Sunday, September 30, 2012

I Heart Marinduque! Boac Adventures


This is the last part of my first solo travel series. Yes! I braved the fear of the unknown and came back not one less of what I am before - I even gained more. I was still at the very serene Poctoy beach at around 7:05 a.m. and then waited for my jeepney which is the only way to commute from one town to the other. 

Jeepney schedule in Marinduque is not reliable - they don't have schedules I guess. Better ask the people there 'coz they know much better. I was waiting for the jeepney with Sta. Cruz in the signboard. I need to go to Sta.Cruz before I can reach Boac. 

And then I realized that I was just there when I went to  Maniwaya Island on my first day. So after 25 minutes, the jeepney finally arrived. I stayed again on the right side of the jeepney for the most refreshing view of the town. 

We reached Sta.Cruz in 50 minutes and I paid 40 pesos right before I went down. In that same terminal, I asked for the stationed jeepney going to Boac. It's on the farthest side of the terminal and it was half full when I got inside. We waited for almost 15 minutes for it to be filled. I paid 47 pesos and we reached Boac in just 1 hour

When I was finally in Boac, it felt like I was transformed in the old times. The houses on downtown are old but still functional. There's this rustic feel to the town. The quiet town made it a perfect last-few-days-on-a-solo-travel place.  

I heart Marinduque
First things first. I need to look for a hotel for my overnight stay in the town. I had a list of some hotels in the town and at 10:00 a.m., I was looking for my place for the day. The two inns I asked were fully booked and as I was walking around I saw the Boac hotel. I went in and asked for the rates. 

At that time, when I was really hungry and tired, any hotel that has a room would suffice - at any rate (yabang lang). And then I found out that they still have a Fan room for 450 pesos and then I immediately said yes. There's a free Wi-Fi connection on the lobby and I took that chance to check out a Boac town map just to see where I could go afterwards. After paying the whole amount to the front desk lady, she handed me my room keys. 

I was assigned to room 210. I went to my room unaccompanied. At first look, it seemed and felt like the room was used for quickie/short-time stuff. It's very evident on the vandalism on the walls. Well, I have no time to look for any room or hotel. Good thing I was alone, my decision is the only decision and need not consider others'. I had my own toilet and bath, a TV, a bed, my own veranda and a fan. Very basic and for its price I can bear with it. I wished that I should've researched more so as to have a better room. And then I saw the room across and saw how cozy the AC room is. I had a quick shower and planned to have a very nice lunch somewhere, no definite place in mind. 


the lobby

my room
the view from the veranda
I went out and looked for restaurants and saw Casa de Don Emilio which is two blocks away from the Boac Hotel - blocks there do have the same perfect plot size. The Casa is right across the Town Hall and on the second level of the famous Kusina sa Plaza. I read somewhere that the Casa is one of the most raved about restaurant in Boac so I went inside to check out the restaurant. And boy it didn't fail to amaze me on first sight. 

I was the only guest and I explored the space first before checking out the menu. The Casa is Spanish-inspired and almost all of the stuff there are made of wood. Vintage lovers will definitely have a feast on their eyes here. There's a free Wi-Fi connection but then there was a power interruption when I was there so I was stuck with myself, the Casa and the fabulous view of the town. I strategically positioned myself in a table near the huge window. It gave me the view I needed for a good and much deserved meal - my first formal meal after two days. 

I ordered rice (20 pesos), Shanghai rolls (60 pesos) and Pinaso na Gabi which happened to be their own version of the Laing (95 pesos). I was famished and needed to wait a few minutes for my food to be served so I checked out the other parts of the Casa. 

I browsed on some books that were in a certain old desk and a particular book was about Marinduque. I checked it out and learned so much about the history, people and culture of the province. I read so much about Moriones festival and the Legend of Maring and Gat Duke

And then the food was served. It was on huge portions and can feed two persons. I didn't have the time to savor every bite because I was so hungry. But then after finishing everything, I realized that the food I ordered was just ok. Nothing to be excited about. Actually, it tasted bland and if I was not hungry I would not have eaten the whole thing. But then I can't make a comment about the whole menu of the restaurant 'coz I didn't get to taste their pasta and other stuff. But as for me, I was paying for the view and the experience.

I spent almost 2 hours in the restaurant just looking around and reading some books. I asked the lady server for some directions on going around the town and promised her to come back at night to have a coffee or something.

Kusina sa Plaza on 1st level and Casa de Don Emilio on the 2nd
stairway to the Casa




the view from my spot
Pinaso na Gabi 
Shanghai rolls
Ma'am gusto n'yo po kuhanan ko kayo ng picture?
sure! (teka, pa'no niya nalaman na titser ako - chos)


I went across the restaurant and saw the Boac Municipal Hall and the Marinduque Branch of the National Museum which were both closed at that time because it was a holiday.

Boac Municipal Hall
every town has his statue


And then I walked two blocks from the Municipal Hall and went back to my room in the hotel for a nap. The food I consumed completely paralyzed my whole being and I fell into a deep sleep. I woke up and decided to go to Boac church. I needed to hike a bit 'coz it's on top of a hill. The road leading to the hill was just across the hotel so I went there and immediately saw the bell tower form the road and knew right away that I was near it. I heard a chorale singing from the outside. 

The calmness of the town was perfectly en sync with the heavenly voices of the young members of the ensemble. I went inside and sat down to watch them do their rehearsals. Then I went around the church, the bell tower and the houses of nuns, priests and bishops near the church. It was a good thing that it was not a Sunday and there weren't any weddings or any other services going on at that time. 

bell  tower from the road







I went back to downtown and realized that I have nowhere to go. So I just walked around the town at around 4 p.m. I saw where the Moriones Festival was held and some old houses-turned-establishments around the town. There were lots of souvenir and gift shops around and I scored a Marinduque ref magnet for 35 pesos with my mom on my mind. I also bought some arrow root cookies for 100 pesos per pack. 

Then I went back to where I was 5 hours ago and saw the Kusina Sa Plaza. I went inside and found out that the restaurant is divided into three different clusters; the pizza/snack bar, the luncheon area and the air-conditioned space for the customers. There's also a free Wi-Fi connection inside. And then I saw that people were ordering pizzas. So I ordered a solo ham and cheese pizza (35 pesos) and a halo-halo (35 pesos). It tasted fine and I ain't be raving about it. I stayed there for an hour and was engrossed with reading my book. 

Kusina sa Plaza luncheon area
halo-halo
solo-sized ham and cheese pizze
And then I saw the Casa de Don Emilio again. It glowed from the outside. I told myself that I needed to see it at night. I went back again and the lady server immediately noticed me. I saw a couple having early dinner at the same spot where I stayed earlier. I ordered a tea (30 pesos) for I was still full that time. 

I then looked for a nice place to chill and brought out my book and my journal. At times, I was browsing the internet and walking around the restaurant. It's so homey. I learned that they were open up to 9:00 that evening so this is just the perfect chill place for me. And just so you know, cigarette smoking is allowed in here.

I finished a few chapters and asked for a refill of hot water for my tea. They said that it's for free and I need not worry about asking for more - up until the tea doesn't taste tea anymore. At 8:30 p.m. I thanked everyone (well just the two of them) for letting me stay for almost 3 hours and then they asked me to sign in their guest book - I graciously obliged. 



felt like I was at home
I went back to Boac hotel and fixed my stuff 'coz I will be leaving early the next day. I caught Julia Roberts' Eat, Pray and Love on HBO and watched it for the first time - yeah first time, loser me. 

I woke up the next day at around 5:00 a.m., took a shower, checked out from the hotel and went to Boac market to catch the jeepneys going directly to Balanacan port in Mogpog town. The sleepy town of Boac at 5:40 a.m. was just the perfect time to walk around. I took that time to savor my last few moments of the town. It was so refreshing to breathe some fresh air - the kind that you need not worry about smoke or dust. 

Then I hopped on a Balanacan-bound jeepney and paid 50 pesos for the 30-minute trip. I was just in time for the 6:40 a.m. Starhorse shipping lines RORO trip to Lucena city. Arriving at Lucena, I ran to where the buses were just to pick a nice bus and a good seat. There were loads of buses right outside the port that goes to Pasay, Cubao and other parts of Metro Manila. I chanced upon the JAC Liner again (maybe because of the screaming "WI-FI" signage on its windshield) and paid 182 pesos for the supposedly 227.50 pesos ride to their Kamuning station (if you haven't been reading, I have a student discount because I am a Graduate School student - and yes, they honor it).




The three-hour trip made me realize so many things. One of which was that I can definitely do it - the solo travel thing. All this time I thought that solo traveling isn't for me. That I will be sad. That I'm such a talker and that traveling solo would paralyze my tongue for days. That I wouldn't enjoy it as much as when I'm with someone with whom I can share that moment with. That it would be expensive because you don't have anyone to split the costs with. But then, I learned that all this time I was fooling myself and everyone with those excuses. Really. Those were just the best excuses I could think of. 


Phone in question: Will I do it again? Hell yeah!





21 comments:

  1. kaka inggit naman talaga, alam ko na kaya bakit alam niya na titser ka kasi gumagawa ka ng lesson plan habang nag aantay ng pagkain hehe :) joke

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi manong! tama... gumagawa ako ng leche flan... hihi :)

      Delete
  2. you did it, carla! now you have one more reason to feel fulfilled. I have the same reasons as you have when it comes to trying solo traveling. guess I need to set those aside.

    btw, benta yung quickie stuff! hahaha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi kimi. oh yes! apir tayo sa solo traveling. pero pagbalik natin ng marinduque hindi na solo, join na tayo. hehe

      Delete
  3. Another list naman. andami ko ng utang sa Pinas. I will surely visit this province, I want to eat in Casa de Don Emilio, sabay dungaw sa mga guardia civil, spanish era ang peg.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi sky! actually lahat tayo maraming utang sa pinas. hehe.

      natakot nga ako nung kumakain ako kasi baka dumating sila padre damaso and company eh :)

      Delete
  4. What happened to the church bell? Did an annoyed sleeper took a shot at it? I like the way you narrate your solo adventure...very entertaining.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks bertN! oh about the bell? maybe it was just old and broken - hmmm, well that's just an assumption :)

      Delete
  5. ahh as always...entertaining lahat ng posts mo :D ang ganda sa boac ha! homey! <3

    happy teachers month sexy guro!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ganda talaga sa boac shugah! thanks naman sa sexy guro :)

      Delete
  6. With this pictures...I miss Marinduque! we stayed in boac also..this d town right? u should try to go back during mahal na araw you will love it more! Moriones!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi sunny! yeah i read it in your site. i'm also wishing to be there during holy week but i heard it's really busy during that time.

      Delete
  7. These are really great photos! I really wish I could go visit.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. i think the "ma'am" thing is out of respect. instead of calling you "miss" they said "ma'am", at tiyak tinatawag nila ng "sir" ang mga lalake. IMO...:)

    ReplyDelete
  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am planning to visit Marinduque and your blog is so helpful. I enjoyed reading it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Nice blog .. quite informative.. few more queries.. how much you paid for trip from Balanacan port to lucena.. ? globeant.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As of January this year, 260 pesos ang ferry from Balanacan to Lucena Prashant :)

      Delete