“No doubt. My faith is tested.”
Tuesday, October 15, 2013, minutes after 8 AM. I busied back my self in working with an email after taking my last break. I was already looking forward for my shift to end at 9. A call came in and I answered it with a very pleasant tone, ready to assist and resolve another problem (and just so you’re new in my blog, yes. I work in the Call Center Industry).
The customer’s issue is quite complicated I need to ask assistance from our support. So I placed her on hold and looked for SME Drew who was also busy in his station. I called him, he turned to me but with a curious look. I felt the floor is shaking, my computer is terrifyingly moving. I thought it was just another stomps on the floor that shakes it. Only to realize it was an abnormal shake. It wasn’t just stomps of a bunch of people. It shakes the entire floor. My eyes locked on Drew as he continued to observe the behavior of the floor… and then, he shouted: “Under the table guys!” His voice was shaky and scared. I looked around me as my colleagues hid themselves under their stations. I didn’t how I was able to follow. I only realize I was already under my table covering my ears (it’s an earthquake but it’s funny that I covered my ears instead of my head).
The shaking continued stronger and stronger and I thought it’ll be my last day on earth. No pun intended, though it’s exaggerating. It maybe exaggerating because it was my first time in my whole life. Of course I have a childhood memory of an earthquake, but I was too young to care then, I can’t compare my feelings at that time from this most recent one. And did I mention we are located at the 7th floor of the building?
Drew was still screaming, I can hear a colleague from the other station telling his customer about what was happening, from the station in front of me I can hear a sob. I closed my eyes- resisted to look at my shaking surroundings. I started a prayer. The first prayer ever came into my head was “Our Father”, putting a stress on each and every word.
I was praying, but my mind is playing the scariest movie. My faith was indeed tested. I tried to shook away my negative thoughts and tried to focus more on my prayer. But it’s not working. I know it isn’t right. I was praying therefore I should put trust to the Lord. But let’s not be hypocrites. There will be those times you wanted to trust Him but still it seems like you don’t feel safe at all–making us more of a sinner.
Even before I say “Amen” the shaking stopped. Drew then asked everyone to get out of the building and use the Fire Exit. I’m very grateful he was there! It’s so hard to imagine if he wasn’t.
Thankfully, we were able to get out of the building safely. I couldn’t think of anything else but worry about my friends whom I didn’t see during and after we got out of the building. I was worried for them, for the people who probably are stuck in the elevator. I was thinking of other people’s safety as if the earthquake just happened in IT Park and not in the whole city of Cebu.
I forgot that I have my sister and cousin who were probably still sleeping during that time. I only remembered them after an hour. There was no way I could contact them for I only have my tumbler with me (and I didn’t even know how was I able to grab it from my table) — and worse, I left my phone charging in our room. So definitely there’s no way for them to contact me or me either to them.
I thought it’d be just once, turns out there were and there still are aftershocks. I wanted to go home around 10 because I couldn’t breath normally. Wheezing! But there’s no way for my asthma to attack during these times and never it should attack.
I’ve waited until they’ve advised us to go home. Well, factually, I’ve waited until I got my other stuff from my table and my locker. But I didn’t go home immediately. I had lunch with some of my teammates and Drew after we got our stuff from the building. Seems like I wasn’t really worried about the two girls at all. Neh?
The time I arrived at our place no one’s around. My sister and my cousin went out for lunch (knew they were because of the note they left. Yes. They’re safe. Thankfully!). The room is messy with bits of cracks from the wall. I checked the entire place, cracks are everywhere, although not really major one’s but enough for me to doubt the place. Tiles from one part of our shower room is broken it collapsed, but am glad the huge mirror at the living room is still in place.
When they arrived after lunch, they told me how scared they were that even my sister cried so bad. All of us were obviously traumatized by the event. And I felt somehow guilty after thinking about my colleagues instead of them.
Mom called a few hours after, and as usual sermonizing me for forgetting about bringing my phone with me. Am always being nagged about this, because am not really attached to my phone I can just forget it everywhere. Anytime. And am tellin’ yah honey, I also keep forgetting about my lesson. *shameful face*
The aftershocks still continue until now. Earlier at around 1 AM another shake woke me up from my sleep at our office’s lounge, and another one at around 7. But there are no aftershocks and earthquakes that could take our courage away, we still work and our operation is back to normal. Business as usual as they call it AND nothing beats the fighter in us. (chos! hahaha)
Though my asthma triggered last night, I feel a lot better today. Nothing to worry about the cat! Oh, did I just mention about my asthma? My mom will kill me now. hahaha!
I’m perfectly fine if I may say it. My i1 family is safe… My sister and cousin are too- they’re even throwing jokes about their reactions about the quake. But my heart is broken for those who have lost their loved ones from the tragedy. For those who have lost their homes and their source of income. And my eyes can’t even look at the photos of our churches which were damaged by the quake. Indeed, God was busy trying to protect our homes and his people, while his own home is being crushed down. Not even God is perfect, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t protected ALL of us. He did. He tried. Let’s not blame him for our loss. Please.
Speaking of homes, I felt relief when our place (which is a 4 storey building) is still in place, though minor damages are obvious specially the wall at the roof deck, but no signs of it giving up. All is well for some of us, and I pray all will also be well for the others.
I couldn’t thank God enough for putting His arms around me. And I feel sorry for not feeling it because I was too busy thinking about how scary death can be.
For those who are safe, let us all be thankful we are. For those who suffer from a major calamity not just in their place but also in their lives, pray. Keep praying. No earthquake should ever stop your from believing everything will be fine so long as we have Him. And may the all the souls of the people who’s role in this world had ended may rest in peace with you dearest Lord.
God Bless us all!
Stay safe everyone!
*Cover Photo is taken one Sunday from last month at the Basilica del Sto. Nino. Entry here.