This is really scary. I haven’t seen these relatively new footage of the Japanese tsunami after the 8.9 magnitude earthquake they had. Now, why am I posting this weeks after the fact? Because I’m paranoid, that’s why. I know that there’s no way to predict when and where an earthquake will strike, but Phivolcs did say that we’re ripe (we, meaning the Philippines), or should I say overdue for another big one. They say the tectonic plates are like rocks in a big funnel. If you move one underneath, the rest follow. So when one plate moves, expect the others to move as well (as they say, gaya-gaya, puto maya). So it was no surprise then, that yesterday, March 20, 2011, there was a 6.4 magnitude quake hitting the Ilocos Region. Good news was, no damage, no casualties. I was just telling Delle this story this morning, as we were about to ride the elevator on our way home from RX. I remember telling her, that the quakes are rumbling throughout the pacific rim, where we are. After all, we are smack in between New Zealand and Japan. So then, just about a couple of hours ago, a 5.8 magnitude tremblor hit Lubang Isaland, and it was felt as a magnitude 3 here in Metro Manila. It just sent a paranoid chill down my spine. Why?
Aside from the obvious, the 3 places I spend most of my time in are: RX, my condo and our house. RX is on the 17th floor, my condo is on the 22nd floor, and our house is built right on top of the Marikina fault. As in, when I saw a map of where the actual fault is, I saw it run right under our very street. So as you can see, IF a big earthquake struck, most likely I would be caught in one of these 3 places, and I’m afraid it won’t be a pretty picture for me. Therein lies the fear. I know, worrying about this is like losing sleep over the possibility of dying in a plane crash or to be eaten by a great white shark or hit by a stray bullet during New Year’s, which is basically possible, but not probable. But nevertheless, I don’t get to reason with my fears, there’s no discussing things with them. The tyranny of fear is a crippling one. I have daydreams of the BIG ONE hitting while I’m alone in the condo with our 3 cats. In my reverie, I imagine myself panicking for a split second, then, realizing the futility of panic, I gather my 3 cats as we huddle in one corner as we wait for the building to topple over. At least we were all together, and we didn’t suffer the ignominy of dying all alone. And as we plummet to our dusty death, I mutter “I love you” under my breath, sent out to the one I love most (arte mo, ogag!). I know, morbid, right?
But it’s really a fear that haunted me ever since the 1990 earthquake. I remember I was with Jude Rocha on a walkway between the 2 building of the Masscom building in U.P., when the whole catwalk started to snake from side to side like a serpent. We could hardly walk to get to the other side. At that moment I thought that we were future fertilizer, that we would die right there. And even when we reached open ground, the feel of the tremors, first a bouncing up and down, then a side to side motion (or was it the other way around?), scarred me for life. I HATE earthquakes. And I hate the idea that we’re having so many of them one after the other. Waaaaaaah!!!