The news about Taal Volcano eruption in the Philippines led me to reflect more and while browsing my gallery, I was reminded of three things – “Treasure every moment”, “Opportunity is priceless but limited – grab it” and on top of everything “God loves us so much”. Both time and opportunity are God’s gifts that should not be taken for granted. Unlike the first two, the love of God has no end, it’s eternal, no expiration and you can always go back to Him.
We had a week-long vacation in the Philippines to attend a special friend’s wedding in Ilocos (January 7-9, 2020) and decided to have a short catch up with our families before going back to UAE. Unfortunately, my mother was not able to make it due to some heroic reasons. We stayed in Tagaytay for almost two days – January 10 -11, 2020. We felt so blessed to witness how marvelous God is. He created everything so beautiful (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Everybody had fun. We were astonished by the places and views in Tagaytay Picnic Grove. Taal VoIcano, one of the famous and active volcanoes in the Philippines was behind me (above photo). At first, I was kinda hesitant to take these pictures. Though I was with my BFF and her family, I cannot deny the fact that I am missing my own family and wishing that they were with me. But, time and opportunity should not be wasted, so we all just savor the moment. We were unable to visit places as planned because of light to heavy rain, foggy and freezing temperature. We tasted, not all, but great foods in Balay Dako – one of the famous and old restaurants in the area. We stayed over the night at Casa Miguelitos. More food trips and bonding moments – swimming at the pool, singing, laughter, relaxation with whole body massage, etc.
On the second day, before we took our flight back to Middle East, we headed to Venice Grand Canal Mall in Taguig City and spent 3 to 4 hours roaming around the beautiful architectural designs inspired by Grand Canal in the classical city of Venice, Italy.
Few shots from Tagaytay and Venice Grand Canal in Taguig – Philippines
January 10-11, 2020
January 12 (Sunday), one day after we left the place and while we were on our way to Dubai and Zayra’s family to Bicol, people of Tagaytay, Batangas and the surrounded areas of TAAL VOLCANO were experiencing fear of possible hazardous eruption and more earth tremor. And to date, January 14, 2020 we can see already lot of photos, videos and news all over the social media and around the globe about the status of the violent and explosive volcanic eruption. People evacuated from their places as their houses were already covered with ashes – a dreadful moment for those who were affected by the eruption which includes plants and animals. Buildings, houses and other infrastructures are currently being rocked with consecutive earthquakes adding to more damages. We have no idea what will happen next. It could stop or get worst.
It sadden me to see places where once green (covered with trees), blue sky and water (Taal Lake) and colorful houses turned to GREY and humongous clouds of ashes. We can see dead plants and animals all over the place. Happy faces turned to fear and tears. Some of our friends who were traveling also were stranded at the airport or stayed elsewhere due to flight cancellations and delays caused by the hazardous emission and heavy ash falls. According to the news, airborne ash and ballistic fragments from the eruption column pose hazards to aircraft which is more dangerous for travelers. (To know more, Article 1 and Article 2 )
Grab images from the internet – scenario during and after Taal Volcano eruption
My mother texted me this morning and praised God for we (me, Zayra and her fambam) did not experienced any of these and we have reached all our destinations safe and sound with no harassment and less hustle-and-bustle. Indeed, we were saved. Thanks be to God. He even allowed us to see His beautiful creation before this horrible moment happen. On the other hand, our hearts melt for the victims and we continue to pray for protection, guidance, providence and healing not only for the loving people of the Philippines but all over the world. These are the things that we have no control at all but prayers can do a lot of miracles for God is more powerful and in Him everything is possible. One thing I am sure of, it is neither a punishment nor a hint to end of this world. But a reminder that GOD is our ultimate stronghold – A Living Rock. He is our fortress and great help. It is the right time to go back to His loving arms and trust His ways.
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. – Psalm 18:20
In all of these, I am more than proud to give my triumphant salute to all Filipinos who are great and mighty; the most resilient people of the world. Humanity is alive in our heart, mind and soul. Always positive and smiling while praying and helping together. Big thanks as well to those who extended their arms and generous enough (in any form) to help ease the burden of the victims. Let’s stand firm with an even stronger faith on God’s promises and His unfailing love. As one family with one God, we will overcome and win every battle, challenges and tests of life.
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. – Isaiah 54:10
God bless everyone.
Personal Reflection By Circe Gernale Sola | January 14, 2020
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