Saturday, December 31, 2011

Davao to Iligan by Motorbike, Seeing the effects of Typhoon Sendong

I arrived here in Iligan yesterday, on a motorbike (instead of the usual mountain bike) from Davao via the mountains of Davao and Bukidnon.

Upon crossing the new Hinaplanon bridge, I saw some of the devastation of the flashflood caused by Typhoon Sendong two weeks ago. Over a thousand people perished. Many of those who survived are now homeless.

Our monastery in Iligan was also hit by the flood but it was only knee deep. The computers, an LCD projector and the files have been destroyed. Major repairs need to be done on the ground floor of the monastery and the old novitiate building. Meanwhile, some members of the Redemptorist community are involved in relief operations. Some of the relief goods keep coming, and they have to be sent to the relief centers of the diocese and the city.

There are two families who are living at the second floor of the seminar house - they survived the flood but their homes have been destroyed. One of them is the family of Eugenio - our retired sacristan & driver. The other is the family of Dodoy - our former lay vocation promoter. Dodoy told me that a few minutes after they escaped to higher ground, the waters from the overflowing river reached the roof level of their house. His wife, Joy, said that the members of the neighborhood BEC cells survived because they urged one another that it was time to evacuate immediately.

Tonight, I will be celebrating the coming of the New Year tonight with my sisters and their families, thinking of those who will be greeting the New Year in the evacuation centers.

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