I made the decision next morning, I will go to Basilan to accomplish what I set out to do… and that is to reach the farthest that I can south on a motorcycle. I paused for a while to plan for what I’m about to do. I can just spend a couple of hours at the capital city of Isabela, go around some populated spots then ride back to the port and take the next RORO going back to Zamboanga. I felt like my plan was solid… until I got to the port.
The first night I arrived at the island of Mindanao an old lady from Surigao asked me where I intend to go. I told her “I will try to reach the farthest that I can here in Mindanao. That would most probably mean I would have to go to Zamboanga.” She was very surprised and cautioned me, “Do not go there! There are a lot of bombings and terrorist activities that happens there.” Instead of becoming afraid I got more curious and wondered if this old lady has actually visited Zamboanga or she is just reiterating what is being broadcasted on the news.
I went back to gather my gear to leave the place as I’m losing light fast, it would be hard for me to navigate at night. A man from a nearby house came up to the store and started asking questions about me. He said he overheard me speak in Tagalog and that is a rare occurrence on places like this. He concluded that I’m not from nearby. As always I told him my story and my journey. He smiled and said it was really brave of me to venture out this far. Then he casually invited me to join them for a beer.
I woke up the next morning feeling refreshed. As I open my tent all you can see was the vast ocean with a few fishing boats darting the horizon. It felt like I was at the edge of the world and that this is the final frontier for me… but obviously not yet, it just felt like that.
By this time I was so used to the idea of inter-island travel taking an hour or more. When someone told me that I can go to Samal island in less than 15 minutes, I was a bit skeptical. So I decided to check it out of it’s true.
This is my cousin that I have only met for the first time. I wanted to take a photo of him in the most natural way possible. For some strange reason I just blurted out “Who’s your favorite superhero?” He said with a very big smile on his face “Ironman!”.
I still have an hour or so before I join Babal. I went back the lodge to get some more of my documentation stuff, I don’t want to miss anything with this experience…when I got back he was already preparing for his surfing lessons. He then told me that we just have to make one stop before we head on. Then a guy approached him and asked him if he can get a ride, he said his friend will be with him and asked if I can take him instead. since I left one of my bags at the lodge I’m free to take on a passenger, so it took him.
It was a rainy morning, from what I have been told we are currently experiencing a signal no. 2 storm. No boats are allowed to leave and the island. We are closely being monitored as we are on the storm’s path.
I arrived at Surigao at around 8 in the evening. Tired from the boat ride I tried to look for a place to stay, I checked a couple of lodges looking for the cheapest one. I found a lodge that looked cheap so I went on to inquire how much it is for one night. The guy that was guarding the parking area said it’s 500 per night. I then asked if he will be up all night guarding the parking, he said no. He will go up to the lodge at around 10, which means no one will be guarding my precious motorcycle for the remainder of the evening.