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Tuesday, October 1, 2013
THERE'S no place like home,” so goes a line from the song, "Home, Sweet Home," from American actor and dramatist John Howard Payne's 1823 opera “Clari, or the Maid of Milan.”
No wonder the 13 families from Zamboanga City who sought refuge in an apartment on Tres de Abril St. in Barangay Punta Princesa, Cebu City yearned to go home after authorities declared the war in their city is over.
But secessionist Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels under Nur Misuari torched thousands of houses during the siege in the city.
Do these refugees still have homes to return to?
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said the city government will shoulder the refugees’ fare back to Zamboanga City. But he wants to make sure it’s safe for them to return.
Esther Concha, head of the city’s Department of Social Welfare and Services, said the families can go as soon as her office gets the go-signal from Zamboanga City.
A total of 55 individuals, including 33 adults and 22 children, fled the city for
their safety to Cebu City.
They came from Barangay Talon-talon, one of five ghost towns in Zamboanga City.
The 13 families have been staying with Sarah Mae Basillo. They stay with each other because they are all relatives even if some of them have been sleeping in the vehicles they arrived in, Punta Princesa Barangay Captain Jose Navarro said.
They can call Cebu City a home away from home.
By the way, the song where a line says, “Don’t you go, don’t you go to far Zamboanga,” is not a warning on the MNLF attack.
It was written by Juan Cuadrado Sr., a Spaniard who stayed in Zamboanga after Spanish troops left the country and later married a Zamboangueña with whom he bore several children.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 02, 2013.