Friday, January 23, 2009

Sailing on: From Zamboanga to Bongao

The ferry pitched and swayed somewhat like a pendulum as I lay on a second level bed. There were like a hundred others cramped on the economy deck of the Trisha Kristen, all bound for Bongao, Tawi Tawi. When we set sail from Zamboanga at 5.30pm, the sea was well-behaved. But nearing midnight, the sea turned unruly, tossing our vessel from side to side -- one moment i see the minute lights of bancas on the water, the next moment all i can see was the cloud-filled sky.Our trip aboard the slow craft was one of the few making the crossing following Christmas day.  It would take nearly 17 hours. We tried booking for the faster Weesam craft but because of the holidays, trips were put on hold. We also tried booking for the airconditioned cabin of this, the Trisha Kristen, but it was booked solid. We wanted to make the crossing to Bongao as soon as we can so off to this trip we went. But taking the slow craft in the cramped, often smoky quarters, gave us the opportunity to experience what a lot of Tawi Tawi locals go through -- squat toilets, cup noodle snacks and all. For wasn't it Paul Theroux who said that if you're not having trip difficulties, you're just having a vacation?

Hours past midnight, a squall came and sprayed our deck with moisture. Tarps came down and sleepy deck hands went back to dreamland. Welcome fresh breezes fan us in our humid beds (what a relief). People stirred in their sleep. Snores continued. Our ship sailed on. 

Tourist info: Aleson Shipping ply the Zamboanga-Bongao route on MWF; fare is P1,000 (economy)/P1,100 (aircon cabin) Good alternative transport is weesam fastcraft: Zamboanga-Bongao fares: adults (eco) P1,200; (first class) P1,400; students (P1,190/P1,360); senior citizens (P1,120/P1,280); children (P600/P700) • Weesam ticketing: (Zamboanga) (062) 992.3986/9923756; 0922.8998499 • (Jolo) 0905.8402540; 0926.8736976 • (Bongao) 0917.7997733 • (Sandakan) 0006089-212872 • SKEDS: Mon/Thu/Sat

16 comments:

paoruiz said...

if you're not having trip difficulties, you're just having a vacation? - this makes sense. =)

Photo Cache said...

every time i see photos of ferries like this i cringe, but this is an exciting way to travel too. i just hope they don't accept more passengers than the ferry can handle.

the donG said...

great experience oggie! same shipping lines goes to basilan and having rough waters is normal there. i too like that quote. perfect for backpackers. looking forward for your bongao photos.

EM said...

it looks cozy and scary... does that make sense? i'm never comfortable on boats so i'm amazed at how the people can sleep through out the trip. I'll probably be praying all the way.

The Nomadic Pinoy said...

going through a rough boat ride is one that keeps adventure rocking. i enjoyed reading this.

lagal[og] said...

pao, it really makes more sense so i guess it's up to us if we want to choose one over the other.

photo cache, i really hope so. it's pretty hard to control this during the peak season when a lot of people are just too eager to go home.

dom, i guess nga normal lang sa kanila to kasi almost everyone just slept through it.

em, i'm lucky i don't get seasick easily. i don't have difficulties sleeping as well kasi takaw tulog naman ako talaga :) and the motions of the ferry just seems to lull me even more to dreamland :D

nomadic pinoy, salamat. do watch out for the next installments

Lantaw said...

na remember ko yung college days ko sa mga photos mo bai, ang mahal pa ng plane tickets so we have to take mga ganitong boats trips pauwi, mahilig din kami sa economy sections lang :D. imagine 3 days of this, dadaan pa ng Ilo-ilo at Zamboanga.

lagal[og] said...

bai, i can only imagine going through this on a regular basis. it's good that air travel has become less expensive nowadays although there's only one airline that services the zamboanga-bongao route at hindi rin ganon kamura yung fare

the donG said...

naalala ko rin yung sinasabi ni allan kasi yung sinasakyan namin nung bata pa kami papuntang iloilo ay galing pa ng gensan. kasi pagdating ng zamboanga dami na ring tao.

tama oggie. buti na lang talaga at reasonable na ang mga plane tickets.

Lawstude said...

wow, dami ko na pala na-miss. dami kasi trabaho eh lol.

congrats on 5 years of blogging. sana maabot ko din yan.

isa ka talaga sa the best lalo na sa mga ganitong kakaibang trip. i must admit, i have fears in large boats and prefer airplanes or land transpo. plus, zamboanga pa, isa sa mga dream destinations ko. ingat lagi bai.

olan said...

wow... looking at your pics made me remember yun siksikan sa barko. hehehe... nice travel you have. isa ka sa mga sinusubaybay ko like dong and lawstude...

estan said...

airconditioned cabin? despite the higher fare and better accommodation, my trip to tawitawi was not pleasant since the passengers still treat it just like in the economy section. sorry to say this pero, they were washing their plates inside.

wala bang stopover sa Jolo and have a quick java paired with native bread and dudol at the many coffee houses sa pier?

Cagayan de Oro news said...

I enjoyed reading your Zamboanga experience, and also your other posts. keep it up!http://www.cdokay.com/

Kriza Marie Ardon said...

I enjoyed reading it. I hope i can visit Zamboangga because I have never been to that place. I'm too scared to visit there because I don't have any relatives living to that place.


Cagayan de Oro News

lagalog said...

Hi Kriza, I don't know anybody rin in Zamboanga or Tawi-Tawi when we made this trip to both places. It's just curiosity that propelled us to visit these places, see what they have in store for us.

Kriza Marie Ardon said...

Oh i see. Haha, I also have those attitude of curiosity, the last place i visited was the MSU Marawi. But I'm not like you guys that manages to go far places. :)

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails