By Erl Dylan J. Tabaco
The author, a Columban seminarian, writes about the disaster that hit his native Cagayan de Oro City, Mindanao, last December. He has appeared a number of times in Misyon, most recently in the January-February 2012 issue, Revitalizing the Church: Bringing the Gospel to the Deaf.
While on my way to the airport for my afternoon flight back to Manila, I saw a big streamer with the words ‘Bangon Cagayan’ (‘Arise Cagayan’). This mirrored the sad faces of many in Cagayan de Oro City (CDO) where severe tropical storm Sendong (international name: ‘Washi’) had struck a number of barangays (administrative districts) in the city during the night of 16-17 December last year. It took the lives of hundreds of people and caused much damage to infrastructures and property.
On the other hand, the streamer encouraged people to remember that there is always hope amidst despair. I recalled my own experience that night. In my 25 years I had never experienced that kind of catastrophe. It was beyond my imagination.