The ConjuRAIN, Nga-ngas, Haunted Hotel, Into the Wild
Nga-nga: the Filipino slang for an open mouth which is caused by either being amazed or embarrassed. It can also be an expression when you’re in the situation where you are left nowhere and you have no idea what to do.
Our trip to Misamis Oriental is subdivided into seven (7) nga-ngas and it is breakdown as follows:
Our flight was scheduled on August 19, 2013 at 10:55am from Manila to Cagayan de Oro City (CDO). There was a storm at that time named “Maring” which causes heavy and continuous rains throughout Manila and Northern Luzon subsequently causes flooding in several parts of the city. Thank God that my family and most of my friends are safe and sound but I feel sympathetic to my fellowmen who are having an endeavor on this calamity. At 7:00am, Yoli and I received a text message from Zilla that our flight might be rebooked on the next day but things got back to the original plan and the three of us should be bound to the airport before 10:55am. I arrived first in the airport despite the heavy rain and the heavy luggage I am carrying with. I texted Zilla where is she and she replied that she is finding a difficult time looking for a cab. Yoli arrived second carrying our projector which totally made her a sossy woman. We stopped by Rajah Maynila store inside NAIA Terminal 3 then moved to Mrs. Fields to wait for Zilla. She finally arrived after several minutes noting her cab hopping adventures before reaching the airport. We rest and wait for our flight to be called.
It’s almost lunch time and we keep on hearing the apologies of the ground attendant that Philippine Airlines Flight 2P 527 bound to Cagayan de Oro will be delayed due to the “turn around” issue of the airplane from Cagayan de Oro City. Yoli got a hint that the first plane we saw going to CDO at around 11:00am will be the same plane that will service us so she assumed that the flight will be super delayed. We also took our lunch in the airport. We keep on chatting and the two of them even sleep while waiting on our flight. We were able to board the plane at around 3:00pm (4 hours delayed) and departed safely in the face of the typhoon.
We reach Laguindingan International Airport at almost 5:00pm. We get the complimentary Kenny Rogers Roaster meal from Philippine Airlines for the delayed flight service. The weather is bright and sunny and sky is very clear, totally different from Manila. Mr. Joseph (background information hidden for confidentiality) fetched us and took us to Opol Municipality to check-in on our hotel. To our surprised, the hotel room is very small and it can only fit exactly one person without moving. Yoli is claustrophobic and she started to get pissed since it’s very unusual to have an accommodation like this. We ate the chicken meal first in the small room and we requested to be transferred to another hotel that is spacious enough and within Cagayan de Oro City.
Joseph granted our request and Ms. Jean (anonymous identity) came to the rescue to take us to the Cagayan de Oro City to find another cozy hotel. We drive for almost 30 minutes until we reach the city and end up checking-in at Maxandrea Hotel. We were irritated with the annoying hotel guard because he inspected our luggage to the point of removing all of it from our bags (goodluck to Yoli about what the guard saw in her luggage :P). I almost drop all my clothes because of that. I was supposed to meet my Vegas Niners friend, Kenneth, who works there in CDO and he asked me where I am staying. When he found out where’s my location, he informed me that the hotel has a history of bombing last year which left an nga-nga expression from our faces. We go to Centrio Ayala Mall to eat dinner, buy water and medicine because Zilla is not feeling well at that night and we finally rested to our respective rooms after that tiring day to prepare for the upcoming events tomorrow.
7:00am—wake up call. Everything was already prepared and Joseph arrived at almost 8:00am. We found out that our breakfast is subject for an approval like we are some prisoners. We went to the barracks and met Leo the manager (anonymous identity). We discussed some stuffs until we agreed to end up in Panagatan Restaurant nearby facing the sea to meet the Mayor. The meeting was supposed to start at 12 noon however, it seems like our guests are late. We took the reserved area thinking that Joseph did it but we found out later on that it belongs to the local officials in the area. The Mayor did not appear so we just eat there and go into his office at 1:00pm. Good thing everything went well during the said meeting. And oh, I would like to give a special mention to Mr. Kung Fu Hustle with a very colorful violet pair of socks.
We have to go up the mountain even it’s already afternoon to meet some barangay locals. It’s over an hour ride through a very rocky and rough road crossing three rivers. We are shaking grains inside the vehicle and bump into each other every time and then. But the most number of collision awards goes to Yoli, hahaha
On the last river that we crossed, Zilla happens to take a pee since she cannot handle it anymore (before it explodes). We stopped momentarily and I accompanied her to a nearby banana tree and lend her my umbrella. I teased her as “Wiwi Girl” on that day. After several minutes of jarring ride, we were able to reach the small barangay of Nangcaon.
I will summarize our mission in this barangay as very uncertain as the meeting with the locals didn’t go well. It seems like there are personal interests that should be conveyed before the approval of our project. We still managed to deliver our side and presented what we can offer. We left the barrio with peace and calm until we encounter a van on our way back.
The road that we go through is the same road that we took earlier so it’s the same bumpy ride. We stopped by the side of a hill where all you can see are mountains, trees, wild grasses and the dusk. Our driver and the other team on our convoy tried to help the people in the van because they had a car trouble. Yoli, Zill and I were just inside the car to wait. But moments after, it seems like something is wrong with the situation and Joseph saw a lot of guns inside the van so he immediately create a signal to our driver to go. He immediately drives us very fast downhill and fortunately, our convoy successfully followed us after a few minutes.
I was not really aware of what’s happening at that moment. They just told me about it when we reach the city which made me thankful that we made it out alive. We thanked everyone who became part of the trip and we went back to the hotel because it’s our flight to Manila by the next day.
It is similar to the first nga-nga which continues the cycle. Delayed flight for 3 hours due to weather conditions in Manila. Good thing is we ate at a local carinderia near the airport. Yoli loves the goat meat there and me too. Everything is house-made which I missed eating for a long time. We board at almost 4:00pm (which is supposedly 1:00pm) bringing another set of complimentary chicken meal courtesy of the Airline again for the inconvenience. We landed at almost 6:00pm in Manila and the weather is still rainy. I managed to go home before the heavy rain falls. Mission accomplished.