7 reasons why I enjoy flying (despite incessant thoughts of a plane crash)

PR1815 bound for Davao City — (12:25 nn) I am tens of thousands of feet above ground as I write this. The flight has been turbulent despite the good weather (Yes Mr. pilot, this is a shout out to you) but I don’t mind. Here, above cumulus clouds and blue waters, I am at peace.

Usually, when I ride an airplane, I brace myself for a crash. It’s because I believe that the more I travel, the higher the probability that I will figure in an accident. I am like that when I ride almost all forms of transportation (except trains, which are my favorite). I am fatalistic and I consider death an inevitability. But I digress. Continue reading

Storming through Davao Oriental

Earlier this month, my wish to return to Mindanao came true. I was given the chance to visit three towns that bore the brunt of typhoon Pablo’s wrath in 2012.

As someone who has spent her whole life living in a city, I marveled at the beauty of Davao Oriental’s enchanting mountains and photogenic shores. How remarkable it is that I am looking at the Pacific Ocean while in one of the most fascinating places in the country!

Dahican beach in Mati, Davao Oriental

Dahican beach in Mati, Davao Oriental

But the ocean’s strong waves reminded me also of the threats faced by the province. What was once a region known for its predictable weather has now been battered by strong typhoons, killing hundreds of hapless residents. “Pablo jolted us to the reality of climate change!” said one of the local environmental planners we interviewed.

A fellow reporter and I went to Davao to get interviews and data for INQUIRER.net’s special report on climate change. During our visit, we learned about how local governments implemented disaster risk reduction plans and how residents were trying to recover.

It has been almost three years since the towns of Banganga, Cateel and Boston were devastated by typhoon Pablo but the effects of the typhoon will probably be felt for a long time. Imagine majority of coconut trees being wiped out in less than 24 hours, instantly stripping rural communities of livelihood and source of food.

We still have a lot of work to do and the results of our investigation will hopefully be published in the coming months but the visit has also given me insights on issues not covered by our report.

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Reporter’s notebook: Trail of destruction outside Tacloban

Last week, Filipinos marked the first anniversary of the onslaught of super typhoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan), which left more than 6,000 people dead when it struck the country in November 8, 2013. For our website’s special site, I recalled how our three-man team visited the different towns in Samar, which were affected by the typhoon.

 

Eastern Samar two weeks after super typhoon Yolanda. Photo by Kristine Sabillo

Eastern Samar two weeks after super typhoon Yolanda. Photo by Kristine Sabillo

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