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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Almost 15-Hour Ride: Dapitan City to Zamboanga City via Ozamis and Zamboanga del Sur

I agreed to serve as an examiner for the entrance examination for Ateneo de Zamboanga University. For this trip, I had to travel from Zamboanga to Dapitan (my hometown) and conduct an exam in Dipolog last November 19, 2007. After a day, I had to go to Molave, Zamboanga del Sur for another set of exam.

Since it was my first time to go to Molave. Let me take you to my trip to the friendly municipality in Zamboanga del Sur.

5:00 AM- The Sergio OsmeƱa route was nearer to Molave, yet it is dangerous as it is prone to landslides. Due to the continuous pouring of rain in the region for days now, I was forced to take the Ozamis route to go to the Municipality of Molave. Since the bus for Ozamis passes by Dapitan, I just waited along the road near our house.

8:00 AM- I arrived in Ozamis City. My impression about the place is good. I liked the wide streets and big bus terminal.

I was anxious since I was already late for the Entrance Exam in Molave and I was informed that the examinees were already waiting.

9:45AM- I arrived in Molave and rushed to Molave Vocational Technical School. Tricycles are not popular in the place. Therefore, I was forced to ride a "sikad-sikad" which is a cart attached on a bicycle. I was very apologetic when I arrived at the testing site. Fortunately, the test coordinators and examinees understood the situation.

12:45 PM- The Entrance Test was finished and I rushed to a nearby restaurant to take my "brunch". After taking a meal, I immediately went to the bus station. I wished I could have more time to spend in Molave. My first impression about the place is good. There are a lot of business establishments in the place and it looks progressive and it maintains to protect its environment. I was already heading back to Zamboanga City. This time, I decided to take the Pagadian route as advised by the staff of the transit. During my ride to Pagadian City, I observed that a lot of schools in the Zamboanga del Sur embrace the concept of a "Child-Friendly Environment" (CFE). I was reminded of a video documentary I edited for DSWD. I haven't seen any other province in the region who takes the CFE program seriously.

3:00 PM- I arrived in Pagadian City. I was amazed with their tricycles. It was my first time to see a tricycle cart that is so inclined as if it faces the sky. :) I was informed that their tricycles are designed in that way because Pagadian is a plateau.

4:00 PM - I boarded in a bus going to the Municipality of Ipil. Most of the time, I was asleep. The bus stopped over a certain place for dinner. I didn't have the appetite to take a meal but went down the bus to pee. Unfortunately, I stepped on a mud pile which I thought was a wet rock. I had to clean my mud-soaked shoe.

8:00 PM- I arrived in Ipil and transfered to a bus going to Zamboanga. I ate 2 boiled eggs. Again, I was asleep most of the time.

11:30 PM- I finally arrived in Zamboanga City.

One thing I didn't like about the travel is the quality of restrooms that are provided by the bus terminals. The PhP2 to PhP3 fee that they ask is not worthy. All of the restrooms that I was able to used are very dirty and stinky. Another thing is the implementation of the No Smoking policy of the bus company. The staff of the transit allows passengers to smoke on board their bus. Hopefully, these problems can be solved to provided customers a better experience. :) However, in general, I enjoyed the ride as it gave me a lot of firsts.

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