It was a relatively peaceful and normal vacation for Webster City native Mark Glascock. He soaked in the heat of the tropics, the refreshing ocean water and the experiences of being in a new country.
Little did he know that a massive Typhoon was sweeping over a large portion of the rest of the country.
Having planned the trip with friend and Webster City class of 1980 graduate Mitch Lamb since spring, Glascock left for the Philippines on Nov. 5. After a 13 hour flight, they arrived in the city of Manila. They were to take a trip south to Sabo by boat, but it was cancelled.
Mark Glascock, left, and friend and fellow Webster City native Mitch Lamb board an oceanjet cruiser headed to the Bohol province of the Philippines. While left at one point without power, Glascock said they had no idea of the devastation that Typhoon Haiyan brought to parts of the nation until returning home.
"They just told us it was a storm, so we didn't know any more than that," Glascock said. "We had no clue."
The next day, the friends flew to Sabo and then took a two hour boat trip to the Bohol province where they met up with Bruce Leytham. Glascock said Leytham, also from Webster City, retired from the army and married a woman who lives in the Philippines. Leytham and his wife opened a resort in Bohol right on the beach. Glascock said he was happy to visit his friend and the place where he's trying to make a living.
"It's right on the beach. Hot, tropical air, nice water, it was a beautiful area," Glascock said.
Much of his trip was relaxing, taking in the local sights and foods, and enjoying the beach. However, a power outage struck early in their trip. Leytham hooked up his karaoke machine to a power generator to help visitors pass the time at night.
When Glascock returned home on Nov. 15, he was surprised to learn of the destruction that Typhoon Haiyan brought to other parts of the county.
"I got home and it turns out everyone was worrying about me," Glascock said. "I really appreciate everyone's concern and how they've welcomed me back."
While it took him a while to catch up on sleep, Glascock said it was good to be home. The vacation was his first foray overseas. As close to danger as he was, Glascock said he hopes to continue his travels in the future.
"I've already got my passport, and it might be a while before I travel again, but never say never, right?" Glascock said.