Family Survives Wrath of Nature and Human Error

How “bad events” struck twice in a row is a story so true and experienced by a good religious family in Daraga town, province of Albay. The first was brought about by the wrath of nature, the second by negligence and human error.

It all began in 2006 when super typhoon Reming (international code name Durian) hit Bicol unsparing many of the towns of central Bicol, in the provinces of Catanduanes, Albay and Camarines Sur.

The typhoon’s fury wreaked havoc on the crops and properties which included the modest house of Mrs. H’s family in the barangay of Salvacion, Daraga town. (We’ll protect the identity of these people, of course. So were identifying her as Mrs. H. H for Hope.) The property was a total wreck, the family of five with three sons transferred to the next door-house of Mrs. H’s sister who was generous enough to let them stay for free. The new abode measures a minute four meters by five meters, enough to accommodate them but not as comfortable as the destroyed structure.

Mrs. H. teaches at the state owned Bicol University while the husband mentors at an elementary school, also nearby. Their meager income coupled with the schooling needs of their children made it hard for the family to reconstruct their typhoon-damaged house, they were forced to stay in the cramped edifice up until the second tragic event happened last October 31st, this year.

Mrs. H. left early that Saturday afternoon for her regular session of Couples for Christ at the Catholic church, leaving her sleeping husband who had some drinks, too many, hence he was nursing a hangover.

After the church service, Mrs. H’s two sons, came over and picked her up for a night-out dinner at the food court of Gaisano mall in Legazpi city. Her second eldest son is due to graduate this March 2010 in the college of nursing and the youngest also studying to become a nurse someday. After their dinner they had some food packed for the waiting father at home.

Unknown to them, that same time the little house in Salvacion was being gutted by fire caused by unattended gas stove. The man of the house boiled water and left it unattended, he was still groggy and dozing. The alert and concerned neighbors were able to page the local firemen that put off the conflagration and prevented the mishap to spread in the neighborhood. Luckily, the father was unharmed.

Because of the tension and apprehension, both husband and wife were admitted to the hospital due to their abnormal blood pressure. But they’re okay now, facing the harsh realities of life.

The eldest son is coming home from Manila to spend a short school semestral break. He is a full-time scholar of Philippine President Arroyo at the college of engineering of the University of the Philippines in Quezon city and will graduate this March 2010 with a respectable honor of cum laude.

Now the family are reconstructing their first (typhoon-ravaged) house, adding bamboo strips for walls. My sister and some friends the other day came over with some relief clothes and goods. Mrs. H is my sister’s co-professor in the university and a neighbor of my sister-in-law’s friend. Despite the tragic event, they were laughing during the visit because neighbors were prompt in making doors when there was no walls yet to give them some decent privacy.

The eldest son vowed he’ll build her mother a big house once he become an engineer.

This is my post for This is My World. Many thanks to Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy and Louise for hosting this wonderful meme: My World – Tuesday.

Dr. Elnora Brocales


0 thoughts on “Family Survives Wrath of Nature and Human Error”

  1. Wow..sounds like a tragic story but -with hope. It’s apparent they are making the best with it. Amazing.
    I send my best-

  2. OMG! I heard and seen lots of these and all I can do is hope and pray that these disasters would stop. Many lives has been affected. I’m sorry to hear Japa. We’ll get over it.


  3. My heart breaks for this kind of tragedy, but with Filipinos’ bayanihan spirit, they will rise up and recover! Life goes on.

  4. How tragic and my heart goes out to them and to all the victims of any super typhoons, Reming or otherwise. Glad to know that in all tragedies, there’s a silver lining at the end.

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