Sunday, September 2, 2012

Instinct and resignation in the face of adversity

TRAUMATIZED by last February’s earthquake, college student Maria immediately went out of her apartment when she felt the tremors last Friday night.
The 19-year-old, who was changing inside her room in Barangay Labangon, Cebu City when the 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck, wasn’t even aware that she wasn’t wearing a bra.
“Nakabantay na lang ko daghan lalaki nagtan-aw nako (I only realized I didn’t have one on when I noticed all the men staring at my chest),” she told Sun.Star Cebu.
“Kusog kaayo. Na-rattle na ko (The tremors were really strong. I panicked),” Maria said. She said all she could think about was to save herself.
A woman in the crowd came to her rescue and handed her a towel.
Erlinda Manto, a 48-year-old native of Negros Occidental, also ran for her life when panic gripped shoppers inside a mall at the North Reclamation Area.
When the building started to shake, people cried and screamed, she said.
“Murag pareha atong nahitabo sauna nga fake tsunami diri sa Cebu (It was the same reaction to the tsunami scare after last February’s earthquake),” she said.
Workers at the I.T. Park in Barangay Lahug congregated outside their offices.
Danny Igme, a 34-year-old call center agent, said he was in the elevator when the earthquake struck.
Igme said he thought he was going to die. He said he had a mental picture of wire snapping and the elevator plunging to the ground with him inside it.
“I guess it was not yet my time,” he said.
He said he calmly stepped out of the elevator when it reached the first level to join other call center agents who were heading out of the building.
For 27-year-old street vendor Rolando Labra, his problem wasn’t the earthquake.
Labra, who sells kwek-kwek, or breaded quail eggs, on Colon St., said his customers ran when the earthquake began.
“Wala bayri sa akong ubang mga customers (Some of them hadn’t paid yet),” he said.