A continuation to my series of not so (un)fortunate events: I guess we're stuck! (3)

Philippines Travel Blog

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Hazy Mayon Volcano

(cont'd...) We were on our holiday when the third-worst typhoon that hit the Philippines since 1947 made its relentless course to our province. Although I have my own experience to share, I personally did not realise its grave impact to most of my countrymen only after I was back here in Canada, and after doing some online searching recently to attune myself for this write-up. To glimpse a little information of the typhoon's aftermath, I have provided the following link: http://earth.esa.int/ew/cyclones/Typhoon_Durian-dec01/ .

After a few days we spent with my wife's, we were ready to visit my family. The neighbouring province which I grew up is only few hundreds kilometre away from my wife's, so it did not necessitate us to fly.

gloomy sky along the way
 On our way to bus depot, we were told there was a typhoon coming. Having lived in a country where typhoon had become the norm, I did not make myself much worried about it. Besides, I did not have option but to continue on for the remaining five days of my stay in the Philippines; essentially, the itinerary must be followed, I thought.

After few hours, they sent us on our way, but only shortly. My sister in-law had started sending text messages by then, informing us that a super typhoon was now on its way to the region. She was basically dissuading us to continue with our travel, and asked us to come back, since as she heard from the news, that several parts of national highway were closed due to heavy rains. From my standpoint, three options were circling my mind: first, to take heed of my sister in-law's advise and take another bus back; second, to cut our travel in Legaspi (where we were currently at that time) and just check-in for the night in one of the resorts in Cagsawa town (close to Mayon Volcano) where I've been wanting to stay since the time I saw it few years back*; and lastly, to continue on with the travel.

port being pounded by waves
I wanted to stick to our itinerary, so we continued on.

*if I had chosen this option, something unthinkable might have happened to us that night.

The highway snags made our road travel longer than expected. For example, there were some spots where lanes were reduced into one due to floods caused by torrential rains. The town for our next jump-off point to reach our island destination was under heavy dark clouds when we got there. On our way to the seaport, some loose leaves and pieces of garbage swirling with gusty winds along town streets, and the competing high waves breaking off of the sea wall outstripped my notion that it was only a minor typhoon coming. 

We finally proceeded to town's sea port where my nephew, my niece, and her husband were waiting to fetch us up.

at the onset of typhoon
Time-wise, it's a good 45 minutes to get across and reach the island. 

"Uncle, the ferry has been on stand-by in the island waiting for Coast Guard announcement before it can cross back here. We may have to wait for a while!" Explaining further about the situation, she continued, "Soon, Coast Guard will give the go-signal and we could all be in the island in no time!" I didn't budge to indicate my objection to her over-optimistic assumption, and murmured, "That is not likely to happen any time soon..."

From the horizon - where the island is clearly visible during normal days, it somehow, at this time is being eaten by the descending heavy black clouds and shrouded to the point of disappearance by seawater swell generated ferociously with winds coming from the Pacific.

town's hotel
From afar, not a single ferry or fishing boat was emerging - probably they must have docked elsewhere by now, but a series of white crest atop each massive wave alternately appearing from my sight was the single thing I could see.       

My initial hunch proved to be right afterwards: all sea transportation at this region is being suspended until further announcement. Before sunset, we were able to check in to a local inn. It was a decent place to spend the night with some extra amenities seldom found in little town accommodations. Shower, air-conditioned, television set, and an open terrace on the roof's building. We were prepared to at least have a good night sleep, eventhough the relentless wind kept on pounding our windows.

black out
That was something we could had lived with until the whole town lost its electrical power. TO BE CONTINUED...

 

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Hazy Mayon Volcano
Hazy Mayon Volcano
gloomy sky along the way
gloomy sky along the way
port being pounded by waves
port being pounded by waves
at the onset of typhoon
at the onset of typhoon
towns hotel
town's hotel
black out
black out
got stuck
got stuck
terrace
terrace
at the onset of typhoon
at the onset of typhoon
view from our room
view from our room
shot taken from our room
shot taken from our room
roof terrace
roof terrace
fruit stand
fruit stand
jeepney by the port
jeepney by the port
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