It is my desire to visit ridges down to the reefs but I’ll never forget that one trip when I thought my life is done. I swam towards the middle of the sea with only my swimming googles while the other tourists had complete gears. I somehow wanted to show them that I can swim well. I was confident that the Tawi-Tawi seas prepared me for this. I was already in the middle of the sea when my legs started to feel pain. I was swimming against the current and was smashing waves. I can’t breathe properly and I was too far from anyone. The nearest was a parked boat which is several meters away. I started to swim, so hard, to that direction and started recalling all my regrets and worries in life. What if I die here? Will my family retrieve my body? I prayed to Allah to grant that prayer if everything failed. Allah didn’t fail me. He let me reach the boat. I rejoiced and just embraced the sides of the boat and rested there for 20 minutes.

- Dianne Kathryn Datu

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