It was the dawn of the 20th of April, I should have been at Lucena already on my way to Naga but instead found myself at the rooftop of a stranger’s house, shooting the glow of the soon rising sun behind the mountains of Marinduque.
Last night had been a whirlwind.
I arrived at the makeshift port of Buenavista at 8pm from a twilight ride of an almost speedboat from Banton. I was supposed to head straight to Cawit Port to catch the ferry to Lucena, but it turned out that it leaves at exactly 8pm. Unless I can find a tricycle that can drive at the speed of light, I’m stuck at Marinduque.
I really don’t mind spending a bit of time in Marinduque though, what with the ongoing Moriones Festival roaming its turn-of-the-century streets. The problem was where to stay.
There were no lodging houses in Buenavista. I can try to sleep at the port but that would cost me PHP350.00 for the tricycle ride alone. There was the park where a few passengers waiting for boats are staying but I was wont to spend the night outside with the thousands worth of camera gear on my bag.
In hindsight, I should have just asked for the barangay hall or the police station and stayed there, but this was something new for me. I’ve never experienced something like this before and I’ve never really thought of what to do in case it did, I’m definitely not a hardcore backpacker and I’m used to staying at hotels or inns.
The boat and tricycle operators were soon upon me, offering their homes for me to stay in. I was quite hesitant, to say the least.
In the end, the other drivers led me to an old gentleman whom they seem to regard with respect. They told me that I can stay in his house and it wouldn’t be a problem since I came from Banton, which was where the old man was originally from.
He then led me to his house, which turned out to be a mansion. We talked over a few bottles of beer before bedtime. It turned out that he too was an Architecture graduate but never did take the board like me; he now works as a municipal assessor and owns a jeepney for hire. After a few more bottles, it was lights out.
He asked his son to fetch a cot for me to sleep at on his covered roof deck.
So there I was at the morning of the 20th, still at Marinduque.
As soon as my host was up, I bade farewell and gave much gratitude for his and her wife’s selflessness in letting me stay over. I then made my way to the seaside park to photograph the morning.
It was a glorious daybreak; the sun finally came out with colors, something that had been evading me the past few days at Banton.
After the sun had fully risen, I immediately boarded a jeepney to Boac for the Moriones Festival. The fields of Buenavista was aglow with the sun’s golden rays as we sped onwards. It was a good way to start the day; I knew Marinduque would not disappoint me.
A heartfelt thank you to Mr. Lando Montemayor for being a gracious host for my unplanned stay at Marinduque.