Sira-sira store: Shaken by the Earth-A A +A
By Ober Khok
Friday, October 18, 2013
OCT. 15 woke up to a bright, sunny morning but its footing slipped as the earth rumbled and shook with violence.
Earthquake! The concrete floor of the house registered ripples of movement that came from Earth’s womb. The pillars made a sound like that of a blender and the cabinets swayed from side to side as when a bartender jiggles a cocktail shaker.
Families rushed out of their caves in sheer panic, followed by their screams and cries of help; some forgot to wear slippers; others dashed out with only a wet towel wrapped around them as though they just came from a shower; and others still had the traces of sleep and were only awakened by the nightmare in daylight.
No one was prepared. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology says there is no technology yet that would predict an earthquake. Maybe the person who will invent that gadget will create a new Nobel prize, this time for Life-saving Inventions.
Many people who were blessed with wisdom immediately said that this was not how the world would end.
In the midst of feasting and marrying, the end of the world would strike like a deadly knife slicing ham. The Lord would come with the twinkling of an eye, and this time the world would not end by flood of “Noahic” proportions, but by fire. That’s in the future. Right now, people are hungry and thirsty.
Within seconds of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake, whose epicenter was located in Carmen, Bohol, many parts of Cebu and most of Bohol lay in rubbles. Some streets in Bohol looked like broken up Graham crackers. Many churches in Cebu and Bohol, all considered cultural heritages, came down in a split second. Bell towers were crushed like cookies.
What can Sira-Sira Store offer today but maybe a bit of humor in the midst of sadness, a word of cheer in the heart of darkness, a note of comfort in the middle of inconvenience and a cup of coffee to warm the stomach.
Who is really prepared to face disaster? Even Japan, the most earthquake savvy nation in the world, bowed down to an earthquake on March 11, 2011 when a 9.0 magnitude giant hit the archipelago. The country rose again and so will anyone who falls in the hands of a calamity.
Pain awaits those who have lost lives and properties. And those who watch at the sidelines—people who came out free of scratch and loss—just have to move in with hands offering water and food; with lips full of prayers and maybe a funny story that would bolster hope; and with minds planning on how to educate people about disasters and how to preserve lives.
Sira-Sira Store closes its business today for some important errand. See you next week and I hope it will be bright, cloudless day with not a single tremble from the earth’s womb.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 19, 2013.