Desperately Seeking Mario

A certain Mario was supposed to pick us up at the Cagayan de Oro airport. He was supposed to be holding a sign with our names. Well, he didn't show up. Even after we contacted the person who arranged for Mario's services.

So there we were outside the airport, surrounded by numerous drivers offering their services. So this was what celebrity life felt like - everyone milling around you. P1,500. P1,000 - you could hear different rates being quoted. Altis, Starex - these were only a few of our vehicle choices.

We stayed around for about 30 minutes I think, looking for Mario, whose family name we did not even know. Every new guy who went in our direction was asked: "Ikaw ba si Mario?" (Are you Mario?)

Well, Mario didn't show up even after our contact said that he would just approach us. We ended up getting Armand M. to drive for us - for a rate of P1,500 a day - inclusive of gasoline expenses. Armand was nice, honest so if you find yourself in or going to the Cagayan de Oro area and are in search of a driver, send me mail and I'll give you his cellphone number.

We were also lucky that he had a brother in Malaybalay so we didn't have to cover his lodging expenses. He also drives to Julio Iglesias music which was relaxing enough to put me to sleep.

Oh, and before he drove us to our destination, he requested that we pass by his house so he can inform his wife about staying in Malaybalay for the next few days. Good sign, I thought. As we reached his house, we saw his pretty wife and kid. When Armand got back to the car, my officemate commented: "Ganda ng misis mo," to which Armand replied, his voice sounding proud and happy: "Ang ganda nga." Read and learn, hubbies out there.

And so we sought Mario and found Armand. A lot like life again - we set out searching for something and sometimes end up with something better. Sometimes, we don't even know what or whom we're searching for. One thing is sure though. We will get to our final destination somehow so enjoy the ride.

Up Next: Where to Stay - Pine Hills Hotel

Related Link: Malaybalay, Bukidnon Travelogue

[By Angelica Viloria | Friday, November 14, 2003]

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