We waited for the mall to open and did some last minute shopping. We finally decided to txt him and asked that we be picked up at 10AM in a gasoline station near the mall. He answered back immediately that he can fetch us right away. But with some more things to buy, we stuck to our original schedule.
Finally, we got into his cab and told him that that we also wanted to see the Malasag Eco-Tourism Village. He asked for an additional amount, since this is in the opposite direction from the Divine Mercy Shrine that we earlier agreed upon. We said that it was ok and off we went to the Eco-tourism village.Mang Lito made some small talk on our way to the park. He told us that his taxi will soon be his as the taxi operator, who is a retired American married to a Filipina, offers his drivers a lease to own plan for the taxis. For P800 a day and after 3 years, he becomes the proud owner of the cab. In fact, he said that this is his second one and that the other one was driven by someone for him.
When we got to the Malasag eco-park, he not only became our guide, he was also our cameraman as well as bodyguard as he followed us along the trails.
It was almost noon when we finished the trail. After we got inside the taxi, we asked him if we can first drop by the Vjandep to buy some Pastel as pasalubong (a box of 12 costs P130, while a box of 6 costs P70) and then get our things in the Regional Office where we stayed, which was almost across the bakeshop. That we did while he kept us awake with his stories of places he visited in Mindanao, when in fact he was originally from Cebu and met his wife in CDO and decided to settle here.
It was almost one when we finished at Vjandep and picked our things so Mang Lito suggested that we have lunch in a restaurant by the sea in Opol, which is the town between CDO and El Salvador. We took his advice but since we lacked time we ordered the food which could be served the quickest.
After a quickie lunch, we proceeded to El Salvador where the Divine Mercy shrine was located. The sun was so hot and the path was a little inclined which made it even harder to walk. We finally saw the statue of the Divine Mercy and was awed by its size. It is located on top of a hill which oversees the surroundings. We said a little prayer and got some water from the faucet which was said to come from a spring.
For those interested to get his services, you may contact Mang Lito at his mobile number: 0929-862-2019. You can haggle for a reasonable rate and I am sure he will give you one.