Quake survivors to perform old rites on New Year’s Eve

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

BALILIHAN, BOHOL—Alie Beloy in the past always shook 24 one-peso coins inside her pocket when the clock struck midnight, marking New Year’s Day.

“Nakuha na nako gikan sa akong Mama (I got this practice from my mother),” said the 38-year-old basket weaver. “Ingon siya para di kaajo magkalisod-lisod og taman-taman (She told me it was a way to lessen hardships).”

Tonight, on New Year’s Eve, the mother of two children, aged 12 and 11, will repeat her “palihi” again. This time, her practice will be coupled with a prayer.

“I-ampo lang ta sa Ginoo hatagan mig maajong lawas (I will pray to God to give my family good health),” she said. “Wa na tay linog nga sama ato kakusog (I hope there will no more quake that strong).”

The tremor she was referring to was the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that shook the province and damaged her house, which is surrounded by hills and tall trees, in Purok 5 Saging, Barangay Baucan Norte.

The concrete walls in the room and in the front portion of the house collapsed. The newly-installed tiles were damaged.

Beloy said she repaired her house since 2007 through loans amounting to over P30,000.

The tiles were placed on the floor just last year.

She said she already paid her debt, including the interests.

Beloy and her husband Lino, 40, are not yet planning to loan money again to repair their house.

“Wala pa mi kaajo kay sige pag linog (We have not repaired our house because there are still aftershocks),” she said. “Wa pa say kwarta (We still don’t have enough money).”

Aside from weaving baskets, her husband works as a construction worker.

Last Sunday afternoon, Beloy experienced the magnitude 4.3 earthquake that hit Bohol again. She said she did not panic that time.

“Naanad na mi (We are used to it),” she said.

She said their New Year’s celebration is simple. No explosion of firecrackers in her neighborhood.

Her nearest neighbors are her sister and mother. They just turn up the volume of their stereo while feasting on their Media Noche.

After shaking the coins in her pocket, Beloy said she will place them inside a piggy bank.

She hopes the money she will save would be enough to fix some portions of their house next year.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 31, 2013.

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