This is my second time in 40 years when after visiting a certain area in Mindanao and the Visayas, tragedy struck a week after I leave.
I do not know if it’s serendipity, malas ba ako, or this is God’s will to remind the people that life on earth is only temporary and should not be abused. We could not tell when Mother Nature may say enough is enough.
Last Oct. 12, I traveled by land to General Santos City in South Cotabato with my two sons Jojo, Jin Lorenz and my apo Jacob for observation trip as it was my first time to visit the place.
On the night of Oct. 16, a powerful earthquake hit several areas in Mindanao leaving five people dead and 89 (as of yesterday’s count) injuries while about 511 families or 2,555 people in Regions 11 and 12 and Bangsamore Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) were affected.
The hardest-hit was Kidapawan City, who was rocked by a magnitude 7 quake, considered the strongest so far in recent history. Kidapawan is about 69 kilometers north-northwest of General Santos City where we were a week ago before the destructive quake.
Jin Lorenz returned to GenSan a day after the quake hit Maguindanao, upon the invitation of a fellow Atenean who celebrated her birthday. He observed no damage on the road and highways from Davao City all the way to GenSan as they reached their destination at the usual three-hour travel time by land without hassle.
Initial major damage report showed in Davao del Sur, Magsaysay towns, and Digos City, while in GenSan, Gaisano Mall was gutted by fire at the height of the quake while glass walls of SM Mall-GenSan were shattered. Meanwhile, Veranza Mall sustained wall cracks and also shattered glass walls.
Disaster officers in the city said that the intensity four quake felt in the city left minor architectural damage.
Sometime in 1985 or 86, this writer, together with then Peryodiko Dabaw editor Tony Ajero, Roger Flaviano (MIRROR), Pris Rojo (TIMES), Gil Abarico (MAIL), and Tony Figueroa (now with The Edge), visited Ormoc City in Leyte upon invitation of the National Power Corporation officials for us to observe the government hydroelectric power operation in that part of the Visayas.
The Davao media group stayed at the bunk-house of the hydroelectric site for three days.
A week after we left the place, Ormoc City was struck by a powerful typhoon and the waters overflowed and destroyed the dam and flooded the surrounding areas that killed thousands of people living as far as the cascading waters had reached.
Until today, almost 50 years ago, many of the victims that perished in the Ormoc tragedy have not been accounted for as reported.
If the two unfortunate incidents in my life that caused miseries to areas and people after I was gone there happened, do you think this is only a mere coincidence or dala ko ang kamalasan (I bring bad luck)?
Some readers may say nagkataon lang, others it’s God’s Will, while those with ill feelings toward me may conclude dala ko ang kamalasan.
Anyone of these maybe the reason, but in the end, it’s still HIM who knows why it happens. It’s not me that causes the tragedy, otherwise, I will not last this long in life.
Let’s pray that it will not happen again and the victims will pass the tragedies that befallen them.
After Sen. Bong Go reported through his Facebook that President Duterte suffered slight injuries in a fall from a motorcycle at Malacanang compound Wednesday night, I immediately sent this unsolicited advice to the President through the Senator’s FB: “Mr. President, let’s admit that big bike belongs to young ones. We’re not that young anymore. Ingat!”
Everybody knows the President’s passion for motorcycles. But there are times that at 75 your time has come to give up for what you have used to do then.
Sen. Bong Go’s post on President’s big bike spill already received 1.6K messages as of this writing.
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