A month has passed since, yet much remains to be done.
Hundreds still live in evacuation centers. Some getting sick from the lack of running water, the crowded conditions and seemingly unending experience of being an evacuee.
Babies still cry whenever it rains hard and they hear the drops fall against the roof. The mere sound of rainfall brings memories of that dark night in December rushing back into their consciousness.
Those who have decided to go back and clean their homes, feel apprehension, whenever rains go on to no end (as they have been in Cagayan de Oro these past few days).
And despite the lack of running water and electricity, the people have tried to rebuild their lives; brushed the mud off their houses; and slowly reclaim the world that was taken away from them.
While some have gone on with their lives, others could not move on.
Some are still looking for missing wives, hunbands, sons, daughters, parents, friends, loved ones. They were taken away by the raging waters violently and without pity. And most of them now only remain in the memory of the living.
Others are still filled with regret of decisions made and not made. “I could have done this, I could have done that.” And they will continue carrying these thoughts upon themselves in the coming months, even in the years ahead.
The pictures of the mud, the dead, the survivors now slowly fade away from the national consciousness. And issues on Corona, Palparan and Aquino have taken on their place.
The flood, the evacuees and the damage will soon be forgotten. And in a few more weeks, the country will no longer want to hear of them.
But I know that each of us who come from that city by the bay, we will never forget that dark night in December. The night Sendong swept our friends, our family, our city, away.