Puguis.

Yesterday over lunch, my mom read out a snippet from the other day’s newspaper. I was in the middle of ice cream and Oreos when the taste switched from sweet to salty. A young girl had been buried in a landslide and high school friends came to see her one last time except, they had come for someone else. Another girl lost her life in the landslide too. She and her siblings were all sharing a meal. They had been gathered together by the rough weather in the house of another sister. It came as a surprise to them that they were all present as they live in different houses and have families of their own to look after. They all perished in the landslide but what struck me most was the ordeal of their father. He had heard the news and struggled to find a vehicle to bring him to the site. He was only driven halfway so he walked the rest stopping only when he reached the local elementary school. There he discovered the bodies of all of his children. I don’t know how he managed after that.

One of the girls I mentioned earlier kept a journal and this is what she wrote:

Be strong. Remember that everything has a happy ending and that endings don’t mean “Stop!” It’s just a way of telling us that there is a new beginning ahead of us. You should always be ready for the unpredictable and expect the unexpected.

14-year-old Ruthie Fae Valdez and the Juan children died in a landslide in Puguis, Benguet. They were sharing meals with those they loved.

Let’s try not to forget the faces of the people who were taken away from us.

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One thought on “Puguis.

  1. Mela says:

    Thank you for writing this. It’s so painful to read of these stories, even now, and yet. These are the things we need to know. To remember. We need to remember.

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