The mine next to the pier for Danjungan
I lingered before finally leaving Sipalay. I wished that I could've stayed longer, but like what Cathy said, if I wouldn't leave then I couldn't come back. And I had a date to keep so I needed to move on. Takatuka's boat transfer was supposed to be just until the river, but somehow I was brought straight to Poblacion Beach next to the highway, effectively giving me a 50% discount on the cost.
To get to Danjungan, Joy had told me to take the bus to Crossing Remolyos, then a tricycle to the pier where a boat would be waiting. The tricycle took me over a dirt road to a remote pier where we stopped near an abandoned copper mine. At the small beach there were some people swimming so I felt less paranoid.
But there was no boat! I called Joy and it became clear that we've had a major miscommunication. We had had to re-schedule several times: Joy because of a marine camp for 40 schoolkids that would be held in the island, and they'd needed to do preparations for; me, because I needed to travel to Dumaguete on a specific date. We finally had agreed on a date. Or so I thought, because she booked me a day later! I asked her if I could go anyway, but she told me that only the warden was there, and no staff, and thus nothing to eat!
So there I was at the neglected, windswept pier with poor cell signal and Joy already running low on phone battery while we figured out what do next. Joy suggested Punta Bulata, a posh white-sand resort, but it was too expensive.
Sunday family treat across the church
Our conversation was cut short though when Joy's battery gave out, so I had to make my own plans. Duane, my driver, took me back to Elsie's sari-sari store, suggesting that I find accomodation there. At the store I mulled over my choices: a homestay and videoke all night at Bulata, or back to Sipalay, or Kabankalan City two hours away where I can find an internet cafe and at least use my downtime to finally write my blog. I chose Kabankalan City. I knew nothing about the place except that Faith from Driftwood Restaurant studied there. Plus, the place didn't even merit a blurb on my guidebook.
When I got to Kabankalan, I instantly regretted my choice. I imagined border-town seediness, just being on the outskirts alone.
The only two hotels that were first mentioned were too expensive, but for budget digs, I could go to RTM Traveller's Inn. I went and the place was really basic and the bathroom badly stained, and I knew that, given the location, I was in for an uncomfortable night. I checked in, but kept asking the caretaker George, "Is it really safe?", then I left my bags to find an internet cafe. There I googled Kabankalan. Surprisingly, the city had its own nicely-done website where I found a list of the city's attractions and, most importantly, a list of pension houses' numbers, which I began to call on my cell, one-by-one. Top of the list was Justin's. When I called they said it was near the park, church and the cost mid-range. Perfect! I went over and was finally sold. Apart from the clean room and bathroom, there was an internet place in the very same building. I took my bags from RTM, felt bad for George (because he seemed hurt that I doubted him, and really I shouldn't have because he had really honest eyes), but he gave me back my money anyway. The next day was Sunday so I went to church and saw the city center and changed my mind about Kabankalan -- a really nice place for a transient like me.