On February 6, we traveled from Manila (NAIA Terminal 3) to Ozamiz (Labo Airport) via the 6:05 am flight of Cebu Pacific Air. The flight is supposedly good for 1 hour and 30 minutes but the plane landed 10 minutes early. Hurray Cebu Pacific!
What I first noticed upon landing were the surrounding trees and fields. The ground also showed evidence of recent rainfall–no wonder there was a lot of turbulence while on the plane. The airport was really small and when you have to get your luggage, you get it directly from the porters.
From the airport, we rode a tricycle to the pier. The usual fare per person is just P60 but the driver charged us P75 each including our luggage. We learned that they trick “tourists” by charging higher fares. 🙁 From the pier, we rode a ferry to Mukas. The fare is P25 plus a terminal fee of P3.
The ferry transports people as well as vehicles such as buses, cars, and motorcycles. Upon alighting the ferry, we rode a tricycle to the highway for P25 each. And then we took a bus to Kapatagan. The bus fare is P35 only so we thought it was just a short ride. But lo and behold, it probably took almost an hour of traversing mountains and fields before we got to Kapatagan Town Center where Ms. Lorelyn Ignacio, the franchisee, was waiting for us.
Probably because our exhaustion and hunger were evident on our faces, Mam Lorie invited us to have breakfast at Emma’s. I had Chicken Lomi and Paul had Beef Mami. It was only P45 so we thought the serving size was really small… something like merienda size. Again, we were fooled by the price. Their servings are quite large! (Actually, the noodles, meat, and vegetables are just small portions. Majority of the dish is made of soup. A stark contrast from what is being served by Chowking.) One good thing, it was served hot and steaming–something that made me happy because I love my soup very hot.
After eating, we went to Pensionne Jonica which is the only place in the area that offers lodging and accommodation. It’s a good thing that it is just near the City Hall which is our training venue. After having deposited our things, Mam Lorie gave us a tour of the area. We visited the City Hall of Kapatagan Lanao del Norte which looks newly renovated and is smaller compared to those in Metro Manila. Nevertheless, it is just appropriate for the area which can be generally described as quiet and simple. Ah, the life in the province. 🙂
Then we visited the store which is located at Kapatagan Town Center. It is still under renovation. Hopefully, it will be finished in 2 weeks so that they can open already.
After that, we had lunch at Liberty Cafe. We availed of their budget meal which is composed of 1 small piece of fried chicken, rice, and bulalo soup for P55 only. Then Mam Lorie treated us to a halo-halo. Their halo-halo is priced at P75 and it’s a good mix of beans, nata de coco, banana, corn flakes, corn, jelly, and ice cream. What a refreshing treat especially that the weather is hot and humid. So love the halo-halo!
After lunch, we went back to our rooms. I just watched the news mostly featuring the magnitude 6.9 earthquake at Negros Oriental and other provinces in Visayas like Cebu and Iloilo. The initially issued tsunami alert frightened me because the word “tsunami” is something that I will now always associate with what happened in Japan. Thankfully, the alert was revoked but still panic is in the air. I just prayed for the safety of the people who were affected and for the repose of the souls of those who perished during the earthquake.
I took a nap and woke up at 7pm. We then went out to have dinner. Unfortunately, almost all of the establishments are closed by 7pm. We literally scoured the area for a place to have dinner. Having no other choice, we ended up at Emma’s where we had fried chicken (P20), rice (P10), sotanghon soup (P40), and soft drinks (P15). After that, I bought water and some mangoes. 🙂
I stayed up a little late because I was chatting with Rhalph. I miss him and home so much… *sigh* Anyway, I’m so hooked into Fruit Ninja lately. Rhalph and I will be comparing scores. 😀 Challenge accepted!
Here are my initial observations about Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte:
On language: The local dialect is Bisaya, which is somehow a relief because I can understand a few phrases I learned from my previous provincial training at Cebu.
On food and dining: There are no fast food chains and restaurants in the area. There are only a handful of carinderias and canteens, most of which are Halal. Thus, their main dishes are made of chicken and beef. Although we’ve seen some pork products such as barbecue and chorizo at ihaw-ihaw stalls. What makes up for the lack of restaurants is the abundance of bakeries.
On transportation: You can go around the area by riding a sikad for only P5. Buses are available for longer routes. There are no cabs.
On way of life: Most of the establishments are closed by 7pm. At night, the area is poorly lit so it’s best to bring a flashlight with you wherever you go.
On the locals: I can generally describe them as nice, friendly, quiet, and simple. 🙂
Done for the day. Whew! Training starts tomorrow. Must get lots of rest. Ciao!