Yes, this post is untitled because I don’t have any idea what to label it. I haven’t posted here since the New Year because I’ve been busy – and because of many other reasons.

There were times when I wanted to write something about the New Year, but I was too busy to do so. There were moments, too, when I actually started to write a follow up to the post I did on Sendong, but no words came out. I was overwhelmed by the mix of emotions inside me. I wanted to write something for the 40th anniversary of that awful December tragedy, but I didn’t know what to say. Or rather, I couldn’t think of words that would describe what I felt – what I still feel up to now. I wanted to just post pictures, but I didn’t have enough of them. A few days ago, I wanted to pour out everything that I was feeling, so I started to write a short story. But I couldn’t go on. How could I tell a story about something that I still cannot understand? How will I describe something that’s so indescribable? Most of all, I was here in CDO when Sendong landed, but I wasn’t out there in the middle of the deep and dangerous waters like the many who suffered and died…What right did I have to tell a story about what they went through?

Every morning, I wake up wondering what will happen to us, Kagay-anons, and to our beloved CDO. Most of the time, I am hopeful, because I know that many of my fellow Kagay-anons are putting things into perspective. But sometimes, there’s also fear; fear that the worst is not yet over, fear that another Sendong will work its way to our beloved city.

There are a lot of things that I want to do to help those who are still rebuilding their lives. Especially the children. It frustrates me at times because I cannot do all that I want to. But then, I think of all the people who have stepped up to help and continue to do so in their own ways, and I am – once again – overwhelmed. Many Kagay-anons have joined forces to reach out to those who were struck by Sendong’s wrath. The concept of bayanihan and “gawad kalinga” (give care) was literally brought to life. That thought is what gives me hope.

I know that because of all these courageous, generous and selfless Kagay-anons, our city will rise up from the ashes soon. It’s not an easy process, but it will happen in time. I know that if we keep working together, we will eventually get to that long awaited goal – and things will be all right.

For now, I take consolation in a song by Justin Hines, a Canadian singer who is in a wheelchair because of a rare genetic disease called Larsen’s Syndrome. The song is titled “Courage (Come Out and Play)”. It paints a clear picture of all the brave Kagay-anons who work for the good of others day in and day out. It reminds me of all the brave Kagay-anons who are one in their goal of seeing Cagayan de Oro rise up again.  The song reminds me of the courageous victims of Sendong who are painfully, slowly but surely picking up the pieces of their broken lives. Below is an excerpt from the song:

“Gonna ride alone tonight, gonna slay the demons in my way
Cause now I know the feelin’s right, the cause of freedom’s here to stay
Gonna ride alone tonight, they will know the battles all been won
Faith no longer out of sight, my heart pointed to the sun
Yeah I said Courage, won’t you come out to play, won’t you come out to play
I’m a livin’ it down again, I’m a bringin’ it back some day
I said Courage… won’t you come out to play, won’t you come out to play
I’m a livin’ it down again, I’m gonna need to call your friends.
So here’s a hopin’ I find you along the way”

Carry on, fellow Kagay-anons! CDO will rise up soon and we will all be reborn!

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