Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘danger’

​Breathing Adventure: Crashing Into the Waves at Dingalan, Aurora

Having a dose of vitamin sea is never too late when taken on a fair but moody October day. It can be maddening as it can become a concoction for excitement and anxiety. You will never know when the weather might throw some tantrums at you. But it did not matter. All I wanted was to see the clear, blue waters and feel the summer jive of Dingalan, Aurora.

Known as the Batanes of the East, Dingalan is a paradise of tropical beaches, sleeping caves and emerald green landscapes. It’s your preferred breakaway from the toxic city life. Travelling there from Manila would be four hours at most. It is recommended you take along a big van and a battalion of friends to get there.

Travel cost was around P1300. That includes van, boat transfers, lunch, and tour guide. It would be best if you leave at around 1 or 2 am, especially if you’re planning a day tour for this one.

From Dingalan Feeder Port, we were transferred to Dingalan island. We left our bags there before heading off to the Lamao Cave.

On the boat with our tour guide, Kuya Bong Reyes (in grey shirt)

While the others were freaking, I could not help but raise my arms in anticipation at the humongous waves cradling our boat. All I could hear in my head was Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries while we were flowing with the giant tide. The cave was not too far but even so, we had to swim at the mouth of the cave because the boat couldn’t dock near it.

These rocks look pretty but they are actually painful when stepped on…ouch!

Rock climbing (and picture taking) is a must at the Lamao Rock Formation. Just take caution because some parts of the rocks are edgy and sharp.

We decided to leave the island when wild winds were already blowing. Five of us were on the boat when the weather had thrown a nasty fit. She made the boat spin a bit wildly until one of its outriggers was broken when it crashed unto the rocks.

I was calm all along because I trusted in God’s saving grace. The other girls wanted to jump off in panic but I waited for the right timing to jump off the boat. Leaping at the wrong time could lead to something even more fatal. Fortunately, another boat had rescued us back to the island. All that time, I could not help but think of His promise that He’s keeping us sheltered under His wings.

 

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The nasty wound I got from the rocks…I was literally bleeding when we were already on the boat…ouch!

We were all a bit shaken but I could not help but be amused by the thought, “This is more thrilling than Survivor.” A little food can ease the panic off. Maybe a boodle fight of the best seafood and the freshest fruits can do the trick.

But nothing could be worse than a shipwreck than wrong expectations. I was too foolish to expect this was all sand and sea (because I overlooked some details of the itinerary). The highlight of this tour was the Mountain View Deck and it could only be seen if you take a little trek going there.

It would have been an easy thirty-minute trek if it were not for the mud caused by that morning’s rain. As expected, I was already grumpy, mostly when I had to take my slippers off (wrong footwear, folks. Just. Wrong.) Still, just like every other climax, that view of the Pacific can take all despair and breath away.

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And not to mention the lighthouse on the other peak.

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Muddy and tired, we had the tour capped at around 4 pm. If I could take home something, that would be some nasty wounds, sand on your flip-flops, and a good story to share.

I will never expect my adventures to be the same again. They’re not textbooks outlined with the same pattern because each has a different impact in our lives. I was amazed I was calm in the midst of danger and I kept myself levelheaded during a crisis. An adventure would never be an adventure without some thrill in it. We need that to break our mundane life. We need a little bit of test to improve our resilience in life.

But next time, I hope my next trip would be a bit more peaceful.

My regards to Khaye Satur for organizing this trip, as well as to our tour guide Kuya Bong Reyes for being such a caring guide for such a mountain slowpoke like me. Also, our trip could not be even spicier without the Hugot Van Manila of Kuya Gherz.

 

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A glimpse of that awesome hugot van…you will find more lovestruck hugot when you jump into the ride. 🙂

Watch out for their next trip through Khaye’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/khayesatours/) and Gherz’s page (https://www.facebook.com/gherz.brizo).

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Surviving the Dangerous Waters

“Do fishes have emotion?” I asked my mom while looking at the pool filled with variously colored koi.

“Of course they do,” she replied, “they also feel stress.”

I asked the question because I was wondering how they would feel when they’re removed from the comforts of their calm, cultured world. Put them in a running river or the open sea, these fishes might feel extreme stress. The outside world is too hostile compared to the serenity offered by their artificial pond. I wouldn’t wonder if they don’t survive at all in the open sea or the dangerously gushing river.

It’s the same with us human beings. We love to stay in our comfort zones. When we are placed in an environment or situation outside these comfort zones, we become stressed. What if like a fish, we have no chance of going back to that artificial pond? We have two choices: give up and destroy ourselves or overcome and emerge stronger.

It’s good to be in the comfort zone, but there is also great danger in it. There’s a false sense of peace going on around it, causing us to be unaware how our senses, thinking, discernment and ability are destroyed by a bacteria called complacency. We’re trading all talents and ability for sleep. Thus, when the shell of comfort are destroyed around us, we are caught unaware, too late to realize that all our capacity to survive is lost.

But when we are put into dangerous waters, this is the time we use every given ability, talent, and thinking into survival mode. Through this, we learn how to stand up and strengthen ourselves and forge ourselves to persevere until we develop the ability to survive.

I’ve been put into such moments many, many times. But at such instances, I wanted to give up and destroy myself, believing its the only way to get out of the problem. But, of course, we are not meant to stand in the flames alone. Do you know how God wanted to partner with us? In Him, we can have all the survival mode that we can need: the abilities, talents, thinking, and wisdom can only come from the Creator of time and space. By the moment I thought I got nothing, I just ask the Father the grace and wisdom to overcome. In Him, I got everything, and in Him I can persevere and survive.

When we are put into dangerous waters, don’t curse the moment. Instead, it’s an opportunity and privilege to become stronger and better people yet.

Love in the Midst of the Danger

At NLEX northbound: Braving the way home

At NLEX northbound: Braving the way home

I never learned. I guess this is how hard-headed journalists can be.

For the sake of duty, I braved my way through the strong, heavy rains this morning. Just like August last year, torrential rains caused by monsoon rains (or habagat in our Tagalog language) are causing floods in much of Metro Manila and the National Capital Region (NCR). Since Saturday, the rains did not stop. But I felt no fear as I took a van to work. Only discomfort because of the cold. I’m quite used to this though. For me, it’s not an obligation, but an honor to be part of a team who will bravely go out and witness history.

But due to lack of so many things, operations have to be cancelled. And just like last year, I received the announcement when I am already in the office. *Sigh*

On the positive note, I hitched a hike with people who are going the same way…unlike the last year when I was stranded for hours before getting a bus home.

Almost the same scenario but I never learned. I had this mindset that I have to move towards something unless it’s really impossible. Deep inside I have this fighting spirit that keeps me moving despite of storms or unkind circumstances.

It’s just too bad not to out into the field today. I don’t know why. I love danger. It’s not because I love to see humanity suffering. But I love to see how love is poured out from humanity when the danger sets in.

Marikina River yesterday at below critical level. However, due to continuous rains, the water rose up again

Marikina River yesterday at below critical level. However, due to continuous rains, the water rose up again

Volunteers at Marikina preparing food for evacuees. These guys were opening cans of sardines for lunch. (8/19/2013)

Volunteers at Marikina preparing food for evacuees. These guys were opening cans of sardines for lunch. (8/19/2013)

In my coverage yesterday, I saw a glimpse on how the Marikina government was looking after its people, especially the evacuees who had to flee their homes because of the rising river. The city administrator explained to me how 50 volunteers were able to serve breakfast, lunch, and maybe dinner for about 2,400 evacuees. Most are already leaving the evacuation centers as the waters were beginning to subside. Seeing the ratio of volunteers, I wonder how much grace and patience they have to give to serve more than a thousand.

But the weather seem to have gone worst today. I just haven’t seen how things have been now.

With memories flashing back, I will never actually forget the horror of being a stranded passenger last year. No other way to go home, I walked meters to find a ride that would at least make me come closer to home. I’ll never forget the regret and frustration I felt that made my head swirl a lot. I felt so embarrassed for looking so lost and drenched while being too well-dressed. And most of all, the fear of not knowing what’s next as the waters were rising.

But it is at these moments when strangers, who might because have this empathy of being lost too, would try to share a seat in the bus or spare a space for you. Some of them would even offer you their only bread — their lone meal for the day. I wanted to cry, because of the goodness I felt in the middle of a cruel situation. They don’t know how they have become heroes in their own small way.

Such is the heroism of humanity. With this, I salute my fellow workers who brave the torrential rains just to bring in fulfillment in their duties; the media who go into danger just to update the public on the latest news, the store owners and sellers who opened their stores to offer food and shelter to stranded passengers, the rescuers, military and those involved in disaster response management just to rescue thousands who are trapped in their own homes, and the unknown volunteers, just like those in Marikina, who are ready to leave their homes and families just to serve the needy and the lost.

Workers like me might never learn to stay at home in dangerous times in order to fulfill duties. But I hope we should never set aside to give sacrificial love for the sake of our fellowmen.

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