Road Collision: How It Would Feel Like To Peep On The Hole Of Death

 The road we're traversing 
when the collision happened

Peeping on the hole of death. That's how I would horrendously describe our fate yesterday, March 30, 2019, when we headed to Tanay, Rizal for our team outing. In what could have been a relaxing escape for the team, the great anticipation turned into a nightmare when the tricycle we're on collided with that of our colleagues.

We narrowly escaped death. It might have sounded a bit exaggerated but when you're involved in a road collision and you're sitting in an open air platform, your life dangled on a thin air.

How Things Started?

Three weeks ago, we agreed to have another outing to kick off the summer season. We're only ten (10) left in the team after most of our colleagues were moved temporarily to another function. So we wanted to foster this close bond and make the most of the summer fun by organizing another team building after our successful and happy team getaway last January in MAGALAWA ISLAND

Instead of choosing a beach escape, we agreed to try a swimming pool resort this time. With so many options to choose from Pansol, Laguna to Antipolo, Rizal, we decided to take adventure to Tanay due to its breathtaking natural landscape. For people like us who are seeking a perfect weekend getaway to chill under the cool breeze of nature, Tanay seems to be a beautiful haven of serenity and stillness.

After narrowing our search on venues, we decided to choose Mamorco resort in sitio Bathala. Cool, not too crowded with a comfortable ground for team building plus a fancy blue lagoon in addition to its swimming pool, it looks like a perfect place to have a weekend team bonding.

The Fateful day

On the 30th day of March, 2019, on a blistering Saturday mid morning, we traveled separately from Metro Manila. But agreed to meet in Tanay to spend lunch before going to the resort. I was with my four team mates on a jeepney ride from Pasig - Bea, Alyssa, Cath and Riri. And Chelse joined us later. But our technical coach, Ferds, missed the trip so he traveled to Tanay alone. Aileen who hails from Antipolo, and our team lead, Daryl Ballarta, who would take a van ride from Katipunan, had already informed the team that they would meet us near Save More in Tanay.

It was a beautiful day filled with laughter and a thought of a stress-free weekend while we're on a jeepney ride. I was too engrossed concocting ideas, how I would take shots of the venue for my TRAVEL BLOG.  The girls were busy with their phone, exchanging messages with the rest of the team.

As we approached the Tanay proper, the jeepney driver turned to us and asked where are we heading, we told him politely that we're going to Mamorco resort. He began offering us a deal for a tricycle ride. Since we didn't have any idea how to reach sitio Bathala, we listened to his offer. But haven't taken the deal yet as we still need to consider the decision of our three colleagues.

The Transportation Deal

We only wanted to have the best and safest trip in the most convenient way for this outing so we considered the offer of the jeepney driver, for one, because it sounded convenient since we would be fetched upon disembarking. Second, because we're already tired and weary to look for a tricycle upon alighting. It was hot and the punishing summer afternoon gave us an uncomfortable feel.

The jeepney driver began calling his contacts, giving instructions where to pick us. The deal was Php50.00 per head from Tanay proper to sitio Bathala. I was quiet during the entire conversation because my mind was too busy on many things to be distracted with the driver's transportation proposal.

When we reached the Tanay market, more tricycle drivers barged on the jeepney. Some offered a lowest rate of as much as Php30.00 per head. Annoyed and disoriented due to the tiring hours of travel, we told them we just closed a deal with the jeepney driver.

We disembarked near Save More supermarket and more tricycle drivers pestered us. We were fed up with this atmosphere so we walked fast to Save More to meet our three companions. We didn't find them so we moved back, until we saw two tricycle showed up out of nowhere and told us they were the one contacted by the jeepney driver.

Tired, confused, hungry (it was already 1:00 in the afternoon) and wasted due to the gruelling heat of the sun, we agreed to hop in. We asked them to bring us near 711 to meet Ferds, Aileen and Sir Da. 

Upon disembarking, more tricycle drivers pursued us. One of them even argued he already made a deal with our friend to take us to our destination. Aggressive, boorish, impolite and hostile, I was pissed off with the way they treated us. They manifested actions of rudeness.

Irritated with all the noises, we walked fast to the nearest Jollibee to take for lunch. We were joined by our three colleagues and shared light moments of fun, anticipating for a happy and relaxing getaway. Afterall, we've been planning this trip for almost a month and we couldn't wait to be at the resort before 3PM to begin our activities.

I was excited to conduct my quiz activity, because my birthday is on April 3 and I thought it's more fun and fulfilling to give prizes for this event. Excitement loomed in my head.

But destiny has another plan.

The Terrifying Road Collision

At 2:00 in the afternoon, we left the fast food. And as we stepped outside, the two tricycle drivers eagerly waited near the door. But another one barged in angrily reminding our companions on the deal they made. Though our colleagues maintained they haven't closed any deal with anyone.

To resolve the arguments anyway, and to have a peaceful day for our trip, our team lead decided to take the three tricycle. We were nine joining for this trip so we divided ourselves into three for each ride. I was with Bea and Sir Daryl while Riri, Chelse and Alyssa were on the other unit. Ferds, Aileen and Cath were together on the last ride.

As we approached the intersection, the traffic enforcer held us and reprimanded the drivers for parking on the wrong side of the road. Arguments followed.

The succeeding events were quite hazy in my mind as my thoughts flown elsewhere. The only thing I could remember was that they were asked to show up driver's license and the driver we were on seemed didn't have one. He was also very argumentative, telling the enforcer with so many tales and reasons I barely understood.

Minutes later, the enforcer allowed us to leave. We followed the busy town street and up to the long and winding road. I'm not familiar with Tanay, Rizal, it was my first time in the area. But I am aware of the number of road collision happened in the past.

 The tricycle drivers who were involved in reckless driving. Encircled in yellow was the one who was hit. Encircled in pink was the driver who hit

As we crunched through the long road outside the town proper, we're approaching so many dangerous curves and narrow lane. However, we're surprised to see the tricycle racing on an unimaginable speed, tearing the road like sports cars roaring on the racing track. 

I began to feel uncomfortable and wanted to tell the driver to slow down a bit. I waited for him to make some adjustment since we're approaching the elevated area and I thought the driver might need to gather some speed to get hold on the gravity. 

The crisp Saturday afternoon air clobbered on my face like a thick monsoon breeze as the speed continue to accelerate.  We whirled through the three-lane highways like tempest. And the drivers seemed enjoying the race.  My abdomen began to swell as  scare crept through my skin. We still didn't complain because we trusted them. They know the area and for sure aware with the possible danger that might occur if they will make a bad decision.

But as we headed past toward the rural areas, passing fields and winding road, the speed horribly increased at an alarming rate. And worst, they were racing against each other, bolting anywhere, overtaking jeepneys and private cars, like those daredevil drivers I saw in the Death Race movies.

I was unsure if the drivers were angry towards life, irritated towards somebody, ignorant with their responsibility on the passengers or simply reckless, but it looked like they were sending us to hell.

I tightly hugged my packbag as if looking for something to comfort me, and silently prayed for our safety. I gripped the rosary bracelet I bought from the Pink Sisters, Tagaytay last year on my birthday as my nerve began to unsteadily rose up to my throat. 

Just before we reached Daranak, where road is more steeped and risky, the tricycle we're on attempted to overtake at the narrow lane on a feverish speed and eventually collided on the other tricycle where Riri, Chelse and Alyssa were on board. The impact was so menacing and strong, we teared the roadside uncontrollably, dragging us on a snaky pressure, almost hitting the LPG tank, before it halted on a shivering impulse.

I was so flustered and couldn't process the emotion I felt at that time. Whether I would curse the driver or punch him in the face or just shout, I was disoriented as I steadied my breathing. As the tricycle made a full stop few steps from the LPG tank, I disembarked calmly and joined my colleagues on the roadside. 

I have less tolerant over blood from accident so when I saw the face of the driver covered with blood, I immediately strode to the other side of the road. Two of our colleagues suffered minor injuries and needed to be given an immediate medical attention. Minutes later, a rescue team arrived and brought us to a public hospital. Our other companions went to the police station.

But what annoyed us more was the disgusting action of the staff at Rizal provincial hospital. On what could have  been a classic reaction on which the government hospitals in the Philippines are known for, the staff just asked what happened then instead of giving an immediate medical care to the victims, they simply gave an instruction to fill out an information sheet. Then left us to wonder what's next. As we waited for hours, things became clear, the hospital wanted to know who will pay or settle any financial obligations. Jesus! 

Watch this full video of the incident

I thought public hospitals in the Philippines have revamped? And no  longer asking for a downpayment on emergency cases? I thought this policy has been fully implemented? And their service has been improved? But what we have experienced was the same medical service  this country has been practicing and tolerated by bloody corrupt public officials.

The incident happened at 2:30PM, our colleagues were given medical attention at 6:00PM when the relatives of the tricycle driver produced money for the payment. What if it was between life and death? Will the staff of Rizal provincial hospital let us die in the emergency room bed just because we couldn't produce a downpayment? Terrible!

We went back to the police station for further process of the investigation. Extremely exhausted for the whole afternoon misadventure, we just agreed to settle the incident. We would not file a case provided they'll shoulder the medical expenses. We're too tired and hungry to think of filing a case. We were told that the medico legal, which will be used as evidence, will be released two weeks from the incident and we're eager to go home and rest.

Two weeks! Geeez! Is this normal? Or just a sign of incompetence of the people in the government service. Whatever it is, we wanted to settle things up there so we could go home. We left nothing in our hands anyway, so we just came up with an agreement that won't take us a century to stay in Tanay.

We know the justice system in the Philippines is one of the worst in the world but we couldn't believe public hospital services and getting involved in a police investigation can also be draining and annoying. As though we have no choice but to just wait for a miracle. Oh God, bless this lost country!

We returned home at 8:00 in the evening with nothing but trauma, exhaustion and stress all because of abusive and reckless tricycle drivers. Our anticipation for a relaxing weekend getaway vanished into thin air.

The Aftermath And the Nasty Netizen Comments

Bea posted on her FB wall the video she accidentally recorded on the actual collision. And a barrage of comments flooded her status. Sympathy flowed in. But what made us feel disgusted was the nasty comments from idiots whose brain sucked dry, who behaved like cold-blooded shenanigans. I'm wondering what terrible disease hits their brain for blurting insensitive comments amidst other people's scary plight. Is this how modern generations raised? Reading their impudent comments made me lose faith in humanity.

But despite of this unfortunate event, we're still grateful that nothing worst happened. We're still okay when we returned home. Riri, Chelse and Alyssa, who suffered most of the collision, are now recovering. We're still fortunate we to come up safe.

But my concept of taking a trip to Tanay is now tainted with fear, doubts and horror. I am not certain how long I could change my thought of visiting any resorts in Tanay.

Nonetheless, we are thanking God for keeping us safe throughout the frightening ordeal. And for given us another lease of life.  

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