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Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Firsts and the First Time in Maasin

At the same time today, last year, I was in Maasin. It was a short trip, a long planned trip that didn’t go as planned, to the capital of Southern Leyte. Though a short visit—a very quick one for me—yet it was one of my most memorable travels. It was fun and memorable for the following reasons: 

Flag of Southern Leyte
* It was my first encounter with a ship’s manifest

Call me silly or ignorant but I was very happy to be writing my name, for the first time, in a ship’s manifest. It was like signing an autograph—it’s official—a real sea travel.  

* It was the first time I rode a barko.

By barko, I mean the ferries that ply the Visayas—it’s smaller compared to the ships that travel from Cebu to Manila (southern Philippines to Luzon) but bigger than the barges and ferryboats that travel from Cebu to Mactan 

We were unable to get a trip direct to Maasin at that time so we decided to take a ship going to Bato, Leyte and travel by bus to Maasin. Our ship left port in Cebu at around midnight when departure was supposedly 10 PM—the ship was beyond weight limit. During the whole trip going to Leyte, I wasn’t able to sleep, I wasn’t sleepy. I was excited to be taking my first barko ride at the same time I was afraid that our ship might sink. You can’t blame me—at that time, the MV Princess of the Stars recently capsized and rescue-and-retrievals was ongoing. 

Photo by: WP User: Howard the Duck
* It was the first time I went outside the limits of the Province of Cebu.

Believe it or not, I haven’t traveled outside the province of Cebu until that time. Why? It’s mainly because I get motion sickness and perhaps the need to get out of the political limits of Cebu province never came up.  Of course I’ve gone outside mainland Cebu, the island of Cebu, many times when we hit the beaches of Mactan Island. I’ve also gone, when I was younger, to the Camotes islands—the waves during our trip going to Camotes scared the hell out of little me. Mactan and Camotes may be separate islands but they are still part of Cebu—they are still home—so they don’t really count. 

* It was the first time I’ve traveled with friends and not with a chaperon. 

I'm not sure if we took Roble from Cebu to Maasin
or from Hilongos to Cebu.
Photo by: dutchpickle
I’m a tag-along and I’ve tagged along with people to almost every town in Cebu. I used to live in the eastern side of Cebu and have traveled north, west, south and around the island but, at that time, I haven’t really traveled alone or sans an adult. All of my travels around Cebu are with my folks, my folk’s folks, with an adult in my very big extended family or with an adult other than my relativeslike during a school trip. 

When we did travel to Maasin it was still with parents, but hey, it wasn’t us who tagged along with my friend’s parents. It was the other way around. And, my friends and I were already adults at that time.  

* Lastly, it was my first visit to Maasin and the first time I set foot in Southern Leyte. 

At the same time today, last year, I was in Maasin. On a long planned trip to the beautiful capital of Southern Leyte that didn’t go as planned and which I will be writing about in my next post. 

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