Today marks the first anniversary of the Earthquake that shook the whole island of Bohol
On October 15, 2013, the Boholanos went about with their usual chores and activities early in the morning, especially that it was declared as a regular holiday for the Philippines as our Muslim brothers and sisters celebrate Eidul Adha.
At eight in the morning, I was still on bed, a little bit groggy and lethargic. At the back of the head, my mind was screaming "You're late, you're late!" because I knew I had to somehow magically transform myself so that I could get to the clinic on time at 8:30 or may a few minutes before 9 strikes.
About ten minutes later, I finally got the courage to get up and shake off the grogginess. It was still pretty dark inside the room while I was still fixing the bed, and a bit lethargic as well when I started to feel the ground vibrate and then the rest of the things around vibrate and move also.
I panicked. Yes, I panicked. It seems funny actually, when I try to recall that scene. If the room would've been well-lighted and if there would've been a CCTV camera inside the bedroom, I know that my expression would be priceless.
Anyways, when I noticed that the vibration didn't seem to end, and then I heard my father yelled from the other room saying "LINOG!! LINOG!!!" which means earthquake in our dialect - I panicked more. The adrenaline inside my body prompted me to run like hell and find a way out of the house (and mind you, I just got up from bed so I was still in my nighties :D).
I quickly ran, left everything behind and my mind was just literally screaming OPEN SPACE - OPEN SPACE - OPEN SPACE. But before I could reach the street in front of our house, my mother caught me by the hip and grabbed me. She strapped me into her arms as we tried to balance ourselves against the front gate of our house. There were other people there, too, because we run a lottery branch upfront.
Everything shook and I really thought that everything is going to fall apart. Boom!
There were so many violent noises around us. I thought our house or anyone's house would suddenly fall apart while the earth shook. For the record, it took 33 seconds before the shaking stopped. It was that long. It was that agonizingly long.
As we recovered from the severe earthquake, we inspected every nook and cranny inside our house. What took us by surprise is that a part of the narrow street just beside our house gave in, and a sinkhole was formed. Until now, a year later, it's still there and left undone - well, we had to cover the hole with some scraps of metal to avoid rainwater from filling it.
A year later, the memory is still fresh and sometimes haunting. I still have that nagging and dreadful feeling that a strong aftershock might shake us again, just like what happened in Christchurch, New Zealand and also in Japan.
Image Credit » Mine