Sunday, December 18, 2011


Very unexpected...

Last night, tragedy struck at Cagayan de Oro. All roads were flooded. Many people lost their lives. Several people were wounded. Some were missing. Many properties were damaged. Many of my Muslim brethren rushed towards Balulang to pick up their loved ones. 

It was eight days before Christmas and it was the worse Christmas ever. Many people died, several suffered. It was a totally unexpected situation impossible to be forgotten.

It all started last night at 12:30 pm. There was a blackout, so mama went out of the master's bedroom where my sister and I were also sleeping. We were supposed to go to a wedding in Bukidnon in the early morning. Mama went out to unplug the rechargeable flashlights, when suddenly, mama felt something wet on the floor and when she turned on the flashlight, it happened.  

Mama rushed into the bedroom and told us to get out of the room, and when I got up from the folding bed, the water went up to our ankles. We rushed everywhere inside the house to get important stuff. We cannot open the front door so we went through the kitchen door. There was full of flood water outside, so we pushed the door harder, and when we got out, the water was up to our waists. We rushed ourselves to the front and climbed onto the concrete corral, then we slowly went to the leftmost side of the house and slowly climbed onto the roof, where sat there for two hours. The neighbors went out of their houses as well and went up to the roof; some went to the top floor of their houses or other neighbor's houses. It was worse than the Great Flood. When the water slowly drained, mama went down to pick up stuff that was saved like cellphones, laptops, and dry clothing.

At 3:00 am, when it was safe to climb down, we went to Angie's house at the corner, we gathered at the second floor of the house, where I slept until we went out like at 7:00 am.

We went back to the house on that morning; it was full of mud inside and out. Although some of our things were stable, like our divider, cabinets, closet, even the gift that we were supposed to give during the wedding, most of our stuff was very flooded; some of our clothes were also wet. When I got into our bedroom, the double-deck bed went down due to the current, and so were the stuff on top of it: our notebooks, books, handouts, and other important school stuff, even the Qur'an. When I saw my copies of TheCrusader, I felt as if it was a sign, and the exit interview for extended on-probation (OP) people is on Monday. I felt that I was going to be kicked out of TheCrusader. I was freaking out from the inside. I felt like I wanted to scream. I felt like shooting myself in the head.

Later on, we picked up what was saved and put it outside while we scraped the mud out of the house and home. It was a very tiring job. There was lots of mud from everywhere. Sometimes I had to rest when I get tired from the job. Later that noon, mama told us to pack some things because we were going to leave to find a temporary place to stay, but it was not that easy. When we walk to the terminal, everything was different. The streets were paved with mud so sticky, it could break a slipper, so I we had to walk barefoot until we reached a concrete road. While we walked on the muddy street, I saw the walls of my old school damaged from the currents. What we saw at the concrete road was worse. We saw trees that fell on the road, people walking away to safety, and stuff lying on the roadside. We took a motorela, but we only made it to Balongis, where conditions were very bad. There were electric posts that fell and many people walking under the hot sun. We kept walking and walking until Tito Omar and Auntie Eming arrived with their car. Apparently, they went to the city to find construction supplies. As we went into Macanhan, many cars were there. There were even many Maranaos who came all the way from Lanao to pick up their relatives. A waiting shed was torn down by the storm. Cement corrals of houses were torn down as well. 

We went all over the city to find a place to stay, but wherever we went, any hotel, inn, and pension house, they always go fully-booked because flood victims from Balulang already booked a room. Some hotels don't even have water or electricity. While we were on the road, I saw people filling up a funeral chapel, where many bodies were laid in state. Because many hotels were fully-booked, we decided to stay at Tita Joji's house in Patag for the night. They had another house beside for us to stay while our house is being cleaned. We were set to leave to Manila two days before Christmas and we are still not cancelling it.

Sometimes, we just wonder why it happens to us. Some of us may even blame on God for this, but personally, I don't. I believe that everything that happens to us may be based on our choices or other people's choices without knowing its effects on others. In this time, we may never know what is going to happen to us. We only hope for the best.

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