Monday, June 29, 2009

When The Thrill Becomes A Threat

"The innocuous sea began to surge bigger waves and the falling drizzle blurred what's in sight. We tried to remain calm but the ocean seemed not. Worst, no one on our boat has the aptitude to swim, except, of course, for the boatman. My life vest will keep me floating but I'm not certain if after hours I would still be floating alive. Going against the tide, at any moment a huge wave will devour our frail boat. If we lose balance, the boat will make a complete overturn and all of us will adrift the vast ocean..."


Saturday morning.

Everyone went to work all packed up and good to go after the day of shift. It was our team building but I'm not sure if that's how you call it if half of the members wasn't there. Nine headcounts, one had to go. Midway as we're having dinner at the province of Bulacan, one received an emergency call- his father was rushed to a hospital. With our sympathy, he went back home but his ice bag went with us. After several thoroughfares and stop overs from 6:00PM to 11:PM, we reached our destination- the province of Zambales.

We met our contact person and assisted us to our place nearby the shore. My exhausted feeling dwindled when I got what I never had from the city- fresh air. Only through our illuminating flashlights and star-filled sky we were able to see our way. It was dark and I could only hear the soothing gush of waves from the void. The night turned deep and we took rest.

After a good night sleep, we had our breakfast and sails were ready. Three boats shoved off to cross another island.

Gigantic mountains surrounded by the sea. I'm always drawn to nature, how it could survive on its own and the symbiosis among living organisms. I don't really want to speak biology, I just can't help it. Things like these always leave me spellbound.

Thirty minutes had passed, we're close to Anawangin Island and welcomed by the mist fading through the morning.
I did island hopping before and I'm used to reach lands where there's no one but us. So far this one was the most crowded island I'd ever been. Local and foreign tourists everywhere. We strode through the place.






Had our lunch ashore and got ready for the second island. There's more to go, well...that's what we thought. Once more we shoved off but in the middle of the sail, little raindrops started to fall. The innocuous sea began to surge bigger waves and the falling drizzle blurred what's in sight. We tried to remain calm but the ocean seemed not. Worst, no one on our boat has the aptitude to swim, except, of course, for the boatman. My life vest will keep me floating but I'm not certain if after hours I would still be floating alive. Going against the tide, at any moment a huge wave will devour our frail boat. If we lose balance, the boat will make a complete overturn and all of us will adrift the vast ocean.

The boatman seated at rearmost asked me, "Are we still going to proceed to the next island?!". There's more about his question, I felt his fear- a fear contagious enough to pass on me. And I thought "this man had fully sensed the seriousness of the matter". I was next to him and I turned to my colleague next to me. As if playing the game of pass-the-message, I asked the same question- "Are we still going to proceed to the next island?!". We're just few inches from each other but kept shouting as we compete to the deafening sound of the boat engine. My friend responded by telling me not to panic. How could I possibly panic? I have no way to run, nor I have a way to jump. All I have is the edge of the boat to clutch on, the beat of my blood-pumping heart, a moment to decide and a prayer in silence.

I was thinking of the worst and the next possible way for survival. It struck us, a wave approached and went higher than the tip of the boat as if ready to swallow us, we lopsided. Three boats were still in motion with distance in betweens. Looking at each other, no one seemed to make any move. The way of survival is just at hand and that is- to decide. I let my left hand gripped at the edge of the boat, heaved my right hand and swayed my arm suggestive for retreat. I hollered " Let's go back!". Then the other two ladies with me second the motion. My team leader decided with a little less urgency. He pointed his finger to their boatman as if telling me the decision lies to the one who manages the engine. Yes, they supposed to manage the engine but not as to whether we drown or not. After few minutes, my team leader waved his arm as a signal to trail off. One by one, each boat deflected. It was a great sigh for visible land. When we stepped on the ground, all fears burst out and each has their own version of stories. If only I had a chance to take a shot of that moment. But in a matter of life and death, one won't have time to yank a camera and take a snap.

It wasn't a strong rain but unlike the ground that stood still, the ocean danced with the raging wind. We decided to spend the next few hours at a falls. Unfortunately, we kept the cameras from getting wet so we never had a chance to capture the moment.

It's almost over, we headed back to our place. Four of us said that the rest can go ahead and they will just follow. I let the other three go their way and found my self alone. Slowly, I strode through the shore, took off my footwear and let my feet feel the grits of sand with gush of waves. Those passed hours had been unpredictable and unforgettable. Sometimes, we can choose how will things end only by how we choose to survive.

It doesn't feel great not being able to make it to the second island but nothing can be greater than making it to a second life.

I will still be able to see my love ones.
Thank God.

16 comments:

gillboard said...

It's nice to know that you're all safe... a second life's always a blessing.

Eben said...

no wonder, when I was talking to you a few days ago I suddenly asked if you're ok...the way you wrote this post, it's so vivid as if I was there too..

Thank God you are safe my friend! I am relieved...

Pano yan sasakay din tayo ng bangka papunta Corregidor? Sa susunod kasi mag-swimming lessons na tayo! :))

Keshi said...

Im so very glad that ur safe Iriz!!

I agree...making it to a second life is more imp than anything else. u said that the best!

Cool pics tho :)

Keshi.

iriz said...

GILLBOARD
salamat! naku sinabi mo pa. hindi ko pa panahon. hehe.


EBEN
nafeel mo ba friend? sana andun ka pero hindi para mamiligro ha,hehe, kundi para makita mo yung lugar, ganda!

i'm safe, thanks!

ako pa, basta travelling di ako nadadala, hehe. bangka kung bangka!

uu nga friend dapat talaga mag-aral lumangoy, kahit langoy palaka di ako marunong! haha.


KESHI
thanks dear.
know what? as i notice there are things you can say best only when you go through the worst.

Marja said...

Nice to see you back and safe That was a scary journey, We had something simalar when I was young we went to Malaysia and with a boat to Tioman island The waves were so high as if they would gulp us all up and we were sick for 3 or 4 hours it took. Luckily there was a small plane flying from the island because nobody wanted to go back by boat anymore

goatman said...

What an excellent adventure! A very beautiful place and you take very good representative pictures. I am happy to have seen your vacation and glad that you made it back in one piece.

Remember: It is not an adventure if you always know what is going to happen.

jayvie said...

whew! katakot ah!

ganda daw talaga sa anawangin! we plan to go there next week!

iriz said...

MARJA
Hi! nice to see you back as well. Right, scary as it is. I guess people who love travelling and adventure should somehow anticipate things might go wrong along the way. :)

GOATMAN
Yeah, it was a scary moment, but i don't regret getting there. infact, i want to go back some other time and see those islands i missed.

i agree. ;)


JAYVIE:
oo, ganda,peksman! punta ka! di ka magsisisi, wag lang tataob ang bangka. haha.

salamat sa pagdaan. :)

K M F said...

Nice to see you back and safe
Have a nice day

HARI NG SABLAY said...

Thank GOD talaga.

teka sarap naman diyan,zambales weeeehhh...

iriz said...

KMF
thanks , same goes with me, nice to see you back:)

nice day too!


HARI NG SABLAY:
oo nga e.
punta ka tsong! saya!
salamat sa pagdaan!

jayvie said...

waaah! basta may life vest ayus na yun! hehe.

J said...

hahaha.. amazing the way you described it. and totally loved the quote... sure, we do choose how things end by how we choose to survive.

neat post and it's been my dream to do a trip to the other side of the world.. hopefully, someday.

iriz said...

JAYVIE
uu nga! kung gusto mo doblehin mo na lang yung life vest para sigurado! haha!



J
Thanks for always reading it through. the quote, one more lesson i learned.

asia? why not? round the world. yeah, someday. :)

The Dutchess said...

That was a great adventure...
"We can choose how will things end only by how we choose to survive"words I will remember from now on..

iriz said...

it really feels great when you left a note on someone's mind or heart. thank you. :)