It was not a concert, but many people sat around the amphitheater at Bonifacio High Street. After the earth tremors that occurred at 5:11pm on April 22 and affected Fort Bonifacio, many people went out of their offices into open spaces, in case there were aftershocks. Luckily, there was no aftershock in Fort Bonifacio.

Many of us have experienced tremors that felt like having a heavy truck drove next to us on a bridge. Like one that occured in BGC about two years ago.  But the earthquake on April 22 was unmistakable. We could feel our body swayed by a couple of centimeters several times during a period that felt like a very long time. It was very frightening.

After the tremors stopped, we debated whether we should go downstairs, or stay at where we were. We stayed for about 15 minutes, and when we looked out of the window and saw many people on the street, we went down and out of the building. It is always a tough call in an earthquake whether one should go out of the building or not. It is weighing the likelihood that the building will collapse, against the danger of being hit by falling debris on the street.

We saw people standing everywhere on the street.Workers from a high rise building construction site gathered outside the building, which we thought might not be the safest place to be during an earthquake. Later, we learned that some construction workers were taken to St. Luke’s Medical Center nearby.

The same with residential buildings. Some buildings asked their residents to go out of the building.

Some buildings, like the Net Lima and Net Park buildings, had initiated their emergency evacuation plan. and set up a command center outside the buildings to check on the evacuation status.

They even had a first aid booth, and we saw someone who seemed to be quite shaken. 

Many people sat on the steps at the Amphitheater in Bonifacio High Street, near Central Square. They did not seem to be following anybody’s command, but also did not seem lost. Maybe they already participated in previous earthquake drills held in Fort Bonifacio.

Since there was no more tremor, nobody appeared to be too tense. Soon, everyone resumed their routine on a Monday afternoon and went home.

Since the earthquake did not cause a lot of damage, it may soon be forgotten. But maybe we should remember those tense few minutes as a remainder to us to be prepared always for something that could be much worse.

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