It happened on May 16. I went home at around 4pm to cook for my mom's friends' going away party. I just finished cooking pasta & just preparing ingredients for the sauce when mom arrived at around 5pm. I heard what seems to be pebbles & stones rolling from the ceiling. It didnt bother me much coz we hear them often ever since we transferred to that rent-to-own condominiums. I was at the kitchen area & mom, after chit chats with neighbors, went in to check on me. Then we heard the stones & pebbles a little louder & seems to be growing in numbers. In a few seconds the tiny sound became really loud. "Chug, chug, chug, chug..." then somebody screamed, "Si Faith. Si faith." i knew something wasn't right & we needed to go out. That was our neighbor calling for his 2 year old daughter. I hurried to the door but my mom, not knowing what was happening locked the screen door of our unit. I forced it open, "Mommy, tara na! Tara na!". "Mom, let's go. Let's go!" She went further inside as i walked outside the door. I went back in coz my mom was still inside. "MA, tara na!", i shouted again. She turned off all appliances & got some stuff before she finally went out with me. Everyone was outside. Big chunks of cement that seems to be our wall was all over the parking area. We looked up the building from across the street & saw that the ceiling & beams from the third floor crashed. Brave neighbors rushed to the 3rd floor again coz someone was trapped. All i can think of were the 4 below 7 years old kids i used to play with. My eyes were heavy but tears wont fall down coz i dont know yet who or what was trapped in there. 5 men tried but needed more jacks (the one you use for lifting cars & trucks) just to uncover the kid. It was a young lad, son of the maid from the first floor tenant. My younger sister & i just cried.
I was only able to save our important documents, my everyday bag, laptops & few pieces of clothes my sister & i can share. The rest of our stuff, we can hopefully get after the city engineer declares the building safe & stable. So we had to crash into my grandpa's house for a couple of nights til we figure out how we can start our life back.
"donations" poured in through the generous hearts of friends from CFC. They were really sweet giving us nice & decent clothes, shoe & even cooking & eating utensils.
Life is still beautiful amidst the chaos.
I think, physically, we wont have so much trouble getting our lives back on track. But for me, emotionally, it would take some time. And I think i would be needing a shrink. When my friends are around I can laugh at the funny anecdotes that transpired during the accident. But when Im alone, thats when the fear & frustration strikes back.
I was inside that building that could have collapsed. THe sound as it was happening scare me. What if the building fall on me? Will anyone search for me? Will anyone be brave enough to rescue me at once? What will happen to myHusband if he learns about the tragedy? How will he take it?
My mom was inside the building that could have collapsed. She didnt go out immediately. i had to shout at her several times before she decided to go out. What was she thinking? What if i wasn'tt there to persuade her to go out? What if within those few seconds deciding to go out or not the building collapsed on her? What if she was trapped & i was spared? What will happen to us? What will happen to my dad? Will they blame me? What if both of us were trapped? What if.....A lot more questions run around my head.
I shouldnt entertain these thoughts & just be thankful that we were saved. And majority of the tenants are alright. except for that innocent boy who was at the wrong place at the wrong time. May he rest in peace.
I cant sleep well after that incident. As I lay on my bed just before i close my eyes, I quietly listen to the sounds around me. I can only close my eyes when i hear nothing. I'm very cautious now of what i hear. It will take some time before i can again trust the sounds i hear. It scares me more often than anyone could imagine. I would cry out of the blue when i recall what had happen. It haunts me & will continue to haunt me til i can no longer remember that fateful afternoon.
I just pray that everyone who experienced the tragedy will be able to move on as quickly as possible. Life is short to dwell on too much on something unpleasant.
I pray too that people would understand what we went through and genuinely assist & give us support when we need most.
I pray also that all of us wont argue who to blame coz no one wanted that accident. But whoever is responsible should ACT NOW so that everyone can move on with their lives.
I thank God that i have my entire body & my family safe & sound. the stuff, we can always buy those. But my family, even though they are frustrating most of the time, are just irreplaceable.
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