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Nearing home, Ormoc at last!

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Early morning at Ormoc, the jeep terminal is already alive with commuters.

theLOOP ormoc map This is the 8th installment of the Luzon – Visayas – Luzon Loop series. Click the image on the right to check out the rest of the posts.

Ormoc at last! Despite not having made it to the midnight boat for Cebu, I was just glad that I finally reached this city at around 0400H from Tacloban. Its been a year since I’ve last visited this place while I was in transit to Guiuan in Eastern Samar to shoot the church there for the book. But back when I was still based in Cebu, Eastern Visayas was part of my area of responsibility and have constantly been here for work as well as leisure.

Its a small city and the domain of a few rich families who dominate local politics as well as businesses that were offshoots of the sugar industry. It was also here a little more than two decades ago when the tragic Ormoc flood happened and wiped out thousands of its inhabitants. But now, walking through the quiet streets, its a distant memory and no trace can be found of the event unless one visits the memorial near the city center.

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Fishermen plying the still waters before sunrise.

0400H is really too early in this city that I contented myself with a quick snack at the only 24 hour Dunkin Donuts shop. With nothing to do as the internet cafe that was open at that time had connection problems, I greeted the break of dawn at the wharf. And really, its a great sight with all those glorious colors of dawn, the rising sun and silhouettes of fishermen plying the still waters.

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A motorized pumpboat cuts the waters with one of the notable peaks of Ormoc City.

There’s nothing really much to do in this city but if you are adventurous enough, Lake Danao in Tongonan is really a must see place. Like other mountain lakes in the country, it is fabled to be bottomless and enchanted with at least a life being claimed yearly. It is also teeming with tilapia as big as a large dinner plate that the locals catch with a spear and bangus (milkfish) called awa, which are said to be huge.

As for pasalubong, moron and binagol trickles in from Tacloban but I would prefer the cassava cake and kuchinta here.

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Queuing up for a Weesam ticket bound for Cebu.

There are two fast ferries that ply the Ormoc – Cebu route: Supercat, the pioneer with its more expensive fare and Weesam which started with the now defunct Zamboanga – Sulu – Tawitawi route many years ago. It’s also the earliest to travel to Cebu which I took.

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Just two hours more, and I was back home.

I’m nearing home. After two hours, I finally reached my destination. Had a much needed bath, an early lunch, looked back at the almost 30 hours of no sleep negotiating the entire length of Makati City to Cebu via Bicol, enduring the fatigue and all I want is just to lie down on my bed and rest. Its the end of 2007 and I was finally home with my family.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications.

He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces.

I’m open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

6 Comments

  1. Sidney
    March 13, 2008 @ 15:27

    What a journey!
    So what is your next loop?
    Any plans for this coming Holy Week? Are you still planning to document the different Holy Week activities?

    Sh*t… it is almost one year ago that we went to Paete… time is really passing by quickly!

  2. estan
    March 14, 2008 @ 14:16

    Sidney, yep, its quite a journey and I’m still halfway with the posts :-).

    I’m pondering on doing another loop of Luzon probably this April or once I’m done with my current book design project.

    Speaking of Holy Week, I’m looking at somewhere near Manila. Most likely I’ll be doing the kordero in Morong which you did last year. Where will you be next week?

  3. dong ho
    March 14, 2008 @ 17:25

    Ormoc is a very simple but beautiful city. ang sarap tumira dito. we stayed there for 7days.

  4. estan
    March 14, 2008 @ 17:41

    I agree with you Dong Ho. Its simple but beautiful.

  5. tutubi
    April 17, 2008 @ 13:10

    that danao lake is high on my list but i don’t know if i can go there. when you mean snakes, just pythons, right? not afraid of them for i know they’re not dangerous. afraid of cobras for reasons known (there are only two species of venomous snakes in RP, the other is dahong palay, while the others are sea snakes)

  6. Marco
    June 21, 2009 @ 1:15

    how much ang fare sa weesam ormoc to cebu?

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