Heart-rending-A A +A
Thursday, October 24, 2013
THE 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the Visayas last Oct. 15 was not only totally unexpected but also costly in terms of physical, material and psychological damage.
The strong tremor caused almost 200 fatalities and devastation of private buildings, public infrastructures, and centuries-old churches in Bohol and Cebu. The destruction of these ancient houses of worships also inflicted psychological damage to millions of devotees.
The calamity demonstrated the utter fragility and uncertainty of human life on this planet. TV and video footages show heart-rending scenes that vividly portray the depth of human pain and suffering.
A grandmother with three grandchildren were buried alive beneath the rubble of their house in one of the towns in Bohol.
Almost 18 patients, perhaps some of them already recuperating, were crushed to their death when the hospital collapsed.
A mother was seized by indescribable grief upon learning that his children disappeared in the bowels of the earth, never to be seen again.
Two brothers were seen praying with forlorn hope above the rubble of a church in
Loon, Bohol where their father was believed to be buried alive.
There are cores of other poignant scenes in Bohol after that catastrophic earthquake which the human heart can sympathize but which the human mind can hardly comprehend.
Some charlatans say that the destruction of the centuries-old churches in Bohol was a wake-up call for all of us or that God has sent a message.
They ignored the fact that these churches were built centuries ago in coral stones with no steel bars and solid concrete to withstand strong earthquakes.
Some religious fanatics say that the deaths and devastation were a punishment on the sinners by the Almighty. Pray then, what logic is there to see small innocent and helpless children being punished by crushing them to their undeserved deaths?
I cannot believe in a cruel deity but only in a God that is all loving, merciful and compassionate.
Whatever it is, we deeply share the anguish and suffering of our brother Boholanos and Cebuanos in this time of crisis.
The outpouring of sympathy and mobilization of relief operations demonstrate our common humanity and our awareness to our vulnerability to nature’s fury.
Above all, the tragedy reminds us of our collective sense of mortality.--Democrito C. Barcenas
As if the surrounding rubble and the agonizing effects of the monster earthquake that hit Bohol were not enough for the afflicted who have learned to trust their lives and that of their loves ones to the Lord, now comes an equally monstrous and devastating acts of unscrupulousness that attacks the very core of humanity’s heart with their exploitative behavior in times of distress.
I am talking about the corrupt and heartless among our people who took advantage of the tragic event when the victims were in their most vulnerable state, adding more
woes to their already miserable life-–physically, emotionally and psychologically.
There are unscrupulous residents who are wealthy and whose businesses that cater to the every day needs of the people in the community may have been affected by the quake, but, certainly, were the first ones to bounce back, only to raise the prices of their commodities when they opened again.
We have also the unscrupulous politicians who, in the guise of bringing and distributing relief goods themselves, are actually there for their hidden political agenda and taking advantage to be photographed.
Then we have the unscrupulous local officials who think highly of themselves, and who believes that any donation/aid, whether cash or in kind, should be handed to them for distribution, instead of the sponsor/donor doing it for the local officials, as is always the case.
Take, for instance, this particular aid controversy happening in badly hit Maribojoc, Bohol, a town of 20,000 people, which is putting their arrogant mayor on the spot.
It was reported that the contingent of the Red Cross got on the nerves of the mayor and was asked to leave the town simply because the famed humanitarian agency refused to hand over their aid to the local authorities.
Can you believe that?
Too bad the arrogance and political interest of the mayor got the better of him at the expense of his hapless constituents.--Jesus Sievert
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 24, 2013.