HAVE you ever been to a place with amazing natural wonders gifted with blue oceans, perfectly formed brown hills, historic churches, and superb tourist destinations with the known smallest type of monkey in the world called tarsier?
These can be found in Bohol, a land where tourism continuously rises. A land where people enjoy the sight-seeing at the Chocolate Hills and have a delicious lunch at Loboc River where people get to experience a floating buffet passing by old trees and ‘little waterfalls’.
Tourists can also enjoy taking pictures at the historical Baclayon Church and the Blood Compact Site where the Spaniards and Filipinos fostered friendly relations through blood. The Church of the Lady Assumption in Dauis in Panglao stands firm where a well is said to have healing waters. The souvenir shops are stalled everywhere, too.
This is Bohol, and I have conquered the place last year. At 14, I feel lucky and blessed to have been there. I have my share of beautiful experiences that I can never forget.
Now that Bohol has experienced a major calamity, reality tells me that I may no longer explore the Bohol I once toured. I will surely miss the old churches, the Chocolate Hills, the tarsiers where I had pictures with, the fresh air, and all.
The first time I saw the tragedy in Bohol on TV, I almost cried. I saw the place. I have been there just last year and I could not imagine the church in Loboc has fallen. I can still remember I pointed at the church when we passed by it and asked the driver, and tourist guide at the same time, about it.
I can remember he said it was the second oldest church and that it was once reduced to ashes and was built again in 1600s. He even pointed the unfinished bridge next to it and said it will never be completed because the church will be destroyed.
Now after three to four centuries, it was reduced to ashes again.
If only I could save Bohol, I would. I wanted to save Bohol hoping that I had power in my hands to save it when the earth was shaking. But I have none. I only have the power to believe that it will be restored again.
We may not have the power to stop any disaster from destroying Bohol or anywhere else in the world, but we have the power to pray and the power to believe that Bohol will remain standing as it was before.
Prayer with great faith makes everything happen. (Maureen Gel V. Galang)
Southern Notes are essays written by students of Southpoint School in Maa, Davao City.