batchoy

En route, Part 3: Batchoy almost left me broke

Deco's batchoy, a hearty noodle soup

Last 25 December 09, I traveled from Makati City to Cebu via land for the Holidays. 36 hours later and about P2,500 in expenses, I was finally back home. Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Credit it to forgetfulness, nay, time chasing, that a meal of 70 pesos ($1.50) almost left me broke in Iloilo City as I was en route to Cebu via Bacolod City. Good thing, technology and the internet coupled with the wonders of Western Union played important roles and saved the day. So to speak.

I just arrived at the Iloilo City pier and already got my ticket for a fast craft trip to Bacolod City by 1100H. Glancing at my watch, I still had time for a quick lunch and decided to have batchoy to cap a rather brief stop in this Visayan province. As the Ted’s Oldtime Batchoy at the corner near the city hall already closed shop, I went to Gaisano City where a Deco’s branch was located at the ground floor.

There were already people eating and when I handed in my payment, a P500 bill for a special batchoy, the cashier told me that she didn’t have any change yet and will just deliver it later. Hungry, I said yes, went upstairs as the tables were already full at the ground floor.

A steaming bowl of noodle soup with pieces of innards, crushed pork rind, a fresh egg and some seasoning was placed on my table. Hmmm, the aroma was enough to heighten my hunger that I immediately dug in and sated myself. Full, I left the diner and immediately went back to the terminal.

As the fast craft from Bacolod City arrived and the passengers were told to ready ourselves for boarding, I checked my wallet and found a few hundred pesos left! Darn! I forgot my change! I immediately asked for a phone directory but was told by the guard that they didn’t have any. The next trip to Negros was more than four hours away and I don’t have that luxury of time in my hands. Desperate, I pulled out my mobile phone and checked Deco’s Batchoy via Google.

Fortunately, I stumbled upon an article that included a delivery number in another branch. I wrote it down, called and asked for the number at the Gaisano City branch. I was able to talk to one of the crew and told him my predicament. Having verified my claim, he told me that they will deposit it in my Metrobank account and I just remembered that it was already Saturday and suggested that they course it through Western Union.

Just before the fastcraft docked at the Bacolod City pier, I already had the Western Union claim number. When I arrived in San Carlos City early in the evening, I immediately went to encash and was just glad that I had my change back.

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.

9 Comments

  1. queeniebee
    February 4, 2010 @ 9:12

    All I can say is only a Filipino could work such magic connections!

  2. dodong flores
    February 6, 2010 @ 20:06

    Oh, no. I’m glad it didn’t happen to me yet. You see how the wonders of technology ease up almost anything in life.
    Be safe always…

  3. bertN
    February 6, 2010 @ 20:51

    The batchoy looked good! That was nice of them to give your change via Western Union instead of asking you to come back to pick it up.

  4. estan
    February 6, 2010 @ 22:25

    dodong, yep, tech is really helpful 🙂

    bertN, initially, they told me to get it at their branch but i told them that i’m just in transit to cebu and can’t go back. good that they agreed to western union 🙂

  5. amiel
    February 10, 2010 @ 8:10

    wow! what an experience…

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