October 15, 2013
I was not in any way planning to go to the office since it was a holiday but something inside stirs me to do so.
7:44AM — The moment I arrived in the office I started checking my email and my hungry tummy rumbled a signal for me to eat breakfast.
7:53AM — Everything started to shake.
I thought at first it was just a car passing by the parking lot at the 3rd floor since my office would usually shake when a car passes by. This time though it was surreal and the shaking did not stopped for the first 10 seconds, which triggered me to hide under the table and I began to pray. I shouted loud to the people outside ‘PANAGO!’ or hide but nobody answered. It felt like the longest 30 – 45 seconds of my life. Just being under the table waiting for the shaking to stop and hearing glasses, ceiling, things, notebooks and papers falling on the ground was frightening. But I gathered all my senses and stayed calm, the moment it stopped I grabbed all my things including my gadgets charged and ran outside with my hands covering my head for protection only to find out everyone already left, and I realized I WAS ALL ALONE.
I ran as fast as I can and when I reached the stairs, people coming from other floors were running hysterically like there’s no tomorrow, like it was the end of the world. Everyone was running for their lives! Nobody cared about each other; we forgot about our earthquake drills and people were pushing each other like in a stampede. What a miserable sight to see.
The moment I got to the ground floor my first thought went to the staff, I asked the guard and our cashier where the others were and good thing everyone’s safe. I called my husband immediately, he said they did the same thing, evacuate and secure all employees to a safe area. I also called my family but was unable to reach them due to network failure. I presume people were already trying to reach their loved ones at this time to make sure they’re all safe too.
Aftershocks were felt and most of us were trembling and shaky from the experience. We were all waiting for advice and none of us were allowed to go inside the building; so we waited for 4 more hours until we received a go signal that everyone’s allowed to go home.
While waiting at the evacuation area, the air was filled with chattering from our different experiences, for some it was funny, for some it was a fearful one. We feared that anytime soon the buildings would collapse, or the ground would break loose and trees will fall. Good thing, none of it happened. We had everyone stay together in one area, and let others do the talking while we wait for an update.
Soon after we found out that the epicenter was from Bohol (Sagbayan) with a 7.2 magnitude and an energy equivalent to 32 Hiroshima bombs. People started showing us pictures of the damages brought by the earthquake and even if the distance from Sagbayan to Cebu was 140 km, everyone in Central Visayas felt the strong shake and this too destroyed some establishments and homes around the area.
The earthquake gave us sleepless nights and startling moments, but the peace of God was my assurance that no matter what he will always be there and we will only observe these things with our eyes.
2 days after the earthquake incident, my friend who is from Bohol now residing in Saudi sent us a message with a cry of help for the people affected by the earthquake. I was deeply touched, and my instinct tells me I need to help them even if it was impossible. I had no source, I had no budget, I had no idea what to do. I posted a shout out on Facebook and in just a matter of 20 minutes 2 people volunteered to help. Within 24 hours, we were able to raise P7,000+, after 48 hours P14,440 and 5 days after a total of P60,000+ with more help coming in. It was God’s way of telling me, you can do all things through Christ with all the glory that belongs only to Him. That was an eye opener for me, I still can’t believe until now that my simple cry of help over Facebook will be heard across the world. People from Japan, Australia, Costa Rica, United States, Thailand and within Philippines offered he
A single cry for help made an impact to people reading it
There was no turning back now, we started it so we were gonna finish it. October 20, 2013– we went to Bohol to give out the relief goods and to see the damages done by the earthquake. It was water first before anything else, since this was the immediate need, we were able to raise enough to give out 1,008 bottles of 1L. It was God’s hand moving and God’s heart working for without Him, we wouldn’t have done any of it. Second batch of relief goods was sent October 30, 2013 with 19 boxes and 12 sacks all mixed with 2 kilograms of rice, 3 canned goods and 2 noodles enough to help at least 383 families. We are still waiting for the 3rd batch of relief goods which will be sent as soon as we can gather more from people who willingly extend help for the earthquake victims in Bohol.
Out from these shaking, I have learned 3 things: (1) It has helped strengthen my faith in God (2) It renewed my relationship with Him and with my loved ones (3) I can be a blessing to others when I allow myself to be used by God.
The damages will always be a reminder for the people in Bohol of a nightmare that once disturbed the beautiful tourist spot. Bangon means to rise again. Soon enough, even after the shaking and awakenings–Bohol will rise and will soar high on wings like an eagle. For where lives are destroyed, characters are being strengthened.
God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him. Thank you Abba!