The floods that snatch ‘Inday’ away

By: Izobelle T. Pulgo January 17,2017 - 10:44 PM
Four-year-old Ailyn Rose Paquit was sleeping in this shanty when floodwaters came rushing in and swept her away on Monday in Naga City, Cebu. (CDN PHOTO/TONEE DESPOJO)

Four-year-old Ailyn Rose Paquit was sleeping in this shanty when floodwaters came rushing in and swept her away on Monday in Naga City, Cebu. (CDN PHOTO/TONEE DESPOJO)

While most were just about to start their week, “Inday Emyat” never got to start hers. What would have been a normal Monday for a little four-year-old girl who goes to day care, turned out to be her last.

Ailyn Rose Paquit of Barangay Patag, Naga City was sleeping with her mother, Erlyn, when she was swept away by a surge of water resulting from the nonstop rain that was trapped in a wall on a hill above their shanty, which eventually collapsed.

According to Raymund Deguma, Inday Emyat’s uncle, he was sleeping on the floor with his niece, his sister, Erlyn, and his older brother, Omar, when he noticed drops of water coming through the house at around 7 o’clock on Monday morning.

Raymund then started to rouse his siblings and warned them about the waters, but according to him, everything happened so fast and before he knew it, flood waters were already surging inside the house.

“It all happened so fast. The waters just came in a flash,” he said in Cebuano

He said he then asled everyone to flee.

“I was at the side. I thought that they were holding on to Inday but they lost grip of her,” Raymund narrated.

As the waters barreled through their house, Raymund was able to hold on to something while his older brother, Omar, managed to cling to one side of the wall.

Their sister, Erlyn, was swept away by the surging waters but was eventually able to hold on to the trunk of a banana plant.

However, she lost hold of Emyat in the process, and the little girl was swept away to a nearby ravine, just meters from the river.

About an hour after the incident, the little girl’s lifeless body was recovered at the Guindolman River in Barangay Patag.

While waiting for the body of her child at St. Francis Funeral Homes as it was being autopsied, a tearful Erlyn could not believe that her only daughter was gone.

“Buotan gyud na siya (She was very good), ” she said.

“Akong kasab-an, moingon man gani na siya nga, ‘Ay ko og kasab-i, Ma uy, ayaw og dak-a imong tingog, Ma uy. Moana ra gyud na siya (When I admonished her, she would even say, ‘Don’t scold me, Mama, please keep your voice down. She would say that), ” Erlyn recounted between sobs.

The pain was unbearable for a mother who could not help but question why this had to happen to her little girl.

“Ngano siya pa man ang gikuha? Makaana lagi ko. Ngano siya pa man ang gikuha nga kabut-an sa akong anak? (Why her? I can’t help but ask why she was taken away when she was such a good girl),” Erlyn said of her only child.

Her husband Alberto, a construction worker, was on a project in the town of Argao. about 50 kilometers away, when the incident occurred at their home in Naga.

Collapsed wall

A report by the Naga City police said the heavy rainfall began at around 5 a.m., trapping water on one of a concrete barrier build near the house of the Paquit family.

The water, which rose to about five feet before the concrete barrier collapsed, then surged directly into the area below where Erlyn’s shanty was located.

Patag barangay captain Filisardo Montoya said the concrete barrier, owned by the village, was built last year to fence up the barangay’s property.

Montoya admitted some residents had opposed the construction of the barrier but he said he decided it was to be done, as the area was a “private property of the barangay.”

Instead, he offered his constituents a two-meter right of way, beside the wall, so they could pass.

But residents were barred entry into the barangay property.

Residents were also stopped from using the land for the grazing of their livestock, Montaya admitted.

But Montaya said he could not be blamed for the incident as it was mainly due to the bad weather and that the “strong rain just suddenly came.”

“Ang akong tuyo, ang kaayohan sa barangay. Gibuhat ni nako para man sa tanan pero wa man pud ta magkuan nga na’y mahitabo. Mahu’g sad nga disgrasya ba (I was only after everybody’s welfare. I did this for all but I did not expect this would happen. We can call it an accident),” he said.

Montoya said the girl’s family received P50,000 as assistance from him and from other barangay residents.

But Erlyn told Cebu Daily News: “Naa siya ato? Ang istorya kay sa engineer man daw to gikan. Wala man daw sa iya.” (He was part of that? I was told the money came from the engineer and he had no part).”

Gusto nako ang ako ra gyung anak. Unsaon man niya? Makailis siya ato? (I just want my child. What will he do? Can he give her back?),” the 25-year-old mother said.

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TAGS: Cebu, drowning, flashflood, flooding, low pressure area, LPA, Naga City, rain, raining, Rainy, weather

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