Using prayers to cope with the earthquake-A A +A
Thursday, October 17, 2013
“I THOUGHT it was the end of the world,” said 56-year-old candle vendor Leonisa Lacio in Cebuano.
Lacio saw the two buildings in front of the Basilica del Sto. Niño sway side to side when the 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck Cebu and Bohol last Tuesday morning.
“Sus, hapit ko nalipong oi. Kung naa pay trabaho, daghan gyud nangamatay (I almost got dizzy. Good thing it was a holiday or many people would’ve died),” said Lacio, who has been selling candles in the church vicinity for the last 30 years.
Fearing the world was coming to an end, Lacio said she asked the Sto. Niño for forgiveness.
Corazon Cuyos, a flower vendor, saw the basilica’s belfry collapse within seconds.
The 38-year-old said she hid in a nearby building while other flower vendors ran to an open space.
Gina Rosada, also a candle vendor, said smoke was coming out of the belfry right before it collapsed.
She also said debris from the church wall began to chip away as soon as the tremors started.
“I just prayed to the Sto. Niño to stop the earthquake, but the rumbling noise from inside the ground wouldn’t stop,” she said in Cebuano.
She said she, too, thought it was the end of the world.
She lost her appetite and that she immediately went home to check on her family.
Although the tremor barely lasted 30 seconds, the public had to contend with aftershocks throughout the rest of the day, forcing some families to take to the streets.
Out in the open
Hazel Joy Celestial and her family set up a makeshift bed on the road in Barangay Apas, Cebu City last Tuesday night.
“Nagsinardinas ming tanan (There were a lot of us in the bed),” said the 25-year-old teacher.
Even if she barely slept a wink, she was glad her family escaped unscathed.
She said she fought her fear with prayers and by thinking she was not alone because “God was protecting her.”
Shalaine Lucero, protective services unit head of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 7, said every person has his own way of dealing with fear.
Those who can’t cope should seek the help of a psychiatrist or a counselor.
As to the families of casualties in Cebu and Bohol, Lucero said they should undergo stress debriefing.
She said some DSWD 7 personnel are in Bohol to deliver food and other goods to victims.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 17, 2013.