When we reached Balingoan after traveling 1.5 hours on the barge we immediately hop on a V-hire to Cagayan de Oro. We didn’t have time to eat breakfast so we were starving at the van. I had to eat one pastel and sell the rest (my earlier plan worked) to Arnica and Debbie so I can collect 100php for the Van fare back to CDO. We had a great time laughing about how the lack of money stopped each one of us from being generous to each other. I never sell anything I have to my friends, it was my first time and for whatever sakes, it was just a bun and I sold it for 10php to my starving friends. :) It was great experience for me because they willingly cooperated and bought my goods, the act of selling and giving them their change made me happy. Haha. I felt like a kid playing a role of “sham business woman”.
We arrived in CDO after an hour which I think was a quick ride because it took us two hours so on our way there so one hour travelling back was surprising :). I was hungry then then so I didn't bother much of myself to think why was that. It was 1130am already time for lunch. We settled at Jollibee across Gaisano Mall where we stopped. We didn’t talk much as we were weakened from not having a decent sleep and a decent breakfast but twas all okay. After lunch, we took a 30 minute jeepney ride to the bus terminal bound for Iligan
City. On the way Fova and Lizer took off to a different route to head to the Airport. Lizer have a class at 3pm and Fova needs to go home to look after her younger brother so they went home ahead of us.
There were only 6 of us left to go to Iligan then with only Michael as our sole male companion. As we took off from the Jeepney in the bus terminal, several drivers went flocking at us, offering us van prices.. We were enticed when one tout mentioned that the VAN is only 70php while the bus is 110php. But apparently that was a lie. We found out later that the bus was only 70php too. So as we were heading to the Van terminal Wangni told me that our rafter guide advised that its best to take the bus. I asked why but she shrugged off. The I looked at us, 5 petite girls with big duffel bags and cameras hanging on our necks we looked so touristy. I don’t want to be the next one kidnapped in Mindanao
so I told Wangni that we should take the bus where we could blend better with the local passengers.
I then walked slowly to catch up with Michael and told him about my fear but he wasn’t paying attention. I know his mind is on his stomach again. So I went to Dyan and told her that we shouldn’t take the van. But she didn’t feel the danger so she said we’ll be fine. I got to the van ahead of them and when I saw the people on board I was all the more afraid. They were all men and looked almost the same as the muslims advertised on tv that we people has to be cautious about as kidnapping in Mindanao is prominent. I hurriedly strolled back and met my friends half way, retold the situation we are in but again they ignored me. They were already seated in the van and it was only me and Michael who they were waiting. I refused to board it as I couldn’t ignore the apprehension I felt.
Maybe I took the rafter guide’s advise seriously.. I don’t know, I think we all look pretty and I hate to say this but what if they’ll rape us.. Michael couldn’t save us from all the men. I kept on telling all obvious alibi’s why I am not getting in until the van driver mentioned that the passengers are all Christians and he himself is a former military officer. He doesn’t allow any Tausug to ride on his van thus we are safe. I didn’t buy the crap. Even with the reassurance that Muslims don’t harm fellow Filipinos there is still this foreboding feeling I couldn’t ignore. We have to be cautious in the Muslim territory. The people around got irritated, I know, they were irritated at me for being so judgmental and obviously showing my doubts at them. They discussed the Muslim-Kidnapping thing in front of me and about stereotyping them and all.
. But how were they able to address what's in my head when I didn’t tell them that I was afraid to get on the Van because I am afraid they’ll kidnap us? I might be a little transparent but I still don't think it was right that they'd validate my fears. Who can blame me? Of all the things I can’t take even at thought, is me being made a wife to outlaws and turned to slave. Exaj? :P
Michael was my last card. I didn’t say anything and waited for him while he was taking his time strolling to the van while sipping his C2 Ice tea. He asked me why I was outside but I didn’t speak. He slid the van’s door and I saw his brows knit. He looked at me and immediately asked, Is fova and Lizer still coming? Gah, at last! Somebody else felt the same fear I had. I rode on his cue and said as loudly as I could that I’ve been telling the rest of the girls that we still have to wait for Fova and Lizer but they already wanted to go.
LR: Arnica, Debbie, Michael, Wangni and Dyan.
So Michael with authority told Dyan, Arnica, Debbie and Evelyn to get off the van. Told the driver, sorry about all the trouble but we still have two friends that we have to wait up. It was a lousy lie. Super duper lousy… But that saved us. We were able to exit from the van terminal.
We seriously talked about what happened on the way to the bus terminal. Then after a while of seriousness, we all broke into a loud laughter as Michael recapped what happed with his comical expressions and hilarious way of talking. Yea, I really saw his face when he slid the door.. It was a truly funny sight only I cannot afford to laugh else I’d blow our chance of exit. The men were really dodgy looking with unkept hair, fierce eyes, weird clothing, unshaven beards, unsmiling faces. Terrorist anyone? :P Borat!!
By the way, the Bus to Iligan is nice.
It is clean and has a big legroom. It even has a tv. It almost looked like the VIP buses in Bangkok minus the sofa set and the second deck. We don't have that nice bus in Cebu
and 70php at that, twas a treat!