Where were you when the earthquake struck on 10.15.13?

The day after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that rocked Bohol and Cebu

October 15, 2013

I was sleeping peacefully when I woke up to a strong shake. I thought there was a huge truck passing right in front of our house but a second later I realized it was an earthquake. The first things I grabbed before jumping off the bed are my two phones, which was nestled by my side of the bed. My siblings and I rushed outside the bedroom door and saw one of the picture frames fell from the table. We all hustled down the stairs, as our bedrooms are on the second floor. Now, instead of going outside to an open space, my mother and my siblings are now taking off jars, figurines and house plants being placed on top of cabinets. In my haste, I used my injured right hand to hold a house plant and placed it on the dining table. You know what they say about doubling your strength when you panic. It was such a terrifying way to wake up in the morning. I don’t even have enough time to rub the sleep off my eyes.

After we are sure that there are no more objects in danger of falling from the top cabinets, we took our seats and waited for the ground to stop shaking. The quake lasted for like almost 30 seconds. Almost like a 30-seconder TVC. I immediately checked tweets from @NewEarthquake while listening to DYAB’s Radio Anchor Leo Lastimosa talking about the magnitude and epicenter of the quake. In just a few minutes, Leo mentioned it is in Bohol, at the same time, I saw @NewEarthquake’s tweet that it was a “7.2 earthquake, 2km S of Nueva Vida Sur, Philippines. 25km of Tagbilaran.” I have no idea where Nueva Vida Sur is in the country, thankfully, Tagbilaran was mentioned in the tweet. Another tweet says that it’s 2km of Carmen, Bohol. And that does not stop there, few strong aftershocks were felt minutes after. Then additional tweets that another 5 point something quakes rocked more somewhere in Bohol after the 8:12 am quake.

I have to thank the social media for speeding things up. I’ve been monitoring the Twitter and Facebook feeds for updates. In just a few minutes, photos of damaged edifices like Gaisano Country Mall, GMC building (across Plaza Independencia), Cebu Doctors’ University in Reclamation Area, and the Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino’s bell tower. An hour later, photos of the churches in Bohol graced the news feed on Facebook.

Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino after the strong earthquake
That fateful day, I really thought it was the end of the world. It took me an hour to recover from the morning scare. I feel helpless and there’s no where to go. Nevertheless, we’re still thankful for the reasons that it happened:

1. On a holiday and most of the people are with their families and loved ones. (a) There’s no school (thank God! Think of all the children running, screaming and hurt from the quake); (b) There’s no work and most of the people are still in bed when it happened
2. During daytime. Think of the things that might’ve happened if it was during night time.
3. Before mall hours. There might have been a stampede if it happened at a later time.
4. It did not happen on a Friday and a Sunday, and there’s no mass when the quake took down the Sto. Nino’s belfry.

The following day, I visited the Basilica to light a candle of thanks. I was surprised that there were people queuing to kiss the image of the Child Jesus.

We were not able to get in touch with our relatives in Bohol. But on the day of the earthquake, they were able to inform us that they’re fine and are at the evacuation center. They left their home because the building copied Italy’s Tower of Pisa’s position. Their house is right across the Maribojoc church, which was reduced to dust after the 7.2 magnitude quake.

As of this post, short (weak and strong) aftershocks are still on the roll. Aftershocks reached more than 3,000 since Tuesday. Hashtags were immediately trending on Twitter like #EarthquakePH #PrayForVisayas #PrayForBohol #PrayForCebu and lately, it’s #BangonSugBohol. The power of social media influencers and the bayanihan spirit of fellow Filipinos unite to help the Boholanos and Cebuanos. We’re glad that people immediately acted on the donation because Boholanos got it bad. They need food and water.

Let’s continue to pray for the safety of our cities. Keep our faith strong. Our prayers are stronger than any earthquake. We will rise again. Bangon SugBohol!


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