TYPHOON FRANK 2008
I got caught in the middle of Typhoon Frank (international codename: Fengshen)...something that I never expected when I left for Bohol via Cebu on a sunny warm Sunday last June 15. I've been caught in storms before but those were the days when I was much younger and energetic, so it was more like an adventure then. This time, I'm older, well rooted in my comfort zones, predictable...and so, it wasn't exactly the kind of adventure one middle age lady would like to find her lonesome self in.
I was still my positive self when I got to the Tagbilaran City pier on Friday afternoon, June 20. It was raining on and off the whole day, harder by mid afternoon, but I never doubted that I would be able to leave for Cebu. My ticket for the Weesum ferry was at 5 PM but fortunately there was an earlier ferry leaving at 4 PM, and I decided to take that. I think it was serendipitous because I approached the ticket counter not to change my time of departure but to upgrade to a first class ticket because I did not like the idea of being in economy class...but the staff in the counter were actually Ilonggos and they asked me if I wanted to take an earlier ferry...I agreed immediately and upon their advise, no longer upgraded my ticket since they said staying in economy class was better especially for rough seas. I was told later that this was the last ferry allowed to leave Tagbilaran that day by the Philippine Coast Guard. Surprisingly, the trip was relatively good, in fact I slept the whole time. It was upon reaching Cebu that I felt the strong winds, but still I did not worry that I might not be able to go home the next day to Silay...this is because weather changes so fast in the country and based on past experiences, sea and air travel are not necessarily cancelled until the very last minute. With this mind set, I proceeded to the DoH CHD-7 dorm for an overnight stay thinking that I would be leaving early anyway the next morning. Well, I did leave for the airport at 6 AM...but only to check-in later in mid-afternoon at the Mactan Waterfront Hotel, because all flights to Bacolod were canceled that day. One would think after all these, what could be worst? What happened next was a cliff-hanger.
The following day, we were finally able to leave Cebu on board the new Bombadier PAL Express...but 10 minutes up in the air, the pilot announces that we are going back to Cebu because there is a minor technical problem. How minor was it? Well, does having your landing gear not properly closing count as minor? By this time, I was feeling fatalistic...refusing to think...closed my eyes and started to call the Holy Angels to come to our rescue. After about 30-40 minutes circling around at less than 10,000 feet around Mactan Bay (I could smell the plane fuel being unloaded), we finally landed. We were clapping, but I know that while up in the air we were all worried, because after a while, there was complete silence and the only sound was just the hum of the engines (although earlier, there were some jokers in the plane). I wasn't really scared because I didn't feel like I was going to die anytime soon...I think I was more worried about not getting home that day. I think that my que sera sera, pragmatic attitude plus a strong faith worked to my advantage although I admit that today I am feeling very tired, after all my weekend was taken away from me and to top it all, it was a tension filled one instead of the relaxation I was hoping for after a long week in Bohol.
Oh, and what did I do in Bohol? I was one of the facilitators of a leadership seminar...it was a week of both work and fun which ended in a series of unfortunate events...but the important thing is we are all safely home and yes, even under foggy and rainy weather, I finally got to see the famous Chocolate Hills (which I missed seeing the first time I was here).
|This umbrella hat was bought at an exorbitant price at the gift shop|