22 October 2013

Time for a New Home


Sunset. Bambu Resort, Batangas, last summer.

A week ago today, Bohol and Cebu (my hometown) was hit by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake. A big part of the mountain towering beside our house collapsed into our kitchen and dining. That part of our house was destroyed and everything that was in it. I am only grateful my family was able to go out unscathed. They are all safe. Homeless, but safe.

If the earthquake happened when my sisters and I were home, we could've all been dead. Because when we're home, we'd usually linger in the dining table during breakfast. We'd eat a lot and talk all morning. And with that tiny space in the dining room (with so many things blocking the way), it would be impossible to go out in time. I shudder at the thought.

I got so worried when my Mom called me. I got worried about my family's safety. I told my Mom to stay with my sister and stick together no matter what. I told them to make sure they have enough supplies, to have their phones charged and ready. I am the practical one in my family. When something goes wrong, my brain switches to solving problems and fixing things. I am good at postponing my pain.

But I do break down, too, after everything's over or when I feel defeated by things I cannot control --  earthquakes, for example. Truth be told, I worry for my family everyday, especially now that aftershocks are strong and frequent.

A lot of people do not know that I cry easily. I think they call it here "mababaw ang luha." In Cebuano we call it "himi." (Haha) I even cry over tv commercials. People think I am all tough because I always seem to know what to do (I don't). I also look calm and composed. But the past week, I have been crying a lot. I cry when I watch the news about Bohol and Cebu because the situation is really heartbreaking. I cry when I talk to my Mom over the phone. I cry when I think about my family and friends. I cry whenever people would call or text or email me asking how my family is doing back home. It has been a week of crying for me.

We are currently looking for a new house. I told my Mom we shouldn't go back to the old house anymore. What remains of that mountain beside our house will collapse sooner or later. I even think that the house sitting on top of that mountain will come crashing into our house one day.

It's painful to leave the old house because we've made so many memories there. Mom and I also worked hard for it and leaving would be like throwing away the time and money we've put into it. But I would rather see my Mom alive and safe somewhere than live in that house again. It's not worth risking our lives for.

It's time for a new home, time to make new memories.

Despite losing the house we've called home for almost two decades, I am grateful because my family is safe. Grateful because I am surrounded by people who care a lot about me and my family. Thank you to everyone who called, texted, emailed, left messages over at Facebook.

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