My first earthquake experience

Last Friday I had my first earthquake experience! It was scary! Living in the Philippines, I knew that day would eventually come when the earth will start to shake. The Philippines is after all located in the Pacific Ring of Fire that causes the most earthquakes in the world.

We were in Cebu City for the weekend and had just checked in in one of our favourite hotels. We were chilling out in our room, in the sixth floor, when suddenly I felt the whole room shake really subtle. In the hotel lobby was a notice of an ongoing renovation, so I automatically thought the shaking must be caused by some drilling or hammering. How wrong I was!

The shaking continued and it was Arthur’s reaction that made me realise: This is an earthquake! Arthur has a life long experience with earthquakes, so of course he knew right away what was going on and what was needed to be done–and that was to leave the building! This just highlights how ill-prepared I am for earthquakes…

Anyway, I instinctively followed Arthur, who by now was preparing to get out of the room. But by the time we got to the door, the shaking stopped. I thought it was only me, but Arthur too confirmed that he was feeling dizzy. Like being seasick.

I have never experienced anything like this before. It came out of nowhere. Luckily the 3 seconds or so weren’t strong enough to cause any panic at the hotel.

Nothing bad happened. Not even the lamp on the table fall down. It was just a slight little shake. I can only imagine how terrifying the 2013 earthquake in Bohol Island must have been.

It was an experience I will hopefully not have to go through again.

Cebu City - Life In The Philippines
Cebu City


  1. Hi Amanda,
    The constructions here in the Philippines vary from strong concrete buildings to poorly built shanties (using recycled or scavenged materials such as tarps, GI sheets, plastic sheets).

    Luckily this specific quake was so mild, it didn’t cause any damage at all (not to my knowledge). But the earthquake history of the Philippines is, sadly, prolific; some of them very destructive. It does’t help that there are many active volcanoes too. I get to see one on the horizon during sunset where I live.

    People here are so used to earthquakes, and what amazes me the most, is the positive way of thinking–that life has to go on. After an earthquake or natural disasters (typhoons for example), people seem to be concentrating on the positive things. They are happy to have survived, that’s all that counts. Everything else can be rebuilt. Sometimes I wish people, including me, in my home country Finland would be as positive thinkers as many Filipinos.

    We’ve never been to Nepal but heard so many interesting things about it. If ever we begin to think seriously about going there, we now know which blog to go to or which ebook to buy even. Thanks for your link about Nepal.

  2. How is the construction in the Philippines? I was here in Nepal a couple years ago when we had a fairly big one, but fortunately for me Sikkim, Delhi and Islamabad took most of the pressure. I was in Thamel, Kathmandu-not a good place to be. So I moved to higher ground where the earth is a bit firmer. Now I have a guest house built to withstand a cat. 9 earthquake.

    Nepal is an amazing place. Check out my blog for some practical info on Nepal. It’s just a wonderful holiday destination or do like I did and make it your home.

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