Edit Blog Post
Published: March 28th 2011
Arrived in Manila half past midnight on 11th of March. My parents and sisters were so happy to see us, they played with our kids for hours. There were no sleep in sight as we still have to unpack and repack for our flight to Boracay later that day. Though lacking sleep, my kids seemed more energized having so many playmates. So after the car-plane-van-boat-trycicle ride, we arrived at Sur Beach Resort, our home in Boracay, having stayed here 3 times in the last 3 years. We just love going to this resort, because you get to stay at the best, whitest, and widest part of the beach, which is Boat Station 1. The service is great and although a bit pricey, its still cheaper than most resorts in the area.
We were so excited for this Boracay trip. My parents and sisters will be joining us too the next day, anticipating lots of family bonding time, which we only get to do once a year, since we are living abroad.
We rushed to the beach as soon as we got our room. It was nice to see Boracay's stunning white beach again. This would be a perfect holiday,
so we thought. .... We were met on the beach by an uncle who resides on the island. And instead of the customary chit chat, he delivered us the news about an earthquake that just happened in Japan. Japan earthquakes are so common, so I didn't give the news enough attention. Eventually, this news would set the tone for our paradise vacation. He seemed very worried about his daughter who also lived in Japan, so I indulged him a little and ask why he was so worried. So he told us the magnitude of the quake and that there was apparently a very destructive tsunami.
It should have been hot this time of the year on the island, but it was a bit cool and the water was cold, so we decided to head back to our room and catch a glimpse of the news. And there we finally saw it, boats, planes and cars floating together and hitting tall buildings. Village being flattened by strong rush of sea water. Such graphic scene can only means numerous deaths. It was so sad to see my adopted country in deep trouble.
Less than 15 minutes of watching the news
while our phones rang non stop, calls from friends and family, all telling us the same news over and over again, we got so stressed already. Worst, were my parents constant calls, urging us to leave our beach front accommodation and transfer to a hilltop resort. This was beyond silly, as the tsunami warning for the Philippines was on the Western part of the archipelago and Boracay was a tiny island on the East surrounded by big islands. So the tsunami has to engulfed numerous big islands first before it can make its way to Boracay. Without sleep and in desperate need to enjoy our vacation, we turned off our phones and television set and went out in search for a nice dinner in the many restaurants on the island. We had a nice Italian dinner, perfect stone oven baked pizza, so everything was well again.
Later in the evening I partied with a friend from college who happened to be in the island also. Never got so drunk in the last 5 years as this. We then hit the clubs, in my 3 years of going to Boracay, it was the first time I experienced the famed Boracay
party scene. It was nice playing catch up with Guilder, an old good friend. Could have danced beyond 2:00 AM but had consumed so much alcohol, someone would have to carry me home, if I stayed longer. Finally after 40 hours of no sleep. I dosed off quite soundly on our very comfy hotel bed.
We had our lovely breakfast at the cabana by the beach. After that our kids just played and rolled around the sand, while we are confronted with worries back home. Rinka is thinking about the well being of her sister who is studying in Tokyo. We could not reach her by phone. We lived in Osaka, far from the affected area, my in-laws lived further South, so them too are safe. But we're sure my in-laws are trying to reach us, unknown to them that we are miles away in another country when tragedy struck in Japan. Rinka, has a habit of not informing her parents about our overseas travels, so we couldn't just call them and surprise them with the news, that they need not worry bout us coz we are outside the country! We just called Rinka's brother to ask how is
everything back home. It was a relief to know that her sister from Tokyo already made contact and that she was fine. We told his brother not to to tell his mother we are overseas, we'll just make something up when we get back home why we can't be reach. So making contact with our family in Japan has been resolved. We tried not to think about the destructive news back home, but everyone was asking us about it, my wife obviously looking very Japanese. And we can't help but catch snippets of news that made us really felt sad.
We tried to enjoy Boracay as much as we can for the first two days. But then the last 2 days of our vacation was again dampened by too much rain. This of course was a welcome thing for my sisters, who like swimming in the rain, as they worry too much about getting themselves darker. To take full advantage of our holidays, we turned our last two days into an eating holiday. We asked our uncle, who happened to run a small resort in Boracay, to cook for us every imaginable Filipino dish we wanted. We stayed indoors
most of the time for the last 2 days, enjoying so much family time. The tsunami in Japan and the rains on the island may have somber the mood of our vacation. But time spent with my family was always worth the while.
Lastly, I just got my resident visa 2 days before we left Japan. I am glad to be part of this wonderfully working society. It was really sad that such a catastrophe had befallen this very beautiful country. I have such respect and great admiration for the Japanese people, for there are very few group of people I have encountered who had displayed so much character rarely seen in most societies. A couple of times Rinka and myself forgot our valuables, wallets, Ipod, cellular phone on very public places, only to find it still lying there hours after. Beautiful people dedicated to their jobs and lived their lives in harmony with the people around them. Very gentle people who talk softly in public places, respectful of rules and personal space of people around them and constantly putting high value on courtesy and personal responsibility. The deaths can never be brought back to life, but I know
that the Japanese strength as a people and as a nation, although it will take time, will bring back these affected communities to recover maybe even better than before the tragedy.
Tot: 0.114s; Tpl: 0.025s; cc: 15; qc: 78; dbt: 0.0224s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.5mb