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Friday, January 6, 2012

Bagyong Sendong: Cagayan de Oro City

It's been a long while that I neglected my blogs. I will suffer if I will not update my Websites because it would mean less income to none. I was too focused on the devastating news about Cagayan de Oro City which was hit by Tropical Storm Washi (Bagyong Sendong) last December 16, 2011.

When I went home last year, my Aunt wanted to buy their rented house. She had no means to buy it and so; she asked my assistance. I can't say NO to my aunt after all, she is very close to me and I wanted her to be happy. The Landlord needed the money for medical purposes too so; we negotiated the amount. My aunt and her family can live the property without paying the rent for three years and if the Landlord cannot return the amount that I gave her, we will create another contract or finalize the property deeds. If that happens, the property will be given to my aunt in fact, in the contract my aunt and her daughter is the beneficiary of the property. I provide the financial assistance to augment their life situation. I was glad that for a year, they managed to stand on their feet and uplift their way of living. Until... Sendong came.

It was around 10PM on the night of Dec.16, 2011, I tried to check on them and there was no answer on the phone. I called my mom to calm her down because she was afraid of the storm. I told her it will be passing Cagayan de Oro soon. Everything seems normal and most of my friends in Cagayan de Oro were on Facebook and described the strong winds and hard rainfall. Then...all at once, all of them stopped updating their walls. I thought they were sleeping.

My friends in the US are the ones in panic and updated their FB walls about the rising water of Cagayan de Oro river. I called my mom again to check the news but, I awakened her. Everything seems fine with her and she told me, there's no electricity. I called my brother in Surigao and asked about his family in Carmen (a flood zone) area but, he said they are alright. I called my aunt and my cousins but, there was no answer....I waited and I prayed hard.

Around 4AM, I was relieved to read a text message from my cousin informing they are all safe. When the water subsided in the morning, they were hungry, in a daze, muddy, cold and wet. My cousin and his family in NHA were the first relatives who check on them. My mama asked them to check the situation of my Aunt and her family. They bought food and gave them money. My aunt can't go back to their place. The mud was too high to tackle. They were tired and they haven't sleep since the night before. The house is still there but, everything inside was totaled!

They are currently living with my Mama and everyone is alive and safe. Material things maybe gone but, we do not worry about it. We handle the situation in a day to day basis. What matter most right now is that all of them are spared from a life threatening situation. And we are so grateful and thankful to God for that.

Read: Sendong Survivor Story

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