“A CALAMITY THAT BRINGS YOU CLOSER To God is better than a blessing that will let you forget Him”, quotes Bishop Abet Uy.
This “hu-got” line of the good Bishop which was issued during the 6th anniversary marking the biggest disaster (7.3 Magnitude Earthquake) to hit Bohol on October 15, 2013, became a viral sensation in both the social media and in the airlanes.
Boholanos who found themselves resilient after the quake – paused for a while last Tuesday and tried in the right spirit to recall how was it on the day after the tragedy.
First, Boholanos saw the silver linings even amidst such an unspeakable disaster. One, that the devastating tremor did not happen on a Sunday. Otherwise, thousands would have gotten killed inside the churches amid huge collapsing debris.
Two, it happened on a declared holiday, sparing students from the violent stampedes and getting trapped in schools.
The resiliency of the Boholanos was proven in that Great Earthquake, the strongest ever here- wherein 200 people died and damages were enormous including iconic centuries-old churches.
Infrastructure damages were also on a high level to include roads, bridges and houses, classrooms and root crops.
The third blessing was the spontaneous expression of unity and assistance among Boholanos worldwide, It was almost unbelievable to see roads all over Bohol teeming with families and companies delivering relief goods to the quake-stricken victims.
The unexpected turn of massive sympathy and help was so touching, It was another sparkling moment where Boholanos showed their outstanding traits of generosity and helpfulness.
Through their faith-based generosity, it was clear to them what the Messiah had said in The Book: Whatever you do to the least of your brethren, you do unto Me.”
The true-blue generosity of the Boholanos also came in abundance especially in the restoration of the old churches, Ninety percent of the damaged churches have been restored and two of which, namely, Cortes and Loboc will be done in time for the Misa de Gallo this Christmas. Some restorations were in tandem with government official assistance.
The 6th year commemoration of the Powerful Quake here was followed by Central Mindanao provinces being rocked by an almost equally strong tremor last Wednesday. Mindanaoans who were in the same condition as the Boholanos six years ago – were also brought down to their bended knees – praying to the Almighty for deliverance when the tragedy struck them.
It has always been such a truism whenever tragedy, tribulations or other trials in life strike man with surprise and ferocity. Whenever they come into our midst, we become so intimate in our prayer with God.
But, admittedly, and sadly-in good times, we sometimes forget His presence, Like the nine of the ten lepers, in good times, we take God’s grace for granted and feel we are responsible for our wealth, health and happiness. How puny our thoughts, oh little creatures of God. We do not even say “Thank You” to Him for giving us our daily bread.
We do not even say “sorry” to God for our daily trespasses and even find it hard to forgive those trespass against us. Let us not forget that even in “The Lord’s Prayer”, the word “love” is never mentioned even once. But yes, forgiveness is spoken of in that prayer- because, truly, forgiveness is one of the highest forms of love.
Ever wondered why the “Our Father” is called “The Lord’s Prayer”? Stop wondering now.
The lesson learned here -is that in Good Times and Bad, the Holy Triune God is our Lord and Saviour. Let us acknowledge His Mighty Hand in the good and bad fortune that befalls man. Let us not be just “fair-weather” friends. God could be hurt with that. Shalom!
SUICIDE PREVENTION, UNLIMITED
Meanwhile, this deeply religious province is moving as one community to address the surprisingly high incidence of suicide cases.
Psychologists, volunteers and medical practitioners are coming together for this. Just yesterday, the church-supported “Pagpakabuhi” Paghatag ug Pagtagad Sa Bililhong Kinabuhi” will be launched today with Dr. Emem Uy, a municipal health officer at the helm as a chief volunteer. This is an intervention center established in Baclayon.
The “Project Bohol Mental Awareness”, composed of young professionals and volunteers will also hold this week its kick-off activity while the city government formalized their own group of volunteers.
So, by now, we expect many hotline numbers that these people in depression can call 24/7 and prevent the useless loss of lives.
For our part, the Bohol Chronicle Radio Corp gathered its news writers, anchormen and reporters to discuss how we can lessen the impact of this news regarding several suicide cases in Bohol- to prevent the point of sensationalizing it or creating an unwanted trend.
Tomorrow, during the top-rated station dyRD “Inyong Alagad” program, the radio station will highlight how people here as a community can help in minimizing the suicide incidence in the province. We invite you all to listen and call and share your thoughts.
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