Monday, October 17, 2016

Caught by a Strong Typhoon in Tagaytay

Of all places to be caught at the height of a storm---Tagaytay! My sister (it was her treat) had booked the hotel in Tagaytay, so we had no choice but to go there just when typhoon Karen was coming in from the Pacific. Karen was passing through Catanduanes as we arrived at the hotel that night, and the road was literally blocked by clouds.

The afternoon before, I had heard from the radio at the barbershop in Munoz Market in Quexon City that Tagaytay would be heavily affected. I prayed.

In Tagaytay, we managed to drop by SkyRanch (and the kids were able to ride some) but the fog and cold was getting unbearable. So we decided to head straight for the hotel in Alfonso district. By the time we were ralxing in bed, the wind and rain were lashing at the roof and windows. Our van driver said the van at the parking lot was being rocked like a boat by the winds when he was trying to get some sleep, and it was impossible to see anything outside.

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All through the night and at dawn, the rain poured angrily and the winds moaned---something like what you see in horror movies while something ghostly is happening in a haunted hotel. But we were snugly in bed, safe from the storm, thanks to God and the sturdy walls and roof of the hotel. I glanced at my wife and my little pal and my sons and the kids and my nieces and sisters---they were all fast asleep.

This was where we stayed.
At 4 am I was wide awake. I often couldn't get back to sleep at this time---force of habit. I always wake up early. I decided to go out the corridor for some exercises and peek at the clouds from the terrace. It was too dark to see anything, but the rains and winds were still at it. But at 5 am, I saw the fast moving low clouds just above the roof of other houses and sweeping past pine trees. I went down to the parking area to hike a little near the golf course and saw mist and fog sailing past and sometimes covering the scenery.

It was lovely!

The van driver enjoyed the cold weather, exclaiming: "Nothing like this in Manila! Might as well enjoy it while we're here!"

When we left the hotel and negotiated the road, we saw nothing around us except the white fog---we were right inside clouds! Well, you could barely see the road through the lane, and one mad car driver even had the temerity to overtake in such near zero visibility, almost hitting our van.

But finally, when we reached Sta. Rosa, the fog, mist, clouds and rains were gone. The sun shone. We heard on the radio that it was merely signal number one that Sunday in Metro Manila (last night it was signal 2).

We thanked God for the safety.

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