Taal Eruption, 2020

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

My friend and I drove to Tagaytay last January 12 to attend a friend's wedding the next day. We were actually pretty excited at first because who doesn't get excited at weddings?!

Two friends about to go on a road trip not knowing what awaits in Tagaytay.

After I checked in to my b&b and him to his, we decided to have coffee. Luckily, his b&b was located in front of UCC Clockwork Tagaytay so we just walked. As we were walking, we noticed that there were so many people yelling, a bit excitedly actually, and a parking guy semi-yelling "view ng sumasabog na Taal dito meron". My friend and I looked at each other and decided to check it out. Wow, I was, to be honest, amazed to see it. Of course I didn't expect for it to erupt for as long as it did but... it was a natural thing and at that time, I felt privileged to have witnessed it first hand. It wasn't that bad at that time yet.

It has just started. Not that bad YET.

We then decided to proceed with coffee.

Ito o, nakapag picture picture pa.

These were good, by the way. Clockwork famous Kori Kohi and Cinnamon & Sugar Churro French Toast. As we were waiting for our orders, we heard the "rain" but it wasn't actually rain. The ash fall was already starting. I tried to be chill... but I couldn't hold it for long. I asked my friend Kevin to take me back to my b&b. Before we left, I asked for a photo. Not necessarily proud but I really thought it would be "one for the books".

I wasn't smiling and I look like shit when I do the straight face so I just covered it with a sticker

We walked back to his car and was surprised by this:

When we arrived at my b&b, we were greeted by these already:

The skies were getting darker and darker and not because the sun was about to set
We went up to the 18th floor. As I was getting my stuff, earthquakes suddenly began. It was too shaky!! I have videos of the hanging lamps shaking but will not post it here. I then turned from chill to 100% freaked and started yelling.

For some odd reason, Kev and I wanted to see updates on the eruption so we decided to go to the rooftop of the building. And then this is what we saw...

No zoom used.
This was bigger in person. I was in awe. I was scared. I was amazed. It was literally an I-don't-know-what-to-feel moment.

Since there were earthquakes every few minutes, my mom told me not to stay on my b&b anymore since I was on the 18th floor. We then called our friend, the groom, and he told us to stay at their hotel instead. They were so stressed. We all wanted to help the couple so bad since their wedding was on the next day. We proceeded to Escala, and stayed there. Traffic around Tagaytay was so bad I didn't want to travel since there were still earthquakes.

Escala provided us with surgical masks, but as we all know, N95 masks were the ones that would actually help. We had no choice. There were no more stocks. I asked for another mask since it was really difficult to breathe with the air.

Here are some photos of the lightnings caused by the eruption. Sorry for the bad photo quality - these are screenshots from a video I took.

Before actually deciding to travel back to Manila, we stayed at my friend's suite. My parents were freaking out and I had to put on a fake smile so they would worry less.

Exactly how I was feeling 

It's inevitable
Around past 11pm, I think, we all decided to go back to Manila because some friends have told us that traffic has eased up. I kept on sending selfies to my mom just so she'd relax.

When we arrived in Katipunan, Kev and I decided to eat at Ababu just to feel better about our day.

Yes, my friends still got married the next day, but in Manila. 

To sum this entry up, I still feel terrible for all the loss during this whole thing. I pray that they are now in better places and have somehow moved forward.
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