Dream: The big one

I dreamt I was in a UP campus and it had older buildings built in the early 1900s on top of huge boulders. These buildings looked much like the buildings of UP Diliman but were made entirely of polished stone.

The stairs in the older buildings were always uneven; sometimes, a step would be too far from the next and would be too small to fit even a child's foot. Sometimes, the handrail had disintegrated so you had only wobbly balustrades, if not their exposed steel bars, to help you.

I was working my way down from the fourth floor when I felt the earthquake. It started as a smooth and consistent shaking, and I propped my hands on a wall to avoid getting dizzy. Then the shaking picked up strength, and I just knew it was "the big one."

I ran out, then stopped to pray and plan what to do and where to go and how to contact family. I looked up and saw that behind me the facade of the newer buildings had already started crumbling. I turned my head -- then realized that the campus being on top of a hill, I had a good view of its surroundings -- and saw black clouds swirling in the air, turning into a tornado.

This will pass, I told myself, as I slowly walked through falling debris and saw cracks appearing on the walls of every building I passed. I kept walking until I found my feet on top of solid rock.

The earth stopped shaking. The buildings creaked and continued crumbling. I chose one that was closest to the boulder: the geological sciences department building.

I found a room and forced its door open -- only to find a group of South Asian male scientists trying to enter the same room from the other side because it was the room with the best bathroom on the floor.

Even as the scientists pushed past me to use the bathroom, that room became my base for the next couple of days. I shared it with others, mostly female UP dormers, because they had supplies.

Occasionally, we would overhear the scientists discuss how beautiful Filipinas were because of our long history of foreign occupation.