Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday: Sabang Port in Caramoan, Philippines

So, what is everyone’s worst transportation experience while traveling?

I had my fair share of grueling travel experiences during transport.

Sabang Port definitely came as a surprise, and is quite unusual. From starting point in Manila, we encountered a test on endurance of boarding a 9-hour bus drive to Naga. Finding a comfortable sitting (sleeping) positions was a quite a challenge. Straight after was another hour minivan drive of cramped space.

As soon as we pull a stop in Guijalo Port, BAM! the commotion began. A group of men were running and hustling each other in pursuit to offer service of carrying the bags of passengers. We chose to carry our luggage ourselves. It was a short and easy drag. It was puzzling why these men were so eager to offer assistance.

And so we hit the sands of Guijalo Port, which is nothing like a port but a shore with a small beach hut for all the transactions. I took the first picture …

The view was massaging my aching back, neck and shoulders from the trip.

We had to wait long for the motorboats to get to our side of the shore. Actually, quite very long given our limited time in Caramoan. We had to board on the second arrival.

Nothing left to do but take pictures.

And so, our boat arrived. This is the point where the servicing men came into play. They went on again into dealing with the passengers to carry our luggage. The idea is, in order to ensure seating, the bags are used as a way to save the seats. A seat with a bag means that seat is marked seat-checked. Also, carrying the bags overhead is part of the offer…

We finally gave in, handing a tip to one of them.

They also have these men with their hands on this platform that is used to transport passenger from the shore to the boat. They use it in order for the passengers not to get their feet wet. Portion of the transportation fee goes to them.

If you plan to go to Caramoan, or any similar islands in the Philippines, be sure to be ready to cough off some extra, questionable and out-of-nowhere bills.

We finally boarded …

Following to the other side, we gingerly went up the port as it was slippery. There was actually a tripping accident. After that, we met our guide and boarded a tricycle. Again paying a fee before entering the island.

Was this trip worth the visit to Caramoan?

I’ll let the Last Calls answer that…


My sisters, Analyn and Maricar.

Caramoan is the next destination of the realty show Survivor.
More on my post about Caramoan: It’s more fun in the Philippines (part deux)

Sabang Port is not my worst nor the most grueling. It’s so different, so something else, that I find it to be exciting, interesting and a kind of transportation to remember.

My two worsts are the slippery roads due to snow in our way to Jose Rizal’s statue in Germany, and the one in Rocarasso in Italy where we had frequent stops to fix our tire chains and refilling anti-freeze.

Actually, journey of bumpy rides, winding roads, gruelling drives, long bus drives, uncommon forms of transportation, small mishaps, and problems on the road contribute to the travel making it more memorable, adding something to take about, and turns misadventures into adventures. Just please, no traffic.

19 replies »

  1. Hahaha what fun and drama! I don’t think I’ve had any major disasters travelling except tummy sickness and I always get bad reactions to mosquito bites that cause big swellings and yes they love to bite me I must taste good! I’ve been on a bus in Africa that kept breaking down but it didn’t worry my – it was part of the adventure. Spiders and snakes have been scary a few times though!

  2. I haven’t experienced anything like that but my worst might be the time I flew to and from Edmonton in 1985. I was 14, and on the return trip to Prince George, the Boing 727 received a bomb scare.

    That in itself was actually exciting for me, but the terminal where all of the passengers were held at Prince George Regional Airport didn’t have any bathrooms. You had to leave the terminal in order to go an ease yourself and under the investigation; which went on for hours, everyone including this 14-year old, was under suspicion and not allowed to leave the area.

    I was able to talk to my mother and my sister through the thick glass windows between the terminal and the outer hall. After conveying just how much my bladder was bursting, my family took up a fight with airport administration, security and the police to get me out of there like it was their mission in life. When my mum feels she needs to raise hell, watch out!

    At 3 seconds to the start of doomsday, the officials allowed me to go to the bathroom and leave the airport with my family.

    The bomb scare turned out to be a hoax.

  3. worst travel experience? so many…… but never bad enough to deter me from more travel!!!! I love seeing different parts of the world. thanks for the wonderful pics. just great.

  4. I think I’ve had the worse. On a 5 hour bus ride from Manila to Dagupan City I retched with dry heaves and watery stuff into a plastic bag all the way to the first rest stop in Dau. There I ran to the CR and I had it coming out from the other end! By the time we got to Tarlac, the next rest stop, I was starting to get over the motion sickness! I’ve been on 14 trips to PI and this was the worse bus ride of all! Fast and bumpy rides are no fun at all!

    • Eeek… I was like that during field trip when I was in sixth grade. Just once. Bwahahaha! Never stopped me from being a globetrotter though.
      I think we just had a competition on who had the worst. 😀

  5. My worst has to be the flights to and Tenerife via Thomas cook. Nothing to do with the operator – everything to do with the poor behaviour of other tourists who hav no control over and not intent to have control over their children. Package tour flights… Bad news 😦

  6. My stories are about drivers and the conditions they think are fine to take passengers through. In Ecuador I rode in a tour bus up a mountain that had no guardrails. The road was built for one car – in one direction. The scariness was when we met a car coming down! The car had to inch over until it was almost scraping against the rocks, and we had to edge over to the cliff. Two wheels were off the paved lane, onto the 2-foot wide dirt shoulder, and literally inches from tipping the buss off the mountain and bouncing a few thousand feet down to the bottom. The entire bus was silent, you could have heard a pin drop because we did not want to take the driver’s mind off the road. The other was still in Ecuador, when we rode in metal canoes down a river to our hotel – in a lightning storm. But that was the day after the bus ride, so we didn’t care anymore.

    • Oh my god! Dodging major accidents on the way in one day.
      We got a contest going on here. I think this one bumps up the top spot.
      Thanks for contributing.

  7. Enjoyed this 🙂 I think some of my worst (and entertaining) transportation was in Guatemala….old school buses going about 80 on winding roads with steep cliffs on our sides, or the mini van that seats 29 people, not 7. Thanks for the beautiful photos! I will be heading to the Philippines next year if all goes as planned!

Don't be shy to say hi.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s