Travel By Heart: Day 04 – To reminisce a tragedy 01/03

A flashback.

A flashback.

300kms more before I get to Tacloban, I did say that I did not plan to have a route on this trip, but I just have to visit this place as we have a lot some unfinished business.

Too bad I crossed the San Juanico bridge at night it would have been a splendor to see how grand and big it is if I passed it during day time. It was one of the most vivid memories that I had before visiting Tacloban the first time, after that it most of the memories are not so pleasant.

After riding for almost 6 hours I finally got to the city. It was around 8 or 9 in the evening and I can’t really discern the status of the roads as everything was poorly lit and focusing is also a challenge as I’m really tired and hungry. Only after eating dinner did I realize that it was Christmas eve, I’m not entirely sure if I would be able to find a place to stay tonight I felt like most establishments will be closed to celebrate Noche Buena.

I tried to contact the number that my relative gave me, he told me that it’s possible for me to stay with them for the night, but after one text message the person ignored me. I then tried to contact an acquaintance from a long time ago, apparently they don’t let “strangers” stay at their home, so I just asked her to recommend a place for me to stay in.

It would have been nice if I could have stayed at the Leyte Park hotel, where a lot of my not so good memories happened, but I just can’t afford it. Good thing one small hotel was open it was still a bit too expensive for me, but I’m so tired that I decided to just stay there. Even though I was tired and sleepy, my mind was racing it’s bringing back all those memories as if trying to remind me my purpose of going there.

 

Flashback:

Being a morning person I always wake up earlier than most of the other riders in our group. Bored without anything to do I decided to grab some early breakfast. This hotel was a bit different instead of floors going up, the floors were going down. I guess the did it this way because the hotel was located in a hill and you enter it on the highest floor then the rooms are located on the lower floors.

I actually had to go up to get to where the buffet is located this is supposedly the highest part of the hotel. The wind is picking up but nothing too alarming yet, based from what I heard yesterday the storm is a category 5 and we are in signal number 4, I have never in my 29 years of living ever heard or experienced a signal number 4.

I decided to take a video of winds blowing the palm trees, I thought nothing too alarming. But there was something weird going on there were 3 palm trees in front of me but their leaves were all blowing to different directions, that’s unusual. I then went on to get some food.

I noticed that there were a lot of media people also getting their breakfast and some VIP’s are in there as well. While looking for a place to sit for some reason I looked at the clear glass that was the only barrier between us and the storm outside, then it bent. It was like a “Final Destination” moment, I told the guy who was one chair away from the glass that it bent and I don’t think it’s safe to sit there. He then told me that it’s ok, the glass can withstand it. Believing what he just said, I sat next to him. I am now the guy sitting beside the glass. In front of us was a lady who was working for the government we were all chatting about the storm when the guy beside me excused himself as he’s done with breakfast. I decided to move to his chair and in less than a minute all the glass shattered.

Everything was happening really fast, I heard crashing behind me. At first, I thought it was because of the wind then I realized that the bodyguards of the VIP flipped the table in order to protect him from the flying glass. Without hesitation, I flipped our table as well and carried it as a shield to get out of that place.

With all the commotion going on I totally forgot about the lady who I was taking to, then I heard a woman crying. I turned my attention to where the crying is coming from, only to find out she was the woman that I was talking to and she was crying because her forearm had a really big laceration. I went up to her to ask her how she was doing, she was a bit frantic, everyone was. I asked the security guard if they have a first-aid he said “Yes” so I asked if he can get it for her. That’s where he pointed out “Sir, you’re bleeding.”

It must have been the adrenaline, I didn’t feel any pain or indication that I was injured. But when I looked at it all I can say was “shit”. I realized I was bleeding on two parts one is on my right knee while the other was on the knuckle of my left hand, the wound was clean and deep. When I flex it, it shows something white, I found out later on that it was bone.

After realizing that I was already injured, I just sat beside her waiting for the first aid kit. All I can do is have her head rest on my shoulders and tell her it’s going to be ok. When the first-aid kit arrived it was basic, some very small pieces of gauze and Betadine. I was trying to prep the gauze when my hands started to shake, I think the adrenaline is wearing off as I can now feel the pain.

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