Day 6/6 Koronadal City (South Cotabato)

Left Grand Westerly Inn (as low as P550/night) before 11 am to catch the Yellow Bus Line bound for General Santos (P83). From Gen San Terminal, it was a P350 taxi ride to the airport. The last time we took a taxi for the same destination, which was a month or two ago, it cost P250.

Our flight was delayed and the hopes of getting to Muntinlupa before the Friday rush hour was crushed. Got on the NAIA 3 shuttle (P20 fixed rate) and got off near the Heritage Hotel. Since I have zero knowledge of Manila commute, two heavy bags filled with equipment I do not own aside from the backpack with the laptop I’m still paying for, I need to get to Festival Mall to meet the sisters before 8pm (it was  about 6:40 pm), I hailed a taxi and actually had to convince the driver to take me to Festival Mall on a Friday rush hour. The rate we agreed on was way better (cheaper) than what I had to pay the airport taxi.

It was only when I was comfortably seated in the taxi and the driver was warming up with a friendly chat when I got the call. The sisters have yet to leave Los Baños because of the eldest sister had to finish something at work. Totally understandable. I was relieved to get this information when I have decided to take a cab. Otherwise, I would be feeling more guilty about spending that much money on taxi fare. I could go home to Albay on an ordinary bus with insurance with the price we agreed upon. Then again, I was desperate. This should motivate me to learn about the commute.

After a couple of minutes with the cab driver struggling with the new routes, thank heavens he was patient enough to ask around and take me to my destination, I found myself on relatively familiar mall entrance. The fare seemed worth every cent. And so the waiting started.

Was spending most of the waiting time at the coffee shop when a student of mine approached me in the counter. Lucky her. She’s spending some down time at the end of the week. I have this thing I promised to go to with the eldest and the third sister. Managed to earn two stickers from the waiting.

So this one Friday night, after a two-hour flight,  30-minute taxi ride, 45-minute bus ride, a week’s work of field work straddled on a single motorcycle most fo the time; I deposited my luggage by the coffee shop entrance and waited. The coffee made the wait more tolerable. Never have I felt so drained. The caffeine wasn’t enough to keep me alert. It was a struggle to keep awake.

Something messed up the sisters’ schedule but everything did turn out okay. The experience was educational. Good to know. I can say, I now know myself better seeing how I’ve reacted to the trip. It was fun great company. We were laughing most of the time. I’ve never felt more harassed by the direct questions but I honestly had a great deal of fun.


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