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My First with OceanJet
Part 1 of Rediscovering Bohol.
Even if I’ve been traveling solo for almost two years already, each trip is still like my first. The night before an escapade, it is 99% definite that I won’t get much sleep, if any sleep, at all! You know, the excitement, the anticipation, makes me all-hyper! Plus the preparations as well. What am I supposed to bring? Did I leave anything essential behind? What else did I forget? The questions are endless, and I guess it’s all part of the adventure.
The night before this trip, I chilled with friends until around midnight, hoping that when I get home, I will be too tired to think about anything and just instantly doze off. But that just didn’t work! I rolled around the bed for hours and didn’t get any sleep. LOL. So a few minutes before it would have awoken everyone, I preempted the alarm I set and got off my bed at 5am to prepare. Although the fast-craft that would take us to Tagbilaran would only leave at 9:30am, I had to wake up early so I could hitch with mom as she sends my brothers off to school (practical!). Angeli and I agreed to meet at IT Park to wait for at least an hour until we had to go to the port. At the coffee shop, I tried my best to get a nap, but still to no avail. I was haggard at best, I almost felt like a zombie, but I didn’t mind all that because all that was on my mind were vivid images of the adventures that await us in Bohol.
Forty-five minutes before our scheduled departure time, we hailed a cab to bring us to Pier 1. Three years ago, I was with my family on the same port, but we never got to enter the terminal building as we brought a vehicle with us and took a RORO vessel to Tubigon. As our taxi reached the gates of Pier 1, the driver asked us if we would disembark right there or if we wanted to be dropped off right by the entrance of the terminal building. Feeling very groggy, ofcourse I chose the latter, and by the gate, a P10 entrance fee was collected from us.
Having entered Pier 1 Terminal for the first time, a vending machine with drinks and snacks greeted us by the entrance and I was amazed! (lame but true). Mactan Airport doesn’t even have a vending machine, right? So I was really pleasantly surprised. We didn’t know where to go, so we just followed the general direction of everyone else and it brought us to a room with what seemed to be check-in counters. Amazing! And right before we fell in line, we came across Gael, THE Pinay Solo Backpacker who would be going with us in this trip. At that moment, I felt like I was in an airport, much more when we were actually given our boarding passes! After checking in, we underwent a security check before we could reach the pre-departure area where Ruben was already waiting for us. Finally, we settled down a few minutes before the trip.
Again, I couldn’t help but be impressed that the check-in area and pre-departure lounge were air-conditioned, and had flat-screen TVs and most of all, Free WiFi! A lot of airports in the country don’t have these facilities, so who says sea travel is inferior to air travel?
Pier 1 Pre-Departure Area Spot Miong in the photo.
This is it! Passengers were called for boarding. Mark arrived just in time. We queued and had our boarding passes checked then we walked outside the terminal building to our fast-craft. As we entered the vessel, it was another LOL moment for me as I was amazed at how it looked-like I was inside an airplane.
Inside OceanJet Jet 8. Blades of Glory on-screen got passengers giggling. LOL.
Greeting us by the entrance were student sailors, (or however they are called), ready to assist us in finding our seat assignments. Here’s more: there’s Free WiFi inside the vessel! OMG, you could just imagine me wanting to do a slow-clap. I was really very impressed and amazed! We were then seated at the aisle seats of the forward portion of the fast-craft and while seats aren’t equipped with seat belts, they were showing a safety video on screen, much like how it is in airplanes. Gosh, I guess this post would qualify as one of my most ignorant and embarrassing ever, but then, Ignorance is bliss and I love it!
The bridge cities.
The vessel left the port on time and when they started to play a movie on screen, I put my earphones on, closed my eyes and tried to take a nap throughout the entire one-hour-forty-minute duration of the float. Well you guessed it right, I failed, but I guess being comfortably seated for almost two hours gave me some energy already.
Teeming with activity.
Thankfully, the weather was cooperative and the whole float was smooth. At 11:30am, we have arrived at the Port of Tagbilaran.
As we exited the terminal building, we were greeted by our pick-up van to Amorita!
The Amorita van.
(…to be continued)