Monday, November 2, 2009

Airlines should not allow planes to fly over storm-hit areas

ISLAND IN CATANDUANES BETTER THAN BORACAY? If there is one reason why Maria Theresa Cua should be re-installed as the mayor of Caramoran town in Catanduanes (almost an hour’s driver over rough roads from Virac, the capital), it is because she has the blue-print to fully develop an island under the jurisdiction of the town into a world-class resort rivaling Boracay in Aklan.

Mayor Cua said this is going to be her priority if and when she is able to regain her post, which she lost even if, she said, revised ballots showed she should have won in 2007 with a big margin of about 200 votes over her opponent.

The island is accessible through a pump boat-ride of about thirty minutes from Caramoran proper, and offers immaculately white sand beaches, unspoiled natural habitat, and is generally virginal yet because it has not been placed in the province’s tourism map as of the moment.

Mayor Cua vowed that she will push for the development of the island as a major tourist destination to boost tourism and help the town’s residents with better livelihood opportunities once she becomes mayor again.


CEBU PACIFIC ALLOWS PLANE TO FLY OVER STORM-HIT CATANDUANES: Even as I am now profusely thankful that Cebu Pacific managed to bring me and my wife, Angelina, to Virac, Catanduanes notwithstanding that it was already signal number 2 in the province last Friday, October 30, 2009, I hope it wouldn’t be as daring and bold next time as to allow its planes to still fly over areas already being buffeted by storms.

The fact is that it is not just its airplanes which are in danger of being destroyed, lost, or damaged, if they become unable to fly smoothly or land safely as a result of the rough weather.

What is more valuable and more important to consider, for Cebu Pacific (and for other airlines for that matter) are the lives of the passengers and of its own crew, for there is nothing on earth yet that has already been invented that could bring back a snuffed-out life, either because of a strong impact or heightened emotional pressure.


CEBU PACIFIC PASSENGERS GET THE SCARE OF THEIR LIVES: For the information of Cebu Pacific officials, my wife and I (and our co-passengers) had the scare of our lives as our twin-engine plane which could carry only about fifty passengers (including its captain and the crew) started descending towards Virac Airport at about 7:30 in the morning October 30, 2009.

While the weather was fine as we took off from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City an hour earlier despite news reports that storm signal number 2 was already raised by the weather bureau, strong winds and cloudy skies met us as we headed towards Virac.

Inside the plane, we got greatly alarmed as we felt its body was shaking, and it was literally swaying to-and-fro, giving all of us the realization that the pilot was finding it hard to control it because of the bad weather.


ONLY BY THE POWER OF GOD WAS THE PLANE ABLE TO LAND SAFELY: As we were notified that we were already landing, the swaying seemed to have increased all the more. The plane’s engine also seemed to be roaring more strongly, as if it was breathing heavily and with some difficulty.

When it finally touched down, the plane seemed to have skidded and I thought it was because of the wet and slippery runway, prompting me to tell my wife: “duck, duck down”, for fear that it will crash against to something.

By the grace and power of God, however, whose protection was already being invoked by all of the plane’s scared and agitated passengers, the aircraft managed to slowly careen to a halt, safe and sound, amidst the collective sigh of relief of those inside it.


CARRYING OF THE CROSS: All of Christendom are aware that before Jesus was crucified, His tormentors greatly increased His suffering by compelling Him to carry the cross with which He will be crucified.

This part of Jesus’ life is called “Carrying of the Cross” and it is now the fourth mystery in the “Sorrowful Mysteries” of the Holy Rosary of Roman Catholic Christians. An account of it could be found in all the Gospels: Matthew 27:31-35, Mark 15:20-22, Luke 23:28-31 and John19:17.

Again, the rendering of the event by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is relatively short and direct to the point.

What one sees is merely the act of the soldiers leading Jesus away from Pilate, ordering Him to carry the cross, and, along the way, compelling Simon from Cyrene to carry the cross, too.

In Luke, however, one notices the fact that while Jesus was carrying the cross, there were “a large number of people” following Him, including women who mourned and wailed for Him.

When Jesus saw the mourners, He told them not to mourn for Him but that they should mourn for themselves instead, for a time was coming to them when they will wish that they were not born at all, in view of the grievousness of their sin against Him.


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