by Junelie Anthony Velonta | Feature Writer
When a Sillimanian says she is from Tacloban, the course of the conversation would usually lead to explaining which one in her family used to be a Sillimanian or how she got to know of Silliman. No one really asks how she feels about being away from the family or how tiring the travel is.
Last week, I got to visit my mother’s childhood home in the outskirts of Tacloban. With that, I got to experience what Sillimanians from Tacloban go through, from packing to travelling.
I will put emphasis on the traveling aspect of it all. Also, I have to say I give Sillimanians from Leyte and Samar so much respect for all the traveling they have to go through just to get to Silliman.
Let me break it down from my personal experience.
From Tacloban, I had to travel two to three hours to Ormoc City. People usually travel by van which we call V-hire here in Dumaguete. The road to Ormoc has so many curves that you cannot see an incoming vehicle from the distance. When you get to Ormoc, you will need to cross to Cebu City. The defining moment is when you choose which sea craft to ride on. If you choose the barge, which is the more affordable option, you will have to wait until 11 p.m. because that is when they start boarding people. You will arrive Cebu City around past 5 a.m. That is a lot of wait, but you will just have to sleep it off to pass the time. But if you choose to ride on a fast craft, which is at least three times more expensive, then you will be in Cebu after two to three hours.
The route from Cebu to Dumaguete is more familiar to us Negros folks. Five to six hours ride on Ceres and around 15 minutes to 45 minutes crossing from Cebu to Negros. It depends on which city or town you choose to leave from and land on.
That was just an extremely brief summary. The travel is so much more exhausting than what I can put to words.
The moment I had to leave, I told myself not to cry because I would see my family eventually in the future. But just the thought of being apart from them really shattered my heart. As I said my farewell, I felt tears stream down my face. I kissed everyone goodbye and continued weeping as I rode on the jeepney to the van terminal. People looked at me funny for speaking a different language while crying tremendously.
I imagined Sillimanians having to go through this horrible feeling all the time and it hurt. This goes to show how much students have to sacrifice just to study in Silliman.
Not only from Tacloban but students that live away from Dumaguete City are admirable as well. Students from within the city should never take the privilege of living near the school very lightly because others have to go through heartbreaks just to get here.