Wednesday, November 14, 2007

zambo - cot

i find the shape of mindanao island very interesting. if you look at it, you can see a big mass of land where the moros, the lumads and us, christian settlers have lived in the northern, eastern and south central part of mindanao. tracing along the western side is the zamboanga peninsula. i blinked and imagined it as an oddly shaped coffee cup, slightly tilted with the handle shattered into smithereens.

ok, i might be forcing it, but indulge me will you, am obsessing over coffee at the moment.

with that image in my mind, i really find it interesting to travel from zamboanga to cotabato. i have tried it some years ago, when nin and i travelled from iloilo, stopover in zambo then to cotabato. the zambo - cot segment took all night, with us arriving in cotabato at 5am.

i can imagine the travel that our zambo participants in the peacetech have to take every month. which is really not that bad. i mean, you just sleep on the superferry and when you wake up, you're in cot already. no sweat. well, its a different thing to travel from polloc to cotabato city though.

being the latagaw that i am, i wished then to travel by different route. i.e. by air and by land.

i imagine the land trip would take me from zamboanga to pagadian, then down to marawi perhaps then down narciso marcos highway then to cotabato. i heard stories from our friends in midsayap that this route is not very happy. i mean, the roads and the air con buses have so far improved as compared to my zamboanga trips four years ago. but it is just the time spent sleeping and not being able to do a thing because the bus in motion is keeping everyone hostage.

so i think i would not want to try that out.

so that left me with air travel. and i finally got my chance two days ago. i flew from zambo to cotabato. upon entering zambo airport after lingering at la vina, after a hefty satti dinner. i felt excitement lingering in my hands. something new is definitely coming out. i mean i rode dozens of flights before, i even took nifty and cute seair flights before, i know the feel of zambo airport. but something is definitely there.

check in was not your ordinary way. we were only allowed 10kilos baggage allowance. plus, they have to weigh each passenger in. i suspect that the crew has to balance the weight of the passengers on either side. maybe just to make sure that the plane would be easier to control. hehehe.

the rest is just the usual procedure. security checks, snacks at the terminal, the whitewashed runway, and the people waiting to leave. then they called us for check in. and that is when i realized that we can still have our preference on the seats. so mike got a window, and i got a window too! yey, i knew that seair has a special place in my heart.

it was actually my third time to get into a seair. my first was that cebu - camiguin trip. the second was when i went to bongao tawi-tawi. both were highly enjoyable and the small cockpit makes it even more interesting. you know that there is worry in the eyes of some of the people there. but it remained worries, as all have been easy and pleasurable.

i may have just to sweat right before take off and right after landing because they turn off the aircon during those times.

and so there i was right beside the window, getting all giddy and excited. it feels like the first day of school, or like finally saying what you have known all this time. it feels fresh, and warm and easy and well, nice.

i was watching the tarmac before we left zambo. i saw sta. cruz down yonder. when the sea became too boring, i looked into their in flight magazines and was reminded of all those places that i can still go to. and when land came into sight, i never took out my eyes from the window.

when the cotabato tarmac came into view. i knew that i had to stop smiling and wipe the beads of sweat forming on my forehead.

when i alighted there were handprints on the violet strip on the side of the plane. i slapped a green hand and gave it a high five.

nice flight. indeed.

then i realized i hadn't turned off my cellphone.

oh well.

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