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By Tiffany Chan
We cannot keep making the same mistakes. “Yolanda” was not the Philippines’ first encounter with a category-5 typhoon. In 1990, Cebu and other provinces was hit by “Ruping” (international name: “Mike”), which left damage worth P10.8 billion and a death toll of more than 700.
By Ma. Ceres P. Doyo
The first images of the destruction wrought by the killer quake that struck the island provinces of Bohol and Cebu on Oct. 15 were those of ancient churches that crumbled to the ground like polvoron. Only later, after the media had arrived, were more images seen and voices heard from ruins in remote places.
By Ambeth R. Ocampo
Of the many Facebook posts I scrolled through recently, one that sticks out is a photo of three migratory birds spotted somewhere on the University of the Philippines Diliman campus. From childhood I remember seeing these white birds from the NLEx viaduct that passes over Candaba Swamp, a wide expanse that has Amorsolo-style rice fields in the dry season but looks like the sea during the wet season. They don’t call this area the Central Luzon plain for nothing because the only thing that juts out of the earth for miles is an extinct volcano known as Mt. Arayat, whose last eruption was in prehistoric times, meaning before written or recorded history. Arayat is a serene sight that might surprise us one day with some fireworks. An egg enters the Bulacan side of the viaduct as an itlog and exits the Pampanga side as an ebun. “Itlog” is “egg” in Tagalog, “ibon” is “bird,” but “ebun” is “egg” in Kapampangan.
While attention is focused on the devastation wrought by the earthquake in Central Visayas, spare a thought for other people laid low by past disasters. For many of them, surviving a disaster is only the beginning of their struggle.
By Fr. Jerry M. Orbos SVD
The story is told about a little boy who, in order to get the attention of the busy store owner, shouted: “I would like to buy the two most popular compounds, sodium chloride and the simplest glucose, and also the common spices, allium cepa and allium sativum, all worth $0.4807692!” The store owner was stunned. “Now that I have your attention,” the little boy then said, “I’d like to buy salt, sugar, onions, and garlic. Converted to pesos, that’s P22.”
Centuries-old churches damaged or destroyed in Bohol and Cebu are among the casualties in recent earthquake. Conservation groups from here and abroad, the clergy, state historical, cultural agencies and local communities are joining hands to restore and rebuild them. Video by Ryan Leagogo/INQUIRER.net
By Neal H. Cruz
War in Zamboanga, one typhoon after another, floods and landslides everywhere, millions of Filipinos jobless and hungry, politicians looting the treasury, and now a powerful earthquake in Central Visayas that destroyed heritage churches, buildings, roads, bridges and homes and claimed more than 100 lives. What other disasters await us? It is as if the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are galloping toward us. Is God punishing us because of corruption?
By Conrado de Quiros
The incredibly—or miraculously—providential thing, the dazed survivors would say, was that it was a holiday. There were no classes, there were no open offices, there was no hustle and bustle that went with the normal workday. Or else a lot more people would have died. A lot more people would have had stone and concrete tumble over them. A lot more people would have been buried under the rubble. A lot more people would have been trampled on the violently shaking streets.
By Randy David
Active geological faults, or fractures in the Earth’s crust that show movement over time, have been known to cause most earthquakes.
By Rina Jimenez-David
Among the saddest sights from the damage wrought by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that hit Bohol and surrounding provinces on Tuesday were the ruins of old churches in Bohol and Cebu.
By Juan L. Mercado
Will the pork barrel scam spiral into a march by the millions next week? The theft shoved to the back burners other equally critical issues from “nutritional black holes” to loss of keystone species.
By Juan L. Mercado
“Make failure your tutor, not your undertaker.” The Philippines’ 142 cities watch a tutorial unfold on Cebu’s spreading shortages of an irreplaceable resource: water. Diseases surge when taps run dry.