The road in almost all of Sarangani Province is paved. Except for a short unpaved portion approaching the border with Davao del Sur, traversing the province is not much of a problem. But our destination is not Sarangani, we were headed for Nuing, that coastal barangay of Jose Abad Santos, Davao del Sur and the location of the Sto. Nino Mission Station run by Redemptorist priests.
The road is one of the worst I ever did pass. I did take a road mired in such condition in Casul, Sapang Dalaga, Misamis Occidental before, but it’s a barangay road. Usually, barangay roads are the least of local government priorities and in fact many of them are just weeded alleys passable by motorcycles during summer and by horses during the rainy season. The road going to Nuing is a national highway and yet it’s worse than a barangay road. Rocks, mud, steep slopes, rivers and streams, enough to give everyone a bumpy ride inside their cars. Good heavens! We were even stuck on a slope on our first day there. Our car was just scrambling with its gear when the engine suddenly died down. One of us had to jump and put a stone before the tires just so it won’t slide down. We even had to wait for a bigger hauler truck (here they call it “Saddam”) to pull us out. We waited till sunset before any came. We arrived way much later than we earlier planned but we’re glad we made it.
Our mission has just begun.