The other Wednesday, May 18, 2022, my son and a companion boarded an aircon bus at the RSL terminal in Concepcion Virac at 11:30 AM for a trip to Metro Manila that normally would arrive the following morning at about 3 AM.
Little did they, and the rest of Manila-bound passengers on the other buses, know that the same trip would take 30 hours.
My son said the bus arrived at the San Andres port at around 12:45 PM, with the ferry leaving the port an hour-and-a-half past its scheduled departure time of 1 PM.
The ship arrived at Tabaco port sometime between 5:30 to 6 PM, with the travelers boarding the bus again. At 10:30 PM, it stopped to allow the passengers and the drivers to take dinner at around 10:30 PM.
Then at 11 PM, a loud bang is heard somewhere at the back, with some of the passengers saying that a tire had blown.
The pace of the journey after that tire-change stop began to slow down as the highway became congested with traffic until the early morning that the convoy of buses from Catanduanes was still in Camarines Norte by 5:30 AM of Thursday, May 19.
Noontime saw the buses stopping for lunch at Lucena, nine hours behind schedule.
They reached Calamba, Laguna at 3 PM and mercifully arrived at PITX at 5 PM, completing 30 hours of mind-numbing and body-sapping travel.
According to a source, the initial delay of about one to two hours at San Andres port has been going on for some time now.
Whether the delay in the departure of the RORO is deliberate, only the ferry company knows.
On the other hand, the heavy traffic a third into the journey is being blamed on the reconstruction of the national highway at Tabugon, Sta. Elena, Camarines Norte.
As a result of the long travel time, passengers had to shell out extra money for their breakfast and lunch, which they could have taken at their destinations had they arrived on time.
The 30-hour ordeal makes one wonder why the national government, the concerned transportation agency or even Congress does not consider a law or directive penalizing transport companies for delays in travel or forcing them to shoulder the food of passengers if it takes much too long.
According to a mayor of a southern town, the plan of the incoming Marcos administration to postpone the December 2022 barangay and SK elections is shortsighted.
Presumptive House Speaker Rep. Martin Romualdez said the P8 billion savings will be utilized for the continuing response to the pandemic, cash aid and economic stimulus to be called “Bayan Bangon Muli (BBM).”
Columnist Solita Monsod has correctly described the proposed stimulus as post-election payback, an attempt to curry favor with the people.
She points out that all Congress has to do is force Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his family to pay the P23 billion tax due assessed on him by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), without postponing the barangay and SK elections for yet another year.
But it would be too much to expect BBM to go against human nature and actually pay the tax when he can just quietly ask BIR, whose commissioner he will appoint, not to demand payment until his six-year term is over,
On the other hand, the Catanduanes town mayor says that the December village polls should be held, so that erring barangay officials, as well as those who have grown lazy and complacent, can be replaced.
The elections, should they be held as scheduled, will also allow fresher youths to replace the members of the Sangguniang Kabataan, many of which are lacking in number. Most of them are also overaged and no longer effective.
CORRECT GUESS. An old woman says to an old man at the rest home, “I can guess your age.”
The man doesn’t believe her but tells her to go ahead and try.
“Pull down your pants,” she says.
She inspects his rear end for a few minutes and then says, “You’re 84 years old.”
“That’s amazing,” the man says. “How did you know?”
“You told me yesterday.”