OFW loses house in Compostela landslide, but not hope
RONALDO CONCHA, GMANews.TV
09/09/2008 05:49 PM
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — For OFW Melissa Magbutay, the loss of the house and business she built from 16 years of earnings abroad in Compostela Valley’s landslides last weekend, is almost too much to bear.But the 42-year-old, who works at a clinic in Jeddah, has not lost hope. In fact, she is rallying other OFWs who are from the landslide-stricken village of Masara to band together to face the challenge of rebuilding.
“Sa aking mga kabaranggay sa Masara na narito din sa Jeddah, ‘wag sana tayong mawalan nang pagasa. Napakahirap ang sinapit ng ating lugar pero kailangan nating harapin ito (To my village mates at Masara who are here in Jeddah, let’s not lose hope. What our village has gone through is too hard to bear but we must face the challenge squarely," she said.
Magbutay said she felt like the world was falling on her when her daughter told her by phone on Saturday that their house and entire business were gone, swept away in the landslide."Hindi ako nakakibo agad at bigla nag iba ang paligid ko bigla akong pinanghinaan at nanlumo ako nang husto.
Mabuti na lamang at ligtas ang aking ina at mga anak kahit paano ay nakaramdam ako nang ginhawa (“I was speechless and my surroundings seemed to have suddenly changed. It was like my world collapsed on me," a teary-eyed Magbutay told GMANews.TV.
A total of 54 houses in Masara, a barangay in Maco town, were swept by two landslides, the first one 3:45 p.m. Saturday and the second at 3 a.m. Sunday. Officials on Tuesday said the death toll rose to 20 with the recovery of the bodies of some villagers who were buried in mud.Magbutay said she was further saddened that one of her cousins perished but was also elated to hear that her mother and her children managed to flee before the landslide swept their house.
It so happened that their house was located at the lower end of the village, which allowed them enough time to evacuate."Isa sa naconfirm na namatay ay ang pinsan ko (One of those confirmed dead was my cousin)," she said.Magbutay said she was tempted to look for someone to blame for the tragedy, but on second thoughts, was still thankful that her immediate family was still able to escape unhurt.
While calling on President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to help all the victims, she also rallied fellow OFWs, especially those from the southern region of Davao, to help build a new community for the victims. - GMANews.TV