Almost three hours of traveling – from Dumaguete to San Carlos. We rested at the San Carlos public market where my mother sold vegetables from Canlaon as a child. We then went to Toledo crossing the beautiful strait of Tanon. The journey was fast but very rough. The waves were high and the commuter boat, small and crowded. In Toledo we rode a bus that took us to Cebu City.
It was extra special for my mother because it was her first time in Cebu, an island visible from where she grew up. “On a clear day I could see the smoke from its coal factories”, she said.
Toledo is the most developed among the western towns of Cebu. It has benefited from the cooper and coal mining. However, noticeable is the toll nature has taken from decades of mining.
The road from west to south traverse the mountain slopes. This provides scenic countryside beauty and horrific views of defaced mountains and lost forest.
The bus then exits in Naga and continues northwards to Cebu City. I love seeing the lively towns of San Fernando, Talisay and Minglanilla – even from inside the bus.
We went around the city; I took my mother to the usual places tourist visits in Cebu. The most important, at least for her, is seeing Sto. Nino de Cebu. It was the highlight of her Cebu trip, according to her.
After a tiring afternoon of walking, we went back to Toledo. The bus was being driven by a mad man – it swerved and was over speeding in angled and narrow high way. Somewhere in the middle of the trip, they had problems with the engine. They got it fixed but at this time it was already dark which made the ride really uncomfortable. I remember when I was still residing in Cebu, one of my colleagues warned me that the transportation in this part of the province is notorious for recklessness and accidents. And having traveled in the west side before, I could tell that not much has changed.
Back in Toledo we spent a night to get some deserved rest. The ferry ride back to San Carlos departs at 6 in the morning.