between the devil and the deep blue sea

for the record, i am an obedient daughter. but like every other obedient daughters out there, i get sucked into peer pressure too. yes, at my age, i still get into that dangerous trap once in a while. and yes, at their age, they’re the overgrown bullies who wouldn’t hesitate to get their paws on helplessly easy preys like me. (how old are we again?)

so when i told my parents that we were going to tambuli on that moody saturday with such unpredictable weather and with reports of not one, but two! typhoons coming our way, i wasn’t lying. because i really thought we were going to tambuli and we wouldn’t be crossing any damned strait.

pandanon island, bohol

obviously, i thought wrong. because by mid-afternoon, i found myself with “the bullies” in the parking lot near that ferry pier in mactan. i was the one driving, which led me to the conclusion that i was possessed because i couldn’t, for the life of me, remember where i was going. now that i think about it, i was surprised to be the one driving at all!

the first few nautical miles went rather smoothly, with the exception of a few bumpy waves every now and then. ram enthusiastically handed out plastic cups of beer like santa claus giving candies to candy-deprived children while i took the time to share my bag of chips with one of the ferry crew while holding a serious conversation with him to extract specific information i was interested in — information like how long he had been doing his job and whether they were equipped to handle maritime accidents related to inappropriate weather conditions.

pandanon island, bohol

but life has a funny way of whipping you into absolute penance. because it waits until you’re in the middle of the sea. it orchestrates a savagely ferocious natural exhibition for a more dramatic effect that leaves you wondering if you’re gonna make it alive. it makes you beat yourself for your stupidity for not listening to your parents in the first place.

man, you should’ve seen the waves! better yet, you should’ve been there when the boat driver had to stop because there was nowhere else to go — not with the angry waves beating the sh*t out of the bamboo motorized marine vehicle; and especially not with the fact that everything around us turned white. if you’ve ever been on a plane where all you see are nothing but bright white clouds, that’s exactly what it felt like. that was the scary part, not seeing anything but white.

the painful part was putting up with the cruel rain which felt like fine needle pricks simultaneously shooting into my skin. still i managed to smile before henie’s camera looking like i had the grandest time of my life.

pandanon island, bohol

imagine my relief when the harsh weather kind of cleared and we were sailing on again, guided by the turquoise parts of the water that would lead us to the famed island of pandanon in bohol.

heaven was when i realized that we were all alive. soaking wet like we just went snorkeling in a nearby marine sanctuary, but alive nonetheless. i wasn’t going to hell for disobeying my parents, after all! well, not yet anyway. but hey, we’re alive!!!

the moment the boat touched the powdery white sand, it was a call for celebration. everyone was just really grateful that we made it all in one piece. i was so ecstatic i couldn’t help but hug the devil herself! (see upper right photo above)

pandanon island, bohol

funny how when we got to the island, everyone seemed like they were having a really fun time. the first thing i saw were koreans playing beach volleyball. the second thing i saw was this really cute korean toddler wading through the shallow waters accompanied by his korean father. the next thing i heard was ram asking, “did we just land in korea?”

needless to say, every visitor on that island on that day looked happy and relaxed and dry with barely noticeable sunburns forming on their cheerful faces.

on the other hand, we looked like traumatized individuals who just survived a shipwreck.

but like that oft-spoken shakespearean line, “all’s well that ends well.” for the rest of the afternoon, we enjoyed the beach, the scenery and our second life with a bottle of mojitos.

pandanon island, bohol

pandanon island is a small island off bohol. it’s a gorgeous island if you don’t go there when a typhoon is coming. as with every other beaches, go there on a sunny day. any fool can tell you that.

pandanon island, bohol

i’m not sorry i didn’t take as many photos of the place as i would have wanted. i lost the interest after what we have been through. but i did take a couple of shots of the little birds that frolicked on the sand.

pandanon island, bohol

because they were captivating to watch. because they were, for me, an epitome of freedom and peace amidst stormy weathers and raging storms. just because.

pandanon island, bohol

for what it was worth, that tragedy experience bonded us all like no super glue can. which is why for safety’s sake (and for our own sanity as well), we don’t plan to see each other anytime soon. that memory is enough to haunt us for a lifetime.

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