After having been traumatized by the earthquake that shook Bohol and Cebu notwithstanding the series of aftershocks that we still experience from time to time, another natural calamity brought devastation to the Visayas Region. Super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda its local name) had its land fall and storm surge in other areas last November 8, 2013 and among the landfall areas were Tacloban, Leyte, Samar Provinces, Northern part of Cebu and Central Visayas. The areas of landfall have been through many typhoon experiences in the past as they are the usual routes of many typhoons in the years gone by. People were informed of its severity of about 250 km/hour of maximum sustained winds. True enough, people prepared for it and have been hopeful that it wouldn’t cause too much destruction. But Yolanda reached hurricane category number 5 and turned into a 305 km/hr howler which undoubtedly became an extremely catastrophic super typhoon. In fact it has been regarded as the most powerful of all super typhoons for the year 2013 and it was even also dubbed as one of the strongest in the world.
I am from the northern tip of Bantayan Island particularly in Madridejos but since work is thriving here in Cebu City, I’ve been already here for quite a number of years already. But still, I never fail to pay a visit to my hometown every year. Upon hearing that Northern Cebu is part of the major landfall area, I suddenly thought of the paradise where most of my growing years were spent and most of the fondest memories were made. I was resting well in our abode here in the city as the storm experience here in Cebu was just bearable. I thanked God my family here in the city is kept under the mantle of God’s protection and He has given us enough supply of food to eat and water drink during the storm surge.
But deep down inside my heart, I was also raging in desperation as I thought about my loved ones in Madridejos and all the other parts of the country that were greatly affected by Yolanda. It was even harder because electrical power were not functional at that time. We haven’t heard any radio broadcast and haven’t watched television news for 2 days after the storm surge. No possible means of communications are available to contact loved ones to check for updates on what their situation is. As each new day begins to unravel, the cry of desperation and hope remains bright because I am hopeful that God has them in His sight and has kept them under His care. His ears are inclined to their cries and moans. All I did was to intercede and say a prayer for the hungry, thirsty, needy, homeless and the many who lost their loved ones and those who are desperately hoping to still find the missing ones.
When electricity was back and updates have been already available, my heart continues to weep and the weight of the havoc it caused to my countrymen really gave a heavy burden in my heart. Right now many people are left homeless with houses that seemed like remnants from war zones. Schools were in havoc too and classes are still suspended. Many are gripped in hunger and thirst with the desperate need of man’s basic need such as food and water coupled with the risk of getting oneself sick. What hope is left? Is there any?
This is now what’s left in my hometown. School facilities were in havoc and classes are still suspended. The egg industry which is one of the bread and butter of this town was also greatly affected. Many are left homeless and hungry but we are not hopeless at all. Through it all we remain hopeful that we can rebuild Madridejos Cebu once again and we will rise once more from this adversity. This too shall pass.
Well, it suddenly dawned on me that Cebu City and the rest of the unaffected places were once again spared from the worst and it is for a cause. We are no better than those who were tremendously affected as some may think that it is so. But we are definitely spared from Yolanda’s devastation so that we will stand in the gap, give help in our own little ways or even in bigger ways so that we can better take care of those who felt that no hope is left for their traumatic experience. I am glad that many people from all walks of life and many nations from around the globe were responsive for the groans of the many. If many countries are expressing their help, why can’t we? Let’s continue to do concerted efforts in helping the affected areas to get on their feet once again. We are spared for a cause. May it would be a worthy cause at all. The fact that we are spared, may it be reason enough for us to act upon. If you ask, when? Well, the best time is NOW.