The following is an entry from my 2000 journal. Onyok, my baby brother, was ten at the time. Reading this made me feel so nostalgic.:)
20 April 2000, Aboard M/V Virgin Mary, on the way to Aklan
It’s Holy Thursday. We’re down here in economy class—Nanay, Onyok, Auntie Gloria and I. After a thousand years of hard work and quite a bit of savings, it’s funny how I still find myself back where I started: in the economy class, same level as all the cargos and vehicles. Now I know how Jack felt before the Titanic sank. This is what happens when we become careless and complacent (and do not look at our ticket dates).
Onyok has been paranoid since yesterday. He asked Nanay to pray for our souls and had worried endlessly about how he’d save his playstation and toys in case the boat sank. To ease his worries, I took him for a walk around our cramped quarters. We found a door marked “escape hatch” and wondered where it would lead to. We hoped to the upper decks and to safety.
All this worrying stemmed from a couple of tragic accidents that happened recently. Two days ago, a sea vessel sank somewhere in Mindanao. And yesterday, an Air Philippines plane crashed in Samal Island, killing all the passengers and crew. I’m taking a PAL plane back to Manila on Tuesday next week. When he heard this, Onyok, in his distress, asked me to buy two parachutes right away. And even if I explained to him that there are safety gadgets in planes, he continued to worry nonetheless.
Yesterday, I said I was going to buy a salbabida for today’s boat ride but forgot all about it. Just now, Onyok lamented that if ever the boat sinks, the only survivor would be his Spider Man Diver who happens to have his own salbabida.
Oh well, lucky spider!