JACOB Lumapas would have celebrated his fourth birthday yesterday.
But Jacob and his elder brother Ian “Vanvan” Jr., 11, lost their lives when they were buried two feet under the ground after a landslide covered their house in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City last Tuesday afternoon.
Their neighbors and relatives told stories of the sweet, obedient children of Mitos and Ian Lumapas Sr.
Their aunt Cindy Lumapas said Vanvan would spend hours looking for ways to earn money to help his parents, and provide little snacks for his other siblings.
“At his age, he would work if there was no class. He would look after his younger siblings or wash clothes. Sometimes, he would go to school on foot all by himself. Other children his age only care for themselves and play with the computer. Vanvan was different,” she said in Cebuano.
Cindy described Jacob as a bubbly and talkative kid, even though he was born six months premature.
It was heartbreaking for their parents to see both of them dead, Cindy said. “No parent wants to see their children get into an accident. Even when your child trips, you feel bad,” she said in Cebuano.
Cindy couldn’t forget the last time she saw Vanvan two weeks ago when she visited her sister in Lahug. She said he hugged her from behind as they were about to leave and said, “Bye, Auntie.” He never did that before, she said.
It made her wonder why until the landslide occurred. She thought it must have been a sign that something would happen to Vanvan.
She said she was shocked and frightened when she heard the news that her nephews were gone.
Neighbors said the Lumapas couple started hauling limestone outside their house in Sitio Inmaculada in 2010, after Ian Sr. lost his job in a casino.
They sold limestone for P35 a sack to feed their seven children, age 12 years to nine months old.
“Paraygon kaayu to sila, buotan, smiling, nya mo atiman gyud sa ilang mama (They were sweet kids. Good, smiling and they always looked after their mother),” Cindy said. Samantha Zenn S. Ares & Merlisa S. Betito, CNU Mass Comm Interns