Aftershocks continue to scare-A A +A
Monday, October 21, 2013
CLARIN, Bohol – His family still believes he’s still alive and just wandering around. But Roger Tagsip, of Purok Dos, Barangay Villafor remained among the persons still unaccounted for after last week’s earthquake.
His father, Domingo, 54, believes his 17-year-old son was just wandering in their neighborhood.
“My son is still alive in my mind,” said Domingo, a carpenter. “I’m not nervous. He did not come into my dream.”
He said he and his wife, Lita, are still waiting for his return. But it has been five days since their son’s disappearance.
A team from the 6th Special Forces Company of the Philippine Army, Wilderness Search and Rescue from Manila, and Philippine Coast Guard continued the search yesterday. They used a backhoe and two rescue dogs.
Team leader Staff Sgt. Edgar Junio said they have been trying to locate Roger for three days.
They won’t stop unless the family and Clarin Mayor Allen Rey Piezas tell them to call off the operation.
But Domingo said they wanted to see their son.
“We’d like to retrieve his body, assuming he is dead,” he said.
“Kon dili na makita, wan-a gyod na. Magpamisa na lang mi didto sa lugar (There’s nothing I can do if he is gone. I would like to offer mass).”
Junio said they had already stopped their retrieval operation at 3 p.m. yesterday.
Roger had gone to to the river to fetch water when the earth shook last Tuesday. His cousins Joseph Polinar, 24, and Maria Grace Polinar, 20, were also buried alive with him there.
The Polinars were unearthed by a team last Friday afternoon.
Villaflor is one of the 24 barangays in Clarin affected by the magnitude 7.2 earthquake.
Three casualties were also reported in Barangay Bonbon.
Mayor Piezas said they are still reeling from the aftershocks and residents are afraid to sleep in their houses at night.
Tents were put up by families in their front yards, he said.
“I cannot say we are already recovering from the quake,” said Piezas.
As of yesterday, he said there have 2,874 households in 13 barangays affected by the quake. The town has 20,296 people.
Piezas did not give an estimate on the extent of damage because they are still collecting data from other barangays.
Inspectors saw cracks on roads and bridges, but these were passable.
He said they are also assessing the school buildings, municipal halls and other government offices.
There were at least nine aftershocks felt in Clarin as of 8:34 p.m. yesterday. The first one was felt past 4 a.m., said resident Ariel Carmona.
“People were running outside,” he said.
The town is a fifth-class municipality and is located in the western coast of Bohol. Its main livelihood is fishing and farming.
It is harvest time this month for farmers.
Farmer Rico Tayong, 38, said he and his friends started to harvest rice last Oct. 10.
He stopped working in the farms after the earthquake five days later. He did not work for three days.
During this period, his family was able to cook and eat rice by bartering with their neighbors.
Mayor Piezas said relief goods and medicines were coming to the municipality from private companies, non-government organizations and national agencies.
Three bikers from Cebu distributed medicine in Barangay Nahawan. They were Allan Saballa, Nestor Cababahay and Charlo Salimbagat.
Saballa said their group considered Bohol as their “playground” because of its scenic beauty and heritage churches.
Among their recipients were twin brothers Ken Jhon and Ben Jhon Sanchez, five months.
Their mother, Joy, 35, said her kids caught fever for they have been sleeping outside their house for four days now. The twins were placed on a foam bed in the waiting shed in Nahawan.
“I hope the tremors will stop so we can return home,” she said.
Mayor Piezas also declared that there will be no classes in all levels in Clarin today. He will only lift his order if there is no more aftershock.
He further said he will extend financial aid to the families of the casualties.
Fe Polinar, mother of Maria Grace and Joseph, said she always kissed the uniforms of her two children.
Maria Grace is a graduating computer science major, while Joseph is on his second year in a hosteling course.
Fe said she would not believe his children were already gone.
“I always think they are still in school,” she said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 21, 2013.