Category Archives: Travel, Adventure, Mission, medical Mission 2013, Leyte, Ormoc, Albuera,

MOMENTS WORTH TO KEEP: OUR EXPEDITION STORY

Re-post (posted from my previous blog site dated December 2013: chuy

A spectrum of colors painted in the sky

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When I set my foot on the grounds of Ormoc, a rainbow revealed in the sky. It was lovely, mighty and spectacular. But it was decorated after the devastating annihilation of super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). I don’t know what message it brings to the people of Leyte. I know it’s vague to contemplate as such. Maybe because there were shades of grey that cloaked the hearts and clouded the minds of every victim; in fear, depressed, traumatized.

The Leyte Expedition was not only a story of mine alone. It’s a story of the four of us in realizing one purpose. Not really a journey that was only made with going to normal roads. It was something that we never expected to be, which changed our perspectives in life; of how we see and look at ourselves, and of how we viewed the real world during the most trying times.
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Along with Irene Lou, Peejay, and Brian fulfilling the purpose, we had the opportunity to travel extending our helps to the affected many. If my recollection serves me right, it’s all our first time to embark such purpose. I am not so sure of what my companions’ true reflections really then. Somehow, for me, I really did not think that this would be the best, if not the most memorable, travel. Just as I sat my foot on Ormoc’s ground, as expected, I could not understand the feeling of intertwining fear and uncertainty. Most people were not smiling and some were mad and angry because of their trodden luggage and cargoes. It’s fathomable, though. The city were wrecked and ruined. Disorganized! Folks’ faces all around were daubed with sadness, grief and sorrow. I could not bear to see… When I would realized that everything ain’t falling into place, I would go home right away without a second thought.
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My friends in journey (from left to right) Peejay, Irene and Brian

Prior to our trip to Ormoc, we had already discussed and anticipated some worst scenario that possibly would occur. Fears and anxiety have had already posed in our minds. Doubts and worries disclosed in our thoughts. Subsequent to more than a week of sojourn, I must confessed that if not because of this, I could not be more satisfied and happier than anything.

 

As adventurers, we love standing at crossroads. We like facing new challenges and expecting the unexpected. The band of colors ornate the heights were the sign that our trip was going to be colorful yet tough one.

Just as when Irene Lou organized and considered me as part of the medical mission team, I had no thoughts of hesitations. I just grabbed the chance to travel for free without considering the aspect of how heavy the responsibility I would have to carry on. Nevertheless, it reawakened my interests to travel from places to places where I’ve never set my foot of.
Along with my condensed personal stuff and, of course, the 4 of us meet and assembled in Iligan City to secure the medicines should bring in Albuera, Leyte.  Irene and I knew each other since college days for quite sometime but not that much about her younger brother Peejay. And, Brian Quino who traveled quite far from Aurora, Zambonga del Sur who was, at first, someone stranger to me (at least not an Alien hehehehe, Peace Brian! Rock and Roll!!).  We’re pretty sure that we had some impression to one another, though. Whatever it was, neither it’s not an issue any longer nor not a big deal at all. For me, it’s nothing personal. But I already had that gut feeling that we’re going to get along smoothly. There’s no doubt that our group can work together swiftly, and; that we could create more than a team fulfilling the mission bestowed on us.

 

Time chased us. We have to hurry and rushed over to Cagayan de Oro harbor before the boat leave us aboard. It’s funny. I believe Irene Lou knew each one of us better but Brian, Peejay and I do not have a luxury of time talking and asking one another anything about ourselves during the trip. Our top concerned was to arrive in the destination point on time and or before the schedule as possible. Just like in a movie title, it was our first “Rush Hour” trip race chasing the boat before it leaves. We even forgot to take pre-departure photo on the four of us (what a shame).

From jeepney to bus and then to the taxi, we asked and prayed them to rush out. Though we arrived on schedule, we already felt catching our breath with draining strength while our body sweats streaming rapidly while carrying our gears and luggage. Both of our arms and grips were almost torn by the bulkiness of our hefty stocks. Good heavens’ smiled upon us; we were on board with a big smile on our faces. What a battle cry – so tough!

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Team Balugo 2: The first round medical mission in Balugo 2, Albera Town was a success. Our goals accomplished that should yet exceeded our expectations. Form Barangay officials to the office of the Mayor and to the Rural Health Unit, we were recognized and gave us more assistance by providing health workers. It was a big boost on the team to fully utilize and materialize the leg works needed. Mission accomplished! Kudos!

UNTO THE CITY OF ORMOC…

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The search begin looking for gold: “cold drinks”

We decided to reward ourselves b gong to the city, strolling and wondering around Ormoc. We knew that we don’t have that much to expect in the capital because of the catastrophe. All we wanted was to look for drinks that would satisfy our throat’s dryness craving for ice cold liquids. We brought along Mark and Angelic siblings with us. Upon our arrival, we stroll on the streets and highways looking on what we desired for. It’s like searching a pot of gold in the middle of nowhere. The city was so busy, so ridiculously busy but a disorganized wrecked district brought by the typhoon… Yahah! We found one though, but the price was terribly staggering. Even it cost us much, yet still we bought just to replenish our vigor.

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The search is over! (chuckles)
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Thirsty for Hope… our guide Lady Lik sitting along with the wreck light post

 

 

 

 

 

 

AT CITY’S BOULEVARD…

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From left to right: Irene, Brian, Peejay and Me!

We visited the capital’s boulevard bringing along with us the foods and drinks we bought from the district. We find time to relax, over viewing the harbors, the island and wide-open sea while enjoying the foods w bought. Since it’s our, supposedly, last day, we try to enjoy the rest of the day ‘til sunset. We have shared and chit-chatting whimsical stories, anything that comes in our head. We also grabbed the moment for photo opportunities.

BACK TO THE TOWN OF ALBUERA…

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curious… ecstatic on their own photo escapade

Long and tiring day has done. Night was falling, emanating before us. We’re back in Albuera. No electricity in the entire province since the tragedy begun to strike. Dim and shadow shrouded the entire night. Candles, gadgets, and flashlights serves as light to our sights.

 

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Brian on guitars. me on vocals (wasak)

Looking haggard from our hang-out, time was calling us to wash-up, rest, and sleep. But Brian’s musicality was persistent. He just couldn’t resist the whisper of the guitar calling him to twang and pluck it with his hankering digits. He started to play the music, strummed the strings with tunes jamming over his head. The way Brian frolicked the instrument was so inviting. Honestly, I could not resist the melodies familiar on my head. So damn good to listen. It brings back my memories, so nostalgic. The only thing that’s missing was the voice of that music. A voice that can synchronize and harmonize that Brian created. I sat on the bed and then stand on my feet, took the flashlight and light it up and then used it as a microphone. Then, I blend on the beat. As I started singing, Irene raved on the dance floor with the music while waving around the flashlights on. Peejay took his phone and started recording the scene we spawned that night.

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Under the limelight of flashlights!

Yes, I can sing. I was once a singer back years… But now it’s different, I no longer possess the voice I once had. I can’t sing just the way I used to be. At that night, it’s pity that my memory was not serving me well. I hardly recall the lines in the lyrics that the music required. If I’m into the music industry now, then that performance surely suggest the end of my career. I will be humiliated ‘til the end of the century! But time to move on, It’s just an illusion (chuckles).

        Nevertheless, we’d really gone so wild on that night. Our hearts burst out loud overjoyed. Making scenes under the limelight of flashing penlights and dancing to the whimsical tunes over the sound of the guitar’s while banging our heads as our ways of breaking the silence that shrouded in the house. We almost bring the entire house down (not literally, of course – snickering). Although, in spite of all the funny scenarios, it’s too good to realize that we made unforgettable memories on that night. We painted the murky house with joy and happiness. We decorated many colorful smiles on the four corners of the wall through songs and jingles. Perhaps, it was a way of celebrating the moment after successfully fulfilling our humble purpose in medical mission by extending help to the victims of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). Rock and Roll!

 

IT’S TIME TO GO HOME, WE’D PRESUMED…

 chuyWe’re well aware about the exit from Ormoc going to Cebu is way too difficult, a “fist on the moon”, really. Yet luck indeed was on our side on that day. A good man gave us a tip that it’s best to fly with C-130 humanitarian plane in Ormoc Airport to Cebu. It’s a free flight for everyone. Thanks to that! So we rushed over to the airport… Ta dah! So it’s true!
The 4 of us we’re very excited, so ecstatic. Our love of adventures sparked our passion. Our enthusiasms were written all over our faces. Our spirits were soaring high in thrilled. Like our first time traveling in an Ocean Jet sea craft, it’s also our entire “first time” to fly with C-130 plane courtesy of Royal Australian Air Force. But, before we could savor the jubilation of our hearts in the winged of sky-high, all the guys were asked to help and assist disembarking the sacks of donated relief goods down from the aircraft. Who would have had thought that there were so much more we can do other than helping the townspeople of Albuera. It was a great feeling. Certainly, we would never ever forget this whole experience. We’ll definitely treasure this moment for the rest of our lives! My dream came true flying with C-130. It rocks!
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C130 Royal Australian Air Force, Ormoc Airport: For Great Humanity… disembarking packs and sacks of donated relief goods for ST Yolanda Victims.
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Inside the C-130 Humanitarian Aircraft

We arrived in Cebu safely with so much gladness. Little did we know that more help and blessings would come in our way as well as for the people of Balugo, Albuera. Irene was told of by the donors to go back in Leyte for the second round mission. And so we did… Medical Mission 2, accomplished!

Traveling is the best thing ever especially when all expense is paid free (just saying). You have the opportunity of meeting other people in all walks of life. We met new faces. We found new friends. But this particular travel was not just an ordinary one. It’s an expedition full of wonderful memories. It’s full of life lessons that worth to keep forever. You see, we’d got the chance of helping other people in times of struggles and hardships.  In our small way we were able to fill (at least) the emptiness of their hearts claimed by the great misfortune. We were able to bring back a little smile to those frowned ones who have lost almost everything and who have had been through serious hurdles in life. It’s hard but we were able to bring it through.

HOMEWARD BOUND…

I would regret if i am not going to say this about them. This is something my personal perspective on how I looked at them during our expedition.

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Knowing Irene Lou since our college days, I have never thought that she would show such ability and strength spearheading this very challenging mission. For this particular endeavor, it takes a lot of courage, dedication, time, and preparation. But her passion, kindness and love of helping other people made it through. She really puts all her heart into it. I could say that she’s naturally energetic yet calmed and composed. She knows what she’s doing. She leads the team smoothly. A nurse personified, in true service, a good leader. It is my privilege working with you, yet again.

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All through out the days of this undertaking,PJ or Peejay seem to be a man of few words nonetheless a man more of actions. He appears to be outgoing yet with direction. He might not notice it, but he possesses great potential having qualities of being a good leader. It was evident. He can deliver, can give clear instructions and can manage to guide people very well. So keep up! Moreover, as I always brag, PJ is ever passionate of with gadgets. He loves to take pictures and videos with his cellphone-cam in every angle, in his own perspective, in every way.

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Brian, as always, is the music dude amongst us. One of the coolest indeed he is.  But that’s not what I’m going to tell here. Being the nurse, he’s deadly serious on his profession. Serious means business, a good one. He’s effective, can deliver and can educate when action calls before him. Perhaps, he may not look like it because of his zaniness and wacky personality but try him and you’ll know what I mean. This dude has what it takes to be a front-runner, a leader. He’s realistic, holds on his principle and stands on his practical beliefs yet good and gentle and that keeps him going yet.

These good people are asking me to tell also about myself more. Well, I have nothing much to say – really. I am more of taking photos, capturing the moments, and tell the stories behind caught on my lenses. Obviously, this blogger is more of a story teller. I’m fond of expressing my thoughts that catches my attention more than the eye meets. I had so much fun hanging-out with these cool people! Thanks to you!

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Life is rock and Roll. It’s all up t us to rock it and or roll it to the fullest!
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The kick of success… and the strike of friendship.

Whenever I looked back on the rainbow appeared in our midst, I tend to believe that life’s journey is truly packed with colors. You maybe know your main goal and grand purpose but you don’t know what lies ahead like the colors with different meanings. You don’t know of which is which… It’s like a battleground; full of ups and down; filled with twists and turns; hard-fought – a dynamic one. Eventually, our expedition turned out to be good and meaningful. The tragedy brought by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) became an eye-opener to the four of us. We became not just better persons but more effective individuals. We learn to be modest. It teaches us to be kind should keep our feet on the ground at all times. A story with great moments, worth to keep!

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We sang the song the makes the whole world sing… We sang the song of love and special things… we sang the song, we sang the song…