I wake up at 5:00 am because the time to meet the Danjugan members and other kids going to the camp was around 6:30 am. I reached for my phone to check if I had any messages. Five. Five messages sent around the time of 3:00 – 4:30 am. I wondered who it could be as I unlocked my phone. They were all from my dad. And it read, “Don’t go anymore” “Too dangerous” “Don’t go” and so on. To be honest, my eyes watered a little there because just yesterday I arrived to Bacolod after a 10 – 11 hour trip. I was exhausted and now I have to go all the way back home. That would be another 10 – 11 hours. I called my dad in hopes of changing his mind…… It didn’t work. Apparently, the Danjugan camp sent out an email to all the parents which included some warnings because of the terrorist attack in Cebu which occurred a week before. A week ago. The farthest I got to have permission to go was to allow me and my tita to just meet everyone at the meeting point and get to say hi to everyone. I decided to leave my bag back at the hotel while we headed out.
We were dropped in front of an animal conservation park where we saw a big white bus and some adults around it. As I walked to the bus, I saw that it was nearly full already. Heh, I thought I was the first to get here. We were approached by one of the staff (I guess you could say) members. We made an explanation of why couldn’t come and also kinda “deviced” a plan to change my dad’s mind. Our first step was to call him. I talked to my dad for awhile explaining that I was at the meeting point and that I really wanted to go (still didn’t work). Apparently, my dad thought that a lot of the kids cancelled out like me because of the attack (a week ago). But, no. It was just me who was planning to cancel and reschedule. After my second failed attempt to convince my dad (I was so close), I passed my phone down to Kuya Kenneth (staff member). 6:15. Time was quickly passing and the bus was going to leave soon. Kuya Ken explained all the safety measures (like there were police guards in the mainland and on the island) to my dad and that pretty much did the tipping point(ish). By the way, a few days before the Danjugan Camp, the parents are requested to go to this parent conference where they explain everything (even the safety measures). Unfortunately, my parents missed the meeting which prevented them from knowing this sort of information (about safety and other, XD). Finally, we finished our quest and I could go!!
I boarded the bus only to run out again as I remembered I left my bag at the hotel!! I talked to my tita and kuya Ken. Kuya Ken brought one of the vans to the hotel where I ran and grabbed my bag. We headed back to the bus. We were about 10 minutes late. Everyone was waiting just for me. I took my seat at the back of the seat drivers seat. It was a single chair. I was happy, since I didn’t actually know anyone and I was sort of shy at the moment. My tita rode in a van right behind us. It was announced that we had 3 hours to go. Yay. _-_
Aside from the fact that nearly every kids here came with either a friend or sibling (unlike me all alone), It was so quite. Probably 1/4 of the kids in the bus were asleep while most were just quite and others you could hear the whispers. I tried listening to music on my phone but, for some reason, my phone wasn’t working. I was left with no music but earphones in my ears. I talked to kuya Kenneth and Tito Jay for awhile but the rest of the trip I just stared outside my window which showed me different views of trees and seas. There was some stopovers for anyone who wanted to go to the bathroom or buy some snacks. Also, sometime in our trip, I heard someone playing the ukulele with the song Riptide. Some joined in, it also helped to pass the time quickly.
We then arrived at a port. The ground was bumpy. And, we started to unload all the bags. I thought everyone was just going to bring a small back pack (as I did). I was wrong. I was the only one with one small bag. Everyone else brought a luggage. I was wondering what they were bringing and what I should have brought. Well, it was too late to go back now. Right?
Anyways, what we did next was go to a small bridge which seemed to be getting narrower and narrower the further we went. When we finally reached the end, we saw two boats waiting. I rode onto the first boat with around 11 other kids. Unfortunately, the boat didn’t have any cover on top like the second boat. Someone offered a jacket to me as the sun was scorching, everyone seemed really nice. It was a good thing that in the middle of our boat journey, the clouds decided to spare us a bit and provided us some shade from the sun. Anyways talking about our surroundings, the water was so clear. Some of the places (on the water on the boat) that we passed you could see that there were corals boasting with life.
After one last gust of wind came, the island came into view and then before we knew it, we started disembarking the boat with our bags. We were immediately greeted by some of the staff. They were all smiling as we greeted back.
The island. It’s beautiful.
(to be continued)