First, we don’t have a train (yet) here in my hometown.😂 It was actually either a bus or jeep i have to catch at dawn, since there is one tranpo sched going to El Nido townproper. But train seems more romantic in a title so there it is. (I’m eating a salty biscuit while writing this, waiting for that tell-tale sign and sounds of approaching vehicle that will save me from my (not exactly) lonely wait outside my aunts house.) I hope i’m fast enough to muscle my way in and get a good seat.
It’s more than a month after my last post. As i’ve indicated, my intended christmas work vacation was stretched, and i’m still busy enjoying my hometown so much making up for anything i missed for the past 13 years while studying, working and generally living in the city, while still doing some work on the side. Everything seems new once again, with familiar feels but strange memories.
Life here is slow,composed of bright mornings, dramatic sunsets, cold dawn, and starlights clearly visible against the blue black skies untouched by smoke and pollution. I think that’s my favorite part. To be lost in the infinite vastness of twinkling lights above. I can almost hear them pulsating against the silence of the night.
Bucana, a cove, is a quiet fishing and agricultural village, sorrounded by mountains on both sides and accessible on solitary dusty roads by an overloaded bus and jeep which you have to wake up at 5am to catch. it is about an hour trip from the world renowned tourist town of El Nido. The road is composed of picturesque small farms and huts, with a painter’s precision. Although its not unusual to see Highway Department trucks on the still unpaved dirt roads. People know each other, and seemingly curious enough to know what i’ve doing for the past years.
The bus arrived at the townproper at 7:48am, with the passengers scrambling to disembark abd hurriedly do their respective tasks and official businesses at the municipal hall and buy basic needs, like soap,coffee, sugar, medicines and vitamins and some bric bracs at a bit lower price and catch the bus going back again at 10am along with fresh loads of cargo supplies to be sold at slightly higher price at sari-sari store back home.
My transaction was fast and i was back at the terminal before 9:30am, so i got to choose a seat beside the window at the back of the driver’s seat. I took in the busy area. Male tourist passengers with huge backpacks drenched in sweat, women wearing a combination swimwear and bohemian skirts, skimpy shorts, and sari. All carrying bottled water. They look anxiously at the bus, waving a piece of paper, the conductor listening intently, and gestured towards the door of the bus. Dust swirled as a new bus arrived, bringing in a flurry of activities as passengers retrieved their baggage.
My own bus was still half filled at 10am, and it means we will have departure delay. As i look for my overused strawhut which i carelessly stuffed in slingbag, i felt something warm on the front pocket. I looked inside and found a brown bag of forgotten donuts i purchased at the bakery. I took one and bite into the soft fried dough, savoring the sugary freshness.
I was supposed to go back by first week of January to the big city for 8-5 job. But each morning here, in this place with it’s salty morning breeze and erratic transpo sched, charmed me into staying another day, another week…another month.
I look at the bus bound for Puerto Princesa City and all the things i should be doing there at this time of the year, i remember “Gods of Egypt” showing soon, fries, coke floats, mcdonald’s, pizza, afterwork-stroll at the mall. And that’s it. My friends there would probably missed me during birthday parties and nightouts, but they also have their busy life and they can still call and text me. Also I can have everyday phone calls with relatives there to stay connected.
But maybe they have lots of good books on sale now…
Maybe that french bakery have those cutesy yum little cakes now…
I dig into the brown bag and took another donut.
I think i’ll missed that bus… for now and let tomorrow decide.
Love, your Island Girl