Time to go, tourists are starting to pour in. In a few minutes, this place will be filled with people taking selfies. I’m not exactly a people person, yes I might be able to talk to families and converse with individuals whom I don’t know. But there’s something about being in big crowds that really stresses me, I actually skipped two big events during my PH tour because of it.
After grabbing some breakfast I went on to the port to catch a RORO (Roll-on, Roll-off Boat). One thing I noticed before going there was this long line of seemingly stranded trucks that stretches almost a kilometer long. My mistake was I did not bother to ask what exactly is happening as all I can think of is getting on the boat. This was one of the moments that I’m just glad that I’m on a motorcycle, if not I might be stuck there with them.
After paying all the necessary fees, I then prepared to board the boat. “This is it!” I told myself. I’m finally getting off the island of Luzon to get to the island of Leyte, “I’m finally scratching that itch”.
Everyone seemed eager to leave but we still have to wait 45 more minutes before we can depart the port. To help pass the time you’re entertained by what I call “Penny Divers”. These are men usually around early to late teens diving into the ocean once you throw a penny at them. They had makeshift goggles to better see into the water and an empty bottle of mineral water where they keep their earnings.
While most are in the water, some of them are in these tiny boats which they cling to when they want to rest. One of them started to climb the boat using the big thick rope used for anchoring, I started to wonder what he was going to do. He just climbed and climbed, he even passed me, eventually getting to the top. He then told us that he is going to jump from the top of the boat if someone was willing to give him 20 php. There were some who gave him coins but he was still not jumping, I gave him 20 php but told him it’s ok for him not to jump, but he jumped anyway. I guess that’s the highlight of that…
I started walking around to the other side of the boat just to see if there is something else to see. It was empty, there are no divers and very few passengers. What caught my eye was this one guy with a mohawk. He was away from his peers, he clearly looked like a diver but why wasn’t he with them?
I then saw him pick up a big plastic bag filled with different plastic water bottles. I then shouted, “You have a good haul there!”. He then smiled and looked at me, he then shouted back “The money is in here!”. I smiled and just told myself what a clever man. He saw my camera and he posed, and that’s how I got this photo of him.
Being on a boat makes you think of a lot of things, primarily because you have nothing else to do. I was just watching everyone and for some strange reason, all of us were looking at the port as we left, as if we are all saying our goodbyes.
To be continued.