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    Posted December 21, 2013 by
    Bohol, Philippines
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    2013: Your greatest moment

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    Embracing nature in all its beauty and terror

    Many of you have had heard about the 7.2 magnitude earthquake jolted the island of Bohol in the Philippines and how typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) ravaged the Visayas region, especially Leyte, Philippines, this year 2013.

    I live in Bohol, Philippines and I had experienced the most dreadful nature’s furies in 2013 that I could not forget for the rest of my life.

    When a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Bohol, Philippines on Oct. 15, 2013, it damaged our infrastructures, pulverized historical monuments, polarized commerce, destroyed livelihoods and killed people.

    Hours after the ground was shaking, my heart broke when I saw the centuries-old churches and houses were destroyed by the killer quake. Oh, very sad!

    Of all the earthquake stories, two of them left an indelible scar in my heart that I couldn't help but cry. I felt sad for the five children who were buried by a landslide in Sagbayan town when a portion of the mountain caved in. Their parents were hopeful that they were still alive but the rescuers failed to find the bodies of the kids. In Antequera town, there was also Rodel Barace whose parents, sibling and a son died during the earthquake. I could feel the pain of losing their loved ones.

    The quake was a great equalizer, sparing neither rich nor poor, neither the famous nor ordinary mortals.

    We were still lucky that the earthquake did not happen on a Sunday when all churches should have been crowded with churchgoers, it did not happen after 10 a.m. when all the malls should have been opened for jam-packed shoppers; that it was a non-working holiday where schools should have been full of children and offices and workplaces are full of working people; and the quake happened at daytime and everybody was awake and alert.

    After widespread damage due to a powerful earthquake, Bohol had experienced the wrath of typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) on November 7, 2013. There were intense rains and strong winds but we’re not heavily affected.

    As the results of the earthquake and typhoon Haiyan, we have had experienced the ordeal of being helpless in times of crisis. We were experiencing power and water shortages in the province.

    We had been in the dark since Yolanda hit our place because of power outage.

    Our water supplies were affected also because water is distributed through electric pumps. Many residents in Bohol had to go to deep and artesian wells to fetch water. Others went to the seashore to wash their clothes, bath and fetch water for home use.

    The earthquake may have left us devastated after our properties sustained damage and people were killed but our spirits were not dampened to rebuild again.

    Psalm 18:7 says, “Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was angry.”

    After supertyphoon Haiyan (Yolanda) hit the Visayas on Nov. 7, the following day (Nov. 8, 2013), I went to Leyte.

    Leyte was badly devastated compared to Bohol.

    The place was in massive destruction. Many houses were completely destroyed. Every tree was flattened; electricity post was snapped in half.

    I saw dead bodies in the towns of Tanaoan, Tolosa and Palo and in Tacloban City. Many of the dead whose bodies line the streets or float in flooded areas are children. The Tacloban Fish Port houses the more than 3,000 evacuees.

    There's no clean water, no electricity and very little food. Many people were hungry for many days because nothing left for them and there were no relief goods from the government. I saw how they looted things from malls, business establishments and houses to survive.

    People from neighboring towns (MacArthur, Dulag, Tolosa, Tanaoan, Palo) were going to Leyte to look for food and water.

    I got sick while in Leyte and I went back to Bohol on Nov. 11. I got a text message from a friend who borrowed the quote from CNN (and I thought worth sharing): "At the end of the day, Filipinos will just shake off the dirt from their clothes, go about their business and smile. They do not complain much and they will bear as long as they can. Maybe this is why they were given the 'privilege' of bearing the burden of the strongest typhoon ever recorded. The indomitable human spirit at its finest."

    The storm is over now....

    Isaiah 4:6 says, “There will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain.”

    Truly, it is the nature of Nature to follow its course no matter what it cost ...let us embrace nature in all its beauty and terror.
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