September 2014, the 30th to be exact, was when I first stepped on the beautiful island of Bohol. Thanks to my first geohazard assessment and mapping assignment slash first out-of-uni fieldwork.
As mentioned, the purpose of me being in that place was to work so that was the priority and then my tourist self came in the later part of my team’s stay there. With that, I’m sharing a bit about my experience as a geologist assessing the place for its flood and landslide susceptibility.
To start, let me clarify that my team was assigned 2 municipalities with a total of 64 barangays and that we were 5 people, 4 geologists and 1 geologic aide, in my team. In addition, I was the only newbie there. The month-long experience was really refreshing and eye-opening.
Every day, until we’ve covered all the municipalities, each of us were assigned to assess a number of barangays so we work by ourselves during the day then consult at night and during breaks. The 2 municipalities assigned to the team are both in the Northeastern part of Bohol, with its geology partly comprised by the Ubay Volcanics and other rock sequences. Both are mostly flat and low-lying while one of which is a coastal municipality. Since I was the youngest in the team, I only got to be assigned in areas nearest to to the center of the municipalities but I was still able to see how life is for the natives. I was also able to interact with them and experience even a small portion of their daily lives – transportation, food, hospitality. In addition, I must stay that for me, who wasn’t used to the activity as I was, it was really difficult and nerve-wracking even though we had enough lectures about assessment and susceptibility mapping. After days of going around all the sitios of all included barangays, our work wasn’t done yet.
For the rest of the month, we had to make various reports for each municipality, make our raw map and do all other necessary stuff. As for my part in the report, which took me days to write, it felt terrifying. Of course, I trust that I had enough knowledge and examples on it but there was always that “what if” thinking. I guess, that was part of it and there’s always the team leader and the seniors to consult with and to check. In the end, it felt nice to be able to have a part in the report, which happened to be my first one for the bureau.
Now onto my reasons to travel back to Bohol (not that my first visit was ugly) aside from it being part of the job:
These photos were from my and my teammates’ cameras so I’m not taking all the credit. Going back to the real point of this whole thing – reasons.
First, I thought that these shots showed how awesome the tourist part of the experience was such that these are enough reasons to go back.
Second, my sentimental self feels the need to travel back, now that I can if I wanted to.
Third, I wasn’t able to visit all of Bohol. There are various geologic, cultural, heritage, and natural treasures in the island. You name it and it’s there.
Fourth, I wasn’t ready to face the challenging activities offered during my stay there. Thus, I must return to be able to try them out and face whatever fears I have.
Fifth, I think I could cross out a number on my bucket list if I go back.
Sixth, I have yet to experience swimming in the waters of Bohol.
Lastly, I don’t think one can ever get enough of Bohol. One visit is never enough.