisable to negotiate which I did. We finally agreed for P120. I guess, its still possible to have it lower than that but I was pressed for time.
The route road to the pier is well paved and well maintained and not too many vehicles ply this route. While the tricycle was taking its time, a much faster bus just overtook us. Now, if only I had waited for a few more minutes at the junction. Luckily, when I arrived at the pier, I was just at the nick of time when the ferry sounded its final call.
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