I read in the news of another ferry sinking in the Philippines. (Where else do they happen?) As of my writing, there have been 9 deaths reported. For me, that seems to be a remarkably low number considering how lax safety conditions in the Phils and how deadly past instances have been.
Even though I was close to water all the time when I was last living there, I rarely made it to ocean. The only two notable times was when I went “home” to San Fernando, La Union and to Corregidor. Other than Corregidor, I never left Luzon. One of the major reasons is because I did not want to take a ferry.
Normally, I am fine with all kinds of public transport but there are some situations in which I will avoid it. For example, I will probably never take the bus up to Baguio on anything more than cloudy day. In the case of passenger ferries, never on anything more than calm water, at night, or out of sight of land.
I think it’s really odd because I love big bodies of water and it is one of the things I look for when I consider locations to live in. I like to see to the edge of the world I suppose. The big plus about living in the Great Lakes region is that you get all that without sea salt and creepy critters which are my two big complaints about the ocean.
When I lived in San Fernando, I used to go to this beach to swim. Ugh. I don’t understand how my family ever thought that it was okay for me to do so. The place was littered with garbage. I remember my uncle and his friends taking out a wood bed frame out there and riding it until it sank. Then there was the crap that was cast aside by the shanty town residents. Most sickening of all was the stream where all sorts of human and inhuman filth flowed out. You can even see it here in this photo. It is no wonder I developed a severe skin rash that required a trip to the air base.
There was one opportunity to go to the beaches in Batangas. It would have been the only time that I would have enjoyed the beach while there as San Fernando, as I mentioned above, is nasty, and Manila Bay isn’t a great place to do it either. Unfortunately, a hurricane was nearby and I opted to stay put on campus.
So, yes, I’m a big baby when it comes to water especially when I’m in the Philippines. Given the history, personal and not, I think my fears are justified to a degree.