Especially if you just came back from helping out your family salvage what can be saved from the flood which ravaged your home.
When I left Cagayan de Oro, my brother, father and I have cleared the mud off our house and some parts of the street which runs through our community, but much still needed to be done inside the house itself.
When I left, electricity had just been restored, but there was still no running water. We had to transport water from my aunt’s house (where my family and I evacuated to) to our own house which needed cleaning.
When I left, the equipment for our family business were still caked in mud. And they needed to be repaired if we are to resume operations in the soonest possible time. We had already incurred losses in the days that went by after Sendong and many of the stocks we had were laid to waste.
When I left, my family was still looking for a house where we could transfer to as soon as possible. Experience has taught us that floods also occur in some areas in Cagayan de Oro in the first month of the year.
When I left, I was unable to see some friends who also got affected by the flood and might also get affected by it should another one occur in this first month of the year. I am worried that what they saved from Washi/Sendong’s wrath, might be taken away should another flood pass through the city this year.
Yes, I am filled with fears, apprehensions and concerns for my family and friends in Cagayan de Oro. And you can’t blame me.
How can my heart be stilled, my mind eased, and my thoughts calmed when I know that my family and friends are still struggling from the effects of the flood?
How can I go back into the groove when I cannot take my mind of the family and community concerns I took part in just a few days ago?
Perhaps it would have been easy if the Holidays had been a real one. One spent sharing thoughts and happiness with friends and family. One spent in sharing the blessings of the year with loved ones and those with a need for compassion. One spent under the sounds of laughter, music, and flurry of busy streets and people celebrating one of the most colorful seasons in country.
But no, Sendong/Washi took all that away. And until now, I am still struggling with moving on with work and things here in Quezon City, while my mind is obviously still in Cagayan de Oro – thinking of family and friends still struggling to rebuild the lives we all used to have before the flood.