Near Death

On June 26, 2007, the whole class went on a school trip for the Project Study course. I'm a Civil engineering student, so construction-related projects are supposed to be interesting for us. So we went to the Southhills Subdivision, which was nearby, but as the name says, up on the hills. There was an ongoing house project for a Canadian citizen, worth about 13.2M in Philippine Peso(about $293,000). Pretty cheap if you are in the US, they were building a 3 storey residential building. And everything was pretty high-end, all the materials used costed about Php50,000. I think when you're in the US, $293,000 gets you an ugly house, from what I've seen on the Internet, and not actual, so correct me if I'm wrong. I think the owner's into Real Estate, buying and selling, or building and selling. From what I can tell, he sure is rich.

Getting there, we hired a Public Utility Jeepney, the most common public transportation mode in the Philippines, but since it was up in the hills, the driver just dropped us off at the bottom of the hill. So we hiked. about 20 or so minutes later, we got to an intersection, we went right. Then it started to rain, it was just a little drizzle, but we didn't wanna risk getting sick, and I definitely do not want the pneumonia back. A couple of minutes later, our guide, who happens to be one of our classmates too, says we went the wrong way, so we go back to the intersection, and we go left. Then she says we're going the wrong way again! We were all, "Argh!!!". We start the hike again. We saw a truck coming up the hill and stopped it. Then we asked if we could hitch a ride, since they seemed to be going to where we were going. The driver said it was ok, so a bunch of us, about 90% of us hopped on to the back of the truck. It was a truck that loaded gravel, sand, et cetera. A few got left behind, because the girls wouldn't climb up the way we did. Haha, I'm 23 and I still climb up trees, so a truck was no biggie. When we got there, the rain got heavier and it was getting chilly.

So anyway, we enjoyed the trip, got to be close to the materials and equipment they used there, and we undestood more stuff about the construction business. There were things that we were ignorant with, but a lot of those got cleared up. My summary on the trip: you really get to learn more when you're there.

So how about the way down? Like earlier, we start hiking down again, we took note of all the houses built there. Most of the houses that we've seen there looked fantastic. And the view was amazing! It would've looked better at night. You get to see the entire Cebu City from there. You could see the bridges connecting Mactan to Cebu, and the Mactan Channel too. When we were a couple hundred yards away from the Subdivision gates, a small Multicab pickup stopped and it was the Project Manager and Architect of the project we visited offering us a ride down the hill. Overjoyed at the thought of not having to hike down the hill for an hour or so, we hop on to the back of the pickup and got settled in. I know it's against the law in the US to ride at the back of the truck, but it's common here.

The pickup starts picking up speed on the way down, and I was geting a very uneasy feeling. My heart starts pounding fast. Then the pickup starts skidding. It does a snake line and our prof starts screaming. The pickup was nearing the cliff and it lookes like we were about to fall over. We could see the trees and rocks below, realizing that we were about to die. The Architect pulls on the steering wheel and helps with the maneuvering. I thought the pickup was gonna stop for a while after the experience, but the drive continued down the hill. I felt like my spirit just left my body.

When they dropped us off near the school, everybody couldn't walk right. I personally couldn't feel my legs. I was just able to walk because I told my legs to do so. My knees shook so badly, when we got back to the civil engineering department, I just had to sit down. It was all so scary and exciting at the same time, since it only lasted for a few seconds, we weren't as scared as we were supposed to be. But after giving it some thought, we ended up scaring ourselves.

Even after that, I'm still not scared of riding in vehicles or going up to high places. I'm just glad I'm blessed enough to see another day.