Up fairly early on January 2nd for the trip to Salcedo. It didn’t look like much on the map. Borongan is about half way, changing jeepneys there for remainder of the ride. Again, reality is different from perception.
We got the the jeepney stand at 8am and a jeepney was pulling up as we arrived. And it was packed. The conductor moved a couple people around, two were getting off in 1/2 mile. So with Praxy on my knee, we bid Can-avid farewell.
We got our own seats in the 1/2 mile as promised. Then more people boarded. And farther on, more. A board was put across the door for a place for more people to seat. There was a bench in the aisle that had a butt on every square inch. Soon it was so cramped that a person couldn’t hardly move. Now bear in mind, this is normal for the locals, for me it’s a shock. And then more guys started riding on the back standing. Then, I could see feet disappearing to the roof when we stopped. I counted 34 in the passenger compartment and there had to be at least a half a dozen sitting on the roof. Finally, the conductor was satisfied and started passing fares. Some people would even run out into the road to stop us, but the driver wouldn’t slow down. We had to have passed another complete load of passengers waiting along the highway. Two hours later we were in Borongon and were able to get out and stretch our legs and rub our behinds. Yep, our butts get sore after sitting that long on a hard wooden seat.
15 minutes and we were back on another jeepney. This one left with a rational amount of people on board. But…the driver and conductor started loaded us up until again, nothing but solid mass of people. This time the jeepney was really covered. I have no way of knowing how many were on top, but I’m guessing at least a half dozen. This isn’t our jeep, but this is something like what it might have looked like.
This was shot from quite a distance, maybe about 250 yards and the visibility isn’t the greatest. There are probably 30-36 inside, I count seven on top, and six hanging on the back! There is more room on top and I have no doubt it will be filled in a few miles.
By the time we got close to Salcedo, the jeep wasn’t too crowded as passengers were getting off as we approached town. Then we passed by Praxy’s old college and the shoe horn action returned. The girls in dresses sat inside, the boys with their pants were able to clamber on top and again the vehicle was absolutely crammed. You gotta love it!
Into Salcedo and off to Dolores’s house for the night. She is one of Praxy’s best friends, a widow with three daughters. Two were in Salcedo and the eldest is working in Manila. very nice people. I sat out on the porch while the gals chatted, drinking brandy and watching the locals watching me. One little boy was quite the daredevil on the concrete hill in front of the house.
He sped down the hill at breakneck speeds until grandma showed up and put an end to it. Nearby was a basketball court and I watched a couple of games played for money, each player ponying up 5 pesos.
No big deal until you look at the footwear. With one exception, everyone was either barefoot or wearing flip flops. Also there were puddles on the court and the players had to be careful not to bounce the ball in the bigger puddles.
We bought fish for dinner, the first photo was our choices.
We got the two big ones, they were tasty.
The next day, we were off to Asgad for a tour of the area.