Friday, March 23, 2007

The Boat is Sinking

It was not a vacation trip. It was purely work. But for my colleague, it was a scary trip.

“I thought the boat was going to sink last night because of the big waves. I had difficulty sleeping. I wondered how you were able to sleep soundly. Did you hear the sound of the waves when it hit the side of the boat?” My colleague told me the other morning when we were about to disembark at the port of Ozamiz City.

“I was thinking of my small child and my wife. I was also thinking about how I’m going to swim to the nearest island” he continued.

I looked at him and can’t believe he was afraid. He’s an excellent swimmer, a member of the university swimming varsity team, and a tri-athlete. I’ve traveled by boat many times, and I considered this as just a normal trip.

I calmly told him “I was awakened by the waves that battered the boat. But I immediately went back to sleep. If we’re gonna sink, the crew will sound the alarm and announce ‘abandon’ ship.”

He could not believe my reaction. “But this cabin is located very far from the exit. Getting out would be very difficult”. I certainly agreed with him. But my thoughts were far from the disaster he was thinking.

This morning, on our return trip from Ozamiz, as we’re nearing the Cebu port, we had a little chat with our co-passengers. A woman of about 50 was traveling with her mom. She said that she went to the chapel last night and prayed hard because of the strong waves. Then our discussion went as far the bombing of the Superferry, and the sinking Princess of the Orient.

I told them how two of my high school classmates lost their fathers on the Princess of the Orient tragedy. Another co-passenger, also on his 50’s, told us that the boat we’re riding is the same boat he used to ride when he was still a teen-ager.

Oh, well! My officemate sighed and shook his head. This is just one of those risks in travelling. "What I am afraid of if the boat sinks" I told him grinning, "are sharks. I'm not wearing black socks."

13 comments:

carey said...

you must have ridden on a lot of ships to have been oblivious to the big waves which caused your friend's fear... beterano na tingali ka sa pag-sakay sa barko. :)

Lazarus said...

i travelled a lot. but i have a problem with motion sickness. Tulog na lang ko para walang byahilo.

ghee said...

honestly,di pa ako nakakapagtravel thru boat,di kasi ako marunong lumangoy.

glad all of you are fine :)

snglguy said...

I've been on one of the inter-island ships before, on route to Iloilo. Although that was almost 3 decades ago, I can still vividly recall that the waves were so rough at night that some of my travelling companions were spending more time in the bathroom than on their beds... lol. :-D

Oh and I also had a former work colleague who was a survivor of the Dona Paz tragedy. Sadly, she died of cancer a few years ago...

Ferdz said...

I guess in every travel there are risk, on boats there's the large waves, in planes there are those strong turbulence. Hanga ako sayo coz you kept calm during those situations. Cguro sanay ka na.

Sonnie said...

I only traveled once by boat (CDO to Cebu)and that was 10 years ago via Super Ferry. Yeah you can't sleep because of the strong wave but that did not scared me to my wits. Very inconvenient, though. I sweared I will not travel by boat again by night.

the bystander said...

most of our inter-island boats are not shipworthy. "ro-ro" type pa gyud. but i guess you're used to travelling by boat compared to your friend who obviously wasn't.

sasha said...

You have a strong faith, Lazarus. That is probably why you weren't bothered by the same fears that bothered your colleague.

vernaloo said...

me hindi ko na siguro maiisip ang mga pating...talagang malulunod na lang ako lolz :)

lazarus said...

Ghee, try a cruise ship. Enjoyable daw to!

Snglguy, the dona paz tragedy was the worst. Very few survived.

Ferdz, i sleep para iwas byahilo. Pero medyo sanay na rin ako.

sonnie, my lady boss before don't like riding boats. She can't sleep. I prefer boat over plane if going to CDO.

bystander, the ships used here in the philippines are not brand new. but they're not as old as the doulos.

sasha, i have faith in God. Pero siguro lang, iba perspective namin at that situation.

verns, mas malaki ang chance for survival kung sa boat as compared to a plane crash. But then, mas marami pa namatay sa dogbite kay sa plane crash. We don't know for sure when tragedy strikes.

But let us not forget to pray when we travel. May the Lord keep us safe always!

iskoo said...

normal na ng atang alalahanin ang mga ganyang kapag nakasakay sa barko o eroplano. pero buti pa nga sa barko kahit papaano kapag may vest ka malaki pa rin ang chance of survival kung may tragedy na mangyari lalo na kung within sa philippines lang dahil normal lang ang temperature ng tubig.

pero sa eroplano kapag nagka tragedy wala namang parachute na ibibigay sa mga pasahero, maliit lang ang survival lalo na kung ang incidente ay sa himpapawid.

alvin said...

I salute you for not getting scared at all. Honestly, I haven't ridden any domestic ships because I'm so scared... No judgment please. I'd rather die on a plane crash because the idea of slow death when a ship sinks gives me the chills.

Anyway, I'm glad things fine!

dodongflores said...

Hi Lazarus. We've got the same attitude when riding a ship... I mean, optimistic ako pirme. I don't want to panic with things nga wala pa gani mahitabo...

Pero when situation comes to worst, I still would try myself to keep calm...

Prayer does help as well...