I am still in a state of awestruck by the news of deadly earthquake in Bohol, Philippines. Iwas watching 1.30pm news when it reported how bad Bohol was hit by the earthquakes. Footages of destructed shophouses which were near to my guesthouse to centuries old churches to viewing deck of Chocolate Hill were shown. Soon, I received text messages and whatsaps from my mother and friends.
I was immediately brought back to my early days of backpacking. This time to Bohol, Philippines. Located at Central Visayas, Bohol was one island I flew out Manila in 2011. While it was one of the first few countries I went alone, I am refreshed at every mention of Bohol or Balicasag, the diving heaven. It was here that I fought tears when bidding farewell to the locals for they treated me very well during my stay. It was here that I went to most numbers of churches in one single trip.
Knowing that churches I went to witness Sunday Mass went rumbling down the earth was almost heartbreaking. I could not imagine how the beautiful Bilar Highway cracked in the middle of nowhere. How the earthquakes that produced energies equivalent to 32 Hiroshima bombs shook the hell out of the tiniest primate known as tarsiers. I hope the talented and musical kids of Loboc survive the ordeal and has been evacuated to a safe location. I had seen the aftermath of the earthquakes on Chocolate Hill – some were badly ruined by the disaster. Chocolate Hills has been proposed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. I am unsure of what is to become of that proposal.
I cannot emphasize more on the beauty of Bohol. I have seen one of the best sunsets and underwater life here in this island.
I pray for the safety of Bohol people and people from nearby islands. Earthquakes that large might trigger tsunamis within 100kms of the epicentre. The islands are crumpling between three crashing tectonic plates: the Philippine, Sunda and Eurasia plates. Let us together pray for Bohol.