Should have written this last Monday when I had given myself a whole day break and not during DevCom class yesterday. But ma’am’s lecture was boring, my throat was scratchy (completely unrelated but distracting all the same), and I felt restless.
Anyway. Last Sunday’s coverage was incredible. It was by far the biggest event I’ve ever covered and the most well-known. I honestly felt like part of the media that day. The media shirt and ID helped too.
My day began at around midnight when I woke up feeling anxious because I had fallen asleep when I promised myself not to. To make matters worse, I saw that my senior reporter had texted and PM-ed me on Facebook. Basically we had to meet at 3AM at the media lounge. I manged to get to the place at 3:30 and was worried that I was already late. Luckily (or not… depending on one’s patience) I was actually one of the first people there. I read a bit to pass the time, thank god for e-books.
Fast-forward to when we finally got to the pier at around 5-ish. The day was pretty cloudy but the sun still kind of tried to peek behind the ominous clouds. It took a while for the bangka (boat…canoe…thing), the one for the city government employees and for the media, to dock so we had to wait for a bit. Something happened before our boat arrived though. A man got stabbed on a boat (or a separate smaller island? not sure) and had to be carried from a canoe to the pier. It was intense. No wonder there was an ERUF guy there. I was wondering what he was doing at a pier that early in the morning.
Eventually, our ride came and, after a wobbly makeshift canoe ride to the boat, we were off. The waves kept beating us back though. My senior was terrified that we’d capsize while I, on the other hand, was terrified my stupid eyes would ruin things for me and let me suffer from nausea the rest of the day. The boat didn’t capsize and my eyes were fine even after the beatings so it was all good. I felt sort of bad for the swimmers though. I know that they knew the challenges and risks of joining the triathlon but the way the waves just kept coming at them made me feel exhausted just watching. And the swim course seemed to stretch on to forever too.
After the swim course eventually dwindled down to a handful of swimmers, we sped off to the turnaround point, the very tip of the island, Mangal. There wasn’t a proper pier so we actually had to stop literally at the side of the cliff and climb up slightly loose and sharp rocks to get back to the mainland. It was an adventure if anything else.
Things got pretty slow after that though. Sure the runners were fun to watch but after a while it got boring. I fell asleep – and drooled shamelessly… I hope no one noticed – a couple of times because of the weather and the dullness of it all.
When I woke up, there were only a handful of runners left so the mayor decided to go back to Shangri-La. We, my senior, a reporter from a different paper, and I, asked if we could hitch a ride with them. The mayor agreed. Now, I’d just like to point out that we honestly thought the ‘ride’ was going to be a bus of some sort. You know, because the host hotel was sort of nearby-ish.
Never did I thought we’d be riding a speedboat. It was a pretty fancy speedboat too what with its sleek design and powerful engine. We sped through the choppy waters like nobody’s business. It was like a thrill ride, to be honest. Except we had no helmets, seat belts, or any sort of safety harness so… it was almost better than any thrill ride. And we got sprayed with seawater every other minute. At some point, we were showered by a particularly large wave and off went anyone’s chances of staying at least half-dry. I’d have welcomed the assault of seawater if I still didn’t need to write an article and if I wasn’t on my period. As it was, I still had an article to write and I was on my period. Still a pretty cool experience.
When we finally docked at Shangri-la’s fancy pier, everyone was soaked. My senior said that I was pretty hardcore for staying so calm during the fast and furious ride. In truth, I was too busy fantasizing about stuff to really think about the actual possibilities of the speedboat toppling over and drowning us all.
Then we went to the media center and wrote our article. Compared to everywhere else, the media center was nice and quiet… and had wifi. My article was fairly easy to write since my source was pretty cool. After sending my story, I clocked out and went home. Not an easy feat, mind you, since the roads were clogged. That’s saying something since the roads in that particular area are usually pretty quiet, especially on a Sunday. By sheer luck and a lot of walking through clouds of dust and smoke, I got home safe and sound.
Overall, it was a pretty awesome day and I learned quite a lot from my first large-scale coverage. I didn’t get any pictures of the local celebrities who were there though, much to my sister and my mother’s annoyance, but that’s mostly because I couldn’t recognized anyone since all of the runners wore caps and sunglasses. I remember someone shouting out a name of a celeb but I’m not really sure who it was.
(Originally published on my Tumblr… because I’m a lazy piece of shit)