I have the impression that anything that has to do with services in airports and seaports equate highway robbery, I mean, a hefty price tag. Budget traveler that I am, I always make sure to get last-minute take-away meals, pasalubong and other services in the nearest one-stop mall. (SM and Kultura Filipino, you are mannas from heaven for a frugal traveler like me!)
But on this latest trip, my assumption was downright wrong.
I arrive a tad too early here at the Supercat Terminal building for my Cebu-Tagbilaran(Php520.00/pax/way) trip. With nothing else to do but kill time, I check the few stalls in the terminal building. One food stall at the ground floor offers good food and reasonable rates. I walk up the ramp, check-in and proceed to the waiting area. Last time I was here, with a few minutes to burn, I bought a wifi coupon (Php80.00) at the stall near the gate so I could browse the web while waiting for departure. The hall is still empty when I get in. I walk toward the back end and stumbl upon a curtained area at the edge of the hall. Actually, I know this area so well since I passed by here many times before. In fact, I always see these guys in the same corner wearing a pair of scrub suit and sunglasses the color of midnight.
I approach one guy who appears to be the receptionist. Surprise, surprise! Seventy pesos for a half-hour massage and Php140.00 for one hour! That affordable. With an hour to go before boarding time, I get myself the one-hour massage.
The PWD (person with disability) massuer assigned to me is Roel. He lives in Labangon with his wife and their daughter. In the course of our conversation, I find out that he is blind since birth. Makes me ponder deeply what his images of this world are like. A world he has experienced but has never seen. I look at his face. No trace of regret or angst. Only acceptance and inner peace.
Roel with the aid of his cane, actually commutes to and from the terminal every work day. He takes the jeepney from Labangon (a barangay 40 minutes away from his workplace) by his lonesome.
Within an hour of good head, back, leg and foot massage that relax my tired body and sole, ermm, soul, I get it from Roel that Supercat actually provides the massage corner for free. And then, ten percent of the massage fee goes to the PWD's organization fund while another 10 percent goes to the guide/receptionist. The rest is Roel's take home pay.
Let's all support Roel and other PWDs earn a decent living.
SUPERCAT TRAVEL TIP: At the check-in counter, you can choose your seat at no extra cost. For solo travelers who want personal space and wide legroom, 9c and 9j are my top pick. 12c and 12j are reserved for people with disability.
Last call for boarding na. Got to go!
See you on the road!