Post 10/15-A A +A
Saturday, October 26, 2013
THOSE who lived through 10/15, the infamous 7.2M earthquake that rocked the Visayas will never forget.
The terror of not knowing if the ceiling would cave in or the ground would open up. The terror of not knowing when the next tremor would come or when it would stop. The terror of not knowing whether or not God would abandon us.
Death is certain but we cling to the idea that God will give us a fighting chance when the time comes. Yet, during those horrific 30 seconds that toppled buildings, destroyed churches and rendered many shaken and homeless, we were conspicuously reminded of how powerless we are in the face of the unknown.
It isn’t so much the thought of dying but the thought of not knowing what's going to happen next that terrifies. The thought that we had finally lost all vestiges of control over our lives throughout the 2,700 aftershocks. That, to me, was the greater horror.
But God works in mysterious ways. And blessings come under strange circumstances. The horrors of 10/15 rudely awakened me to the reality that despite what I have and what I have become, I am no one unless God wills it and I have nothing unless God grants it.
The horrors of 10/15 enabled a nation to come together to alleviate the plight of those rendered hungry and homeless by the quake.
While help came from all over the country and beyond, the Cebuanos heroically rose to the challenge of lifting its neighbors to its
feet by boldly promising that Bohol would rise again.
How can we forget the horrors of 10/15? But how can we also forget the countless heroes—the fearless volunteers who braved one aftershock after the other to troop to ground zero to deliver food, water and medicines to badly battered Bohol. People came together from all walks of life to answer the call for help. They stepped up to give their time, money and skills to save lives.
They did not abandon Cebu and Bohol in their time of need.
These are the heroes of 10/15.
In our own home, all our maids fled for fear of their lives. They didn’t want to be trapped inside a 4-story building that seemed to be endlessly shaking. But three of our employees chose to climb four floors up to try to rescue us in the midst of the interminable
rocking. They could have chosen to run. But they chose to stay behind and risk their lives to save us. These are the real heroes.
As we carry on with our lives, let us not forget 10/15. Let us not forget the people who must now painstakingly struggle to rise again. Let us continue to do what we can when we can. But as we carry on with the task of rehabilitating structures and rebuilding lives, let us not just remember the victims. Let us also remember the heroes of 10/15.
When the churches crumbled, communities emerged. As God’s houses fell to the ground, a groundswell of goodwill and a congregation of volunteers rose to do God’s work. In our darkest hours, we tend to see only what God has taken away from us and fail to see what God has sent us.
With God’s grace and the goodness of those who choose to live His word, Cebu and Bohol will rise again.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 27, 2013.