Earthquake 101

How would you feel if you are sure in the next few minutes you could die?

How would you think when the thought of dying is clearly possible?

How would you react when death stares at you right in front of your eyes.

That’s how i felt at 11:49 am earlier this morning.

I can feel my heart beating out of my chest.

I can feel myself holding my breath.

I can feel my forehead wrinkle with the confusion of what was going on.

I can see the questioning look in my classmates faces.

I can see the worry in my professor’s eyes as he told us to “relax”

I can sense the tension growing in the room as everyone was ready to make a run.

At the start of the day, I had a really bad feeling. I wasn’t able to study for our Physiology long exam and what more, I found out we were having a graded oral recitation which I totally had no idea about.

I woke up this morning sent away with a dream of me talking to a nun. I remember waking up, thinking of not going to school just coz i don’t feel like it.

Everything turned out to be ordinary when I arrived in school. Construction workers noisily drilling and hammering at the first floor of our building, classmates fussing about the examinations to come. A normal school day in Velez college.

Now, I always doubted the “end of the world” theory, but concluded to myself it wasn’t real. Not until after I came back from lunch, and our professor start the discussion did I welcome the idea of “death” and “end of the world”. It was an exaggerated thought I know. But the experience itself, the earthquake which lasted for about 15 to 20 long seconds with a magnitude of 6.8 did I think to myself, “This is it, anything could happen.” I was waiting for the ceiling to come crashing down on us, or waiting for the building to collapse or so. If it was other buildings, i would be more calm and collected.  But this is VELEZ COLLEGE, where everything is antique and at least 50 years old.

When the shaking started, i thought to myself, it must be the construction workers vigorously hammering downstairs, or maybe they drilled too much that the building became unstable. I thought it was nothing big. I didn’t realize anything at all until i saw my classmates questioning faces, and one uttered the word “earthquake”. The shaking lasted for long seconds, and at that moment, I thought it wouldn’t stop.

We waited for it to stop, I know we wanted to run the moment we realized what was happening. What was stopping us was our professor “relax lang, relax lang.” Some of us got really worried, I for one, at that moment, was waiting for something to crash on me or something like that. My heart was beating so loud and I could feel my brain shaking inside my skull. Still, our teacher said “relax, relax.” We all followed, kept silent, Long seconds of earthquake. Then the thought hit me, Something bad could happen to us any minute. “But, I cant die without my mama with me, i can’t die without her.” She was the first person that came into my head when the thought of death hit me. So I prayed. That we be all safe.

At that moment, it’s a strange thing to say that I no longer fear what could happen next, whether it be bad or good, I welcomed it, which made me feel content. I know at that moment, God was working.

When your life or the life of someone you love is on the line, that’s when you start to learn about yourself.

That’s when you start to know your priorities. That’s when you start to make an impromptu plan for the next few minutes, hours, weeks  and years to come.

That’s when you promise to yourself to never let life pass you by. That’s when you promise yourself to never take anything at all for granted.

For no one can confidently say that he will still be living tomorrow.

After that incident, we left the classroom, stayed outside for a while and talked about what just happened, surprisingly confident in knowing no one was hurt.

On my way home, I secretly thought to myself, “How wonderful would it be if the PT building collapsed after we left. No Classes!” 🙂