Today marks the fourth day since the Magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit Central Visayas and parts of Mindanao, Philippines last October 15, 2013 at 8:10 am.
It was such an ordinary day for most people and everyone was just about to start the morning. For our Muslim brothers and sisters, it was indeed a special day as they celebrated the Id-ul-Adha or The Feast of the Sacrifice. For some, it could be anything else spent in so many ways.
As for me, it was just a nice morning that I woke up to at around 6:45 am knowing that I have no work for the day. As it was declared a national holiday and it happened also to be the Fiesta of Sta. Theresa de Avila in our place, I and may whole family were just at home.
We were sitting at the dining table to eat breakfast and we were just happily talking and planning for the day. We even talked about preparing food for the Fiesta. In fact, my parents and my aunts already agreed to cook meals for that evening.
But then, a sudden event happened while our family was enjoying our hot chocolate, and our breakfast meal of beef loaf, sardines, poached eggs and rice. While I was about to take a bite, there was something shaking underneath us that startled me. I did not really realize it at first but then the shaking became much stronger and intense that I and my brother were already looking at each other. I then looked at my mother and father who were also feeling the same thing and the four of us were just exchanging gazes.
Within that three seconds, my brother told us to get out of the house and so we did. We stood up and unfortunately for me, I was the last one to get out of the table because I was sitting in the last chair near the wall. I was struggling to get out because my chair was so caught up with the wall and the table too, leaving not enough space for me and plus, with the shaking movement of the quake, it was even harder.
Luckily, I managed to get out eventually and just didn’t mind that I hit my hand and knees (perhaps the table) somewhere. After which, the four of us got out of the house in a matter of six to seven seconds. And then it was there that I totally saw what was really happening.
Our family saw everything how houses were moving and even the trees and the posts. It was the first time that I saw our mango tree swaying but this time, so horribly. I thought that I was watching the movie “2012” in 3D as things were really moving everywhere in a chaotic manner and the sad part was that it was true. It was not a movie after all.
The moment I realized that I was already shouting the Lord’s name and asked him to stop it. The more that we were outside, it felt like the ground was about to give up on us and crumbled. Our family hugged each other so tightly for that moment as we realized what was coming for us. It was really a nightmare and I thought that maybe this would not stop. My grandmother’s pot outside the table at the terrace was even broken as it fell down. I shouted for what it felt like a long time to ask the Lord to stop it. Just to stop it, please.
And after for thirty seconds, everything did come to a halt. The world stopped shaking and it was silent for a second. I looked at my family and then I was thankful that it really stopped. We realized we were still alive. I checked my relatives who were on the other house next to ours and thank God, they were just alright too.
We were all outside now with all of our relatives trying to be close to each other for what was about to come next- the aftershocks. We were so relieved that no one got hurt so badly but as for me, I then realized that something in my hand and knees hurt. That was then I realized I bruised myself. But still, I feel grateful that the bruise was all I got.
So that was my family’s story when the earth quake strikes. After the big hit though, there were strong aftershocks that followed and it was really terrifying. We stayed more outside and we even did not have electricity and water for some of the hours.
As the news said, there were around 110 aftershocks that was recorded from the time the big quake attacked to 11 am. And in the afternoon, it just keeps on going and sometimes it feels as though it was another earthquake.
Even until now on the fourth day, aftershocks can still be felt and every time it does, I just skipped a beat. I just feel all the anxiety and fear that something might collapsed. Even some parts of our house had developed cracks from the quake.
And now that I am sharing this story, I feel a sense of relief because it eases the anxiety and at times still, the floor is shaking.
In truth, I really wanted to share this with everyone who might come across with my blog. I just want you all to know that our whole family is fine. However, some of our brothers and sisters from other parts of the region is greatly affected. Specifically, Bohol was most affected since the epicenter was located there. I lived in Cebu and our whole province was the next affected as it is close to Bohol.
Just to end this story, I just want all of you to know this tragedy that we have witnessed. I hope you all realize that at some point, you may get to have your share in experiencing this near-death event. To have seen and feel this powerful magnitude is no joke.
Believe me, there is no exact words that could express what I truly feel at that moment. But there is one thing I do know now after surpassing that nightmare.
Life is in fact, too short for everyone to live. Nothing more, nothing less.