Survival Story of My Friend Who is a Typhoon Sendong Victim

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

This is a survival story of my friend Mary Ann Chiong. Who is living at Tibasak, Macasandig who is one of the most affected area in Cagayan de Oro City of typhoon Sendong (international name Washi) flash floods.

Thanks to our neighbor who shouted, "Pangmata mo! Taas na ang tubig!" at around twelve midnight. In less than 10 minutes after I rouse my sister and parents water started to get into our house from all directions. For the first time in my life I panicked. I had a very bad feeling it's not just an ordinary flood. I grabbed my wallet, my sister and our dog out of the house; I realized with horror that the knee-length water rose to almost my waistline in less than one minute; the current almost did me.

I was out of danger, for a while, when I noticed that my parents are still inside our house while water is engulfing it. I was screaming like mad at the thought that I could lost them at that moment. I felt so helpless, I know I would endanger my life if I will go back.
Thank God my father is a strong swimmer, it saved their lives.
We stayed at the UCCP church nearby. And I thought we are all safe; their are around fifty of us.
My heart was gripped with incoherent fear when I saw water, like a deja vu from our house earlier, coming from all over direction at the church. I saw my cousin grabbed his two sons to a nearby unfinished building, he is urging us to come with him. Without second thoughts we followed him.
I was carrying our dog while my mother holds my arm for support, the current was vicious. We thought the second story of the building would save us. It would. If it has stairs.
Neighbors, relatives and friends improvised, we piled up tables to reach the second floor. Everything would have been alright, but my mother was paralyzed with fear. She can't climb, she kept on telling us to save ourselves and leave her, I was aghast at the idea and pissed off at the same time. She should not think negatively. Everybody was on board except me, my mother and my father. The water continued to rise; the table will not hold much longer and the current is getting more vicious, carrying debris, cows, goats, dogs...people.
I saw my father being slowly engulfed by water, we would drown if we won't do anything; we can't get through the hole leading to the second floor, my mother was blocking it. In desperation I carried her and told her to step on my shoulders; uncles and cousins are ready for her. My father was the last person to board.
The water continued to rise. I almost wept in helplessness. In my mind, we will die that night. I stood there. Half-naked, shivering. It was the coldest night of my life as I watched in horror the rising water, I know it will engulf the second floor any minute.
My sister can't breath with panic, she's pregnant and she kept saying her stomach hurts. I hate to think of her miscarrying. She called me, I told her not to panic, this is not the time to panic. I was startled by what she told me. Please pray for the water to stop rising, God always hear your prayers. And there I was, in the middle of the rain, shivering, praying. And very thankful that God heard our prayers; when everything else fails we will have nothing but faith.

Salamat sa mga pag-ampo.

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