ROSEMARIE Lim, 44, and Perla Faunillan, 59, have something in common.

They both lost their eldest child when typhoon Seniang struck the country last December.

Faunillan, a resident of Barangay Tupas in Ronda town, said the lot where the house of her daughter Evelyn Bahinting stood before the flashflood is now empty.

No houses have been built since then because most of the residents have moved to higher ground.

Fifteen persons died when Seniang hit Cebu, bringing with it heavy rains that caused the flashflood last Dec. 30, 2014.

Of those who died, 12 were from Ronda, while two were residents of Alegria and Moalboal towns in southern Cebu and one from San Francisco town in Camotes Island.

Evelyn, her husband Jonardo and their children Juvilyn, Joan, Jane and Joyce died after they were swept away by the flood.

Evelyn’s grandson Ace, who was then 28 days old, remains missing.

“Nag-ampo mi nga dili na mausab (We are praying that it will not happen again),” Perla said. She now advises: when the weather is bad, “Mamakwit gyud (Evacuate).”

Marie Joy Gabutan, 17, Evelyn’s youngest daughter with her first husband, said the family still cannot believe what happened.

She said that her brother Jomari, Ace’s father, doesn’t have plans to have another baby after the tragedy. April Rose, Jomari’s wife, was temporarily staying in Evelyn’s house when the flood came. She survived because she managed to hold on to a tree. But the water carried Ace away.

“Magbantay na mi pirmi. Trauma na. Kung kusog na ang uwan mobalhin na mi sa ibabaw (We are always on alert because we have been traumatized. We move to higher ground right away when it rains hard),” Marie Joy said.

Died helping another

During the Capitol’s distribution of assistance for Seniang survivors last week, Lim showed photos of her eldest son Paul Emerson, who died after he tried to help his uncle at the height of the typhoon.

Lim, a resident of Barangay Poblacion, cried as she recalled the incident.

Paul Emerson was a first-year student of the University of Cebu, taking up marine transportation.

Lim and her children Paul Emerson, Carlo, Rosemi and Mickeyri were riding a truck at that time. Her husband was working in the Middle East.

Paul Emerson got down from the truck to save his uncle, whose leg was trapped under a fallen tree, but the flood swept him away instead.

His body was found under the bridge the morning after.

Before he got down from the truck, he told his mother to hold on to his laptop, because all his school files were on it.

Like Faunillan, Lim said she has come to realize the need for early evacuation when bad weather threatens a community.

Six months after he died too young, Paul Emerson is remembered for his heroic deeds, like donating his prize in a footrace to the church his family attends.