“My wife just gave birth to my son the day before,” he starts his story as he squeezed on his motor to zoom past a slow bike.
He leaned over the enclosed wall of the tricycle as he sneaked looks at me.
“Ohh,” I say softly, imagining everything that could’ve happened, and slightly paralyzed at the thought of his wife.
“When it started moving, I thought it only happened in Tagbilaran. I was here, working. My wife was in Maribojoc.”
“Was it strong? Did it take long?
“Yes, my tricycle moved so hard I thought the ground was going to open up.” he says, slowing down as we caught up with a truck over a short bridge.
We were driving to the All Hands base in Antequera from Tagbilaran Airport. Most of Tagbilaran was okay. But from this point we were in cracked, slightly rough roads.
“My wife called me and told me it was shaking there too. I panicked. I got on my tricycle and drove so fast. But when we came to the bridge, it was already gone.”
“What did you do?” I ask.
My family is everything to me.
I would do anything to save them when it comes to disasters. So I understood why anyone would jump into the river and swim some meters just to get to their family.
At the moment when he said it, I swallowed and fought back hot tears brimming in my eyes. I had no right to cry. I wasn’t there. If this guy could stay strong in times like this, I had to stay strong too.
I bit my lip and avoided his eyes.
“After swimming, I walked some kilometers just to get to my wife.”
And I remain quiet, his words a little heavy to process.
He looks at me and I work around my brain to find a way to lift the tension.
But I can’t. And I quiet down and sneak looks of pity, pride, inspiration and admiration all at the same time at him.
I feel sorry because such a nice man had to experience something like this. I feel pride because what he did is significantly Filipino – brave, family-oriented, selfless. I feel inspired because this man loves his family and is willing to die for them. I admire him because he is strong.
This man, the tricycle driver, is beautifully brave, strong and resilient.
He is Filipino.
Let’s help him out shall we?
For tours, pick ups and other inquiries in Bohol, kindly call Ramil at 09464602198.
All Hands and Bohol needs your help. In this organization, we help deconstruct houses and properties in order to help the locals save whatever they can for use in rebuilding new homes. To make this happen, the team needs tools to further help out the Boholanos. The Philippine Travelogue joins All Hands in the campaign to raise $300 – $500 to buy the tools that is needed by the community. Maybe you can help?
Every peso or dollar counts! Please contact us below for ways to send donations.