I recently went on a trip to the Philippines with my family for Christmas. I was so excited to see my family who lives in the Philippines and to buy things for myself. During this trip, my family was supposed to go to Boracay, an island that is a very famous vacation spot. However, mine and other people’s vacation to Boracay didn’t go as expected. There was a typhoon that prevented boats from traveling to the island. This was extremely stressful for everyone since all of us were now stranded somewhere in the Philippines and had to find a place to stay. The hotels were all full because everyone was stuck there. Luckily, my family was able to find a safe place to stay at an inn. 

We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at the inn. As the typhoon passed by, you could hear the strong winds and heavy rain. You could see some people’s roofs had been blown away and trees that had been uprooted. We didn’t have running water and electricity for a short time. We were lucky we had bought some food before the typhoon passed by.

When it ended, we did go back to the place where we were able to take a boat to Boracay. We had already paid for it so why not stay there? There were so many people trying to get to the island. It was extremely disorganized and everyone was pushing to try to get in.

When we got to the island, you could see such a divide. There were the people there for a vacation and the people who lived there. 

It really was an intense experience to spend Christmas at an inn with no running water or electricity. However, some people actually lived without those things. For so many years, I never noticed how lucky I am to be living in Canada and that my parents have good jobs to support our family. This experience reminded me not to take what I have for granted and to be more thankful for everything I have. 

Klarrenz is currently a Bachelor of Music/Bachelor of Education student at the University of Alberta who plays the piano and the trumpet. She looks forward to becoming a music teacher and would like to teach at universities in the future. Besides music, she also likes to watch movies and spend time with her family, friends, and wonderful boyfriend. To describe her in a few words: determined, funny, kind, sarcastic, and unsurprisingly, musical.