Desperate

By Andrew Jonathan S. Bagaoisan

After Pablo Log 2

View of Baganga town in Davao Oriental after it was struck by Typhoon Pablo (Shot by Chiara Zambrano)

BAGANGA, DAVAO ORIENTAL–They’ve never experienced anything like it.

Old-timers here say the last storm of this scale passed them in 1912.

For a century after, the town of Baganga (pronounced ba-GANG-ga) and its neighbors breezed through warnings of strong gales and signal 3 typhoons.

Then came Pablo.

The warnings this time to prepare or leave were hardly heeded by some. They thought it would be just like the previous ones, where nothing happened.

Pablo passed, but it carried away with it their homes, their food, their livelihood, and for a number, their loved ones and their future.

The sight of children signaling vehicles with palms outstretched is growing familiar to those travelling the roads of this region.

At other roadsides, families and neighbors who lost their homes huddle under makeshift shacks of torn iron roofing, plastic tarp, or banana leaves.

Some have brandished signs saying “Donation pls.” or “Tabang”, the local word for “Help”.

With the civilized world waiting in bated breath for the “end” of the world, their cares tug more at the gut to even worry about it.

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