On the night of December 16, 2011, typhoon Sendong (internationally known as Washi) hit Northern Mindanao, Philippines really hard.
We thought it was just another storm that brought heavy rains and strong winds. But, at midnight to around 1AM on December 17, we were all surprised how powerful and devastating Sendong was. Our town (Balulang, Cagayan de Oro City) was flooded with rushing muddy water from the river. It was so quick and scary that the water reached the rooftop in less than 5 minutes. If you could just imagine, at that rate of time, there are no material things to save, only lives to secure.
Indeed, we weren't able to save anything. We lost all our possessions. We lost all that we worked hard for. It was painful and hard. I even lost my two dogs. They are nowhere to be found at the moment. However, seeing that all the members of my family are alive though injured is already such a great relief for me. It's something to be really thankful for. After all, we can recover those possessions in time. We only have one life and we're thankful we are all alive.
That one night changed everything. Our once peaceful and happy town is now more like a ghost town filled with cars that went upside down, wrecked houses, mud, garbage and even buried dead bodies. I am still in a state of shock and even on a post traumatic stress.
Sendong was destructive and scary. That never happened in the 21 years of my existence. I just hope it will never happen again.