I was at the port by 11:30 a.m., quite unusual for me who had made others wait for more than two hours. According to an online guide I read, the boat would leave by noon or 1 p.m. There is only one passenger boat every day, and I could not possibly miss it or else I would have to shell out a hefty Php5,000 or so to reach my destination.
At Estancia Port, I was the earliest passenger. Boatmen were busy loading the sides with pieces of styrofoam. They would be used as buoys for a crab farm. Despite the surge of activities at the port, the passengers bound for Asluman trickled in. I know from past remote island experiences that anything could be onboard: from bags of cement to a plastic of baybay, a kind of gritted corn delicacy in this part of Iloilo.
It suddenly rained. The sudden downpour blurred the visible islands across: Bayas, Sicogon, Kalagnaan, and Lugingot and the wind gained speed, causing waves to get hungry and the rain to enter the boat. But such disappeared as soon as it arrived. It became sunny in the middle of the shy rain, and the first thing I looked for was the rainbow.
Unlike the sweetness of Ilongos and the lulling cadence of their accent, the weather here was rather temperamental. It must be Glenda, Henry, or most likely, just another normal July day at Estancia, Iloilo. They are as accustomed to it as they are to the boat departing at 3 p.m. instead of 1 p.m..
Text from my column DOWN SOUTH: http://goo.gl/HVdNt9
PS. A decent travel narrative will come out next year. 🙂