Residents of San Isidro, Ubay, Bohol on Odette: A learning experience
CEBU CITY, Philippines — A learning experience.
This was how some residents of Barangay San Isidro in Ubay town in Bohol province described their experience with super typhoon Odette.
“Di gyud lalim nga bagyoha. Mao na karon nga kung naay hanginhangin, largo na mi. Di mi mag kompyansa kay naka experience na ba,” said Ariel Arnosa, a 22-year-old fisherman in the town whose home was washed away from strong current brought by the super typhoon that hit the province on December 16, 2021.
(The storm was not just an ordinary storm. That’s why now, if there are strong winds here, we leave immediately. We can’t be complacent because we were already able to experience a strong storm.)
Ariel and his wife, Evangeline, 24, only saved a few things after the typhoon as not only their house was damaged but also their means of livelihood as Ariel’s two pump boats got badly damaged.
“Wa mi mga ilis, nanaka nami kay dako naman ang dagat lapaw na sa tawo mao to nga ako gisiguro ang ako asawa ug ang akoang anak,” Ariel said. “Akoang pumpboat, guba lagi duha kabuok. Naa nas mga kakahuyan. Nangasay pero wa na nako nakuha pod kay guba kaayo, bag-o pako nakapahimo ato.”
(We weren’t able to change, we went to higher grounds because the sea water was rising so I had to prioritize my wife and my kids. My pump boat, both of them were destroyed. Both are now in the forest. I wasn’t able to get it anymore because it was badly damaged, and it was still newly built.)
Left with just a few of her clothes and things, Rosita Judaya, 73, a widow and a single mom for 25 years, also said that in her 50 years of living at Purok 7 of the said barangay, this is the first time she experienced a typhoon this strong.
The experience left a bad taste in her mouth, as the memory of the strong winds continues to haunt her to this day.
“Arang paita pagkabuntag, naluya ko mura kog nalusno… Hapay hapit ko kuyapi wa na gyuy nahabilin,” she said.
(It was a very bitter experience, I got so weak… I almost fainted because nothing was left behind.)
But she still chooses to stay positive and thinks that this should be a lesson learned and that this happened for a purpose.
“Okay ra. Unsaon man? Trahedya gyud. Murag pagbuot sa Ginoo,” she said.
(It’s okay. What can we do? It was tragedy. It might be the will of God.)
Judaya hopes they will be able to start to rebuild their houses wrecked by the typhoon but as of the moment, she can only depend on the relief goods coming from the government.
Judaya also said that their livelihood was affected by the typhoon.
As they start to move forward, and with the plans of the local government to relocate them, Judaya said that leaving the area that once nourished her life is hard. But as far as security is concerned, Judaya said they are open for relocation to a place that they could start living.
“Di naman mi pabalikon diri. Gusto nako diri kay duol ra para manginhas,” said Judaya.
(We aren’t allowed to return to this place yet. We wanted to stay so we can gather seashells.)
As she turns 74 this January 21, Judaya said she wishes for housing materials and lasting fighting spirit so she and other victims could continue to build their lives again.
Ariel also said that they have no other option but to continue and build a life again from what’s left.
What’s important is, he said, is that they are alive and are given a chance to rebuild.
Here are some photos taken from the area.
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