Catbalogan City, Western Samar
This is our last day in Catbalogan. As usual, breakfast was a feast with tinapa, papaya, bread, etc. After breakfast, we decided to stay in our room to savor our last day there.
By 12 noon, it was time to grab some quick lunch because our trip to Tacloban was leaving at 1 p.m. So even if we were still full, we had to eat something. And by something, I mean shrimps, fish, etc. The fish was so good. It was filleted, I think, with mushroom then cooked with a bird's nest soup-like sauce.
After lunch, Rhuel and Tita Piding quickly exchanged notes about the Pedraza family tree. Turns out that Tita Pidings' lolo was a Pedraza (a brother of Mama's dad) who got a girl pregnant out of wedlock. The fruit of their union was Tita Piding's mom who opted to use her mom's last name, Cadiz. Tita Piding's mom, therefore, is Mama's cousin. She then married a Piczon.
So that makes Rhuel and Tita Piding cousins. Iosa is already Rhuel's niece and the kids are Rhuel's apos. Coolness. :)
Tita Piding had crabs and kesong puti for Mama. We were supposed to pay for them but because she's so generous, she didn't accept our offer of payment.
Afterwards, Iosa and Pia brought us to the terminal. After saying our goodbyes, it was time to head back home.
Tacloban City, Leyte
Our van left Catbalogan at a little past 1 p.m. Fare was Php170 (normal fare is only Php120 but since we're being brought to the airport, we had to pay an extra Php50) each.
We got to the airport at almost 4 p.m. The airport was crazy. There was no x-ray machine at the entrance so if you had to check-in some stuff, you had to go to the pre-departure area first to have your stuff go through the x-ray then you'll go out again to proceed to the check-in counter. Labo.
We were supposed to hand carry the crabs because according to Tita Piding, we can hand carry them. But the airport person didn't allow us to do so. So we had to check-in twice.
Our flight back to Manila was not delayed but as usual, we spent several minutes circling Manila skies because we could not land yet. Hohum.
I had a nice time showing my husband around Samar. Now he knows where I spent many happy summer years when I was young.
I love the place, even if getting there can literally be a pain in the ass (my butt was aching especially during the latter stretches of the trip due to the numerous van rides we had to take). My parents grew up there. I have a lot of relatives there. I have a lot of good memories of the place.
I love the long drive from Tacloban to Sulat or Borongan, even if it can be very tiring, because I enjoy watching the greeneries and appreciating nature. I don't think a lot of places in the Philippines have that. I just hope the place remains green and beautiful. I hope the people would become more conscious about throwing their trash properly. The beaches, though not comparable to Boracay, are good enough but because of the basura, they were not really appealing to the eyes.
I hope Borongan and Sulat will not be as overcrowded as Catbalogan. I wish they'll retain the probinsiya feel because that's the thing that keeps me grounded. It reminds me that I have relatives and friends who love and appreciate me, regardless of what I've become. They will always be proud of me. These places remind me that indeed, life is good. :)
I hope I will still have the chance to visit the place once in a while and I hope my future kids will also have good memories of the place. :)