On December 16, 2013, was the second anniversary of typhoon Sendong (international code name Washi). The dawn of December 17, 2011 marks the unforgettable tragedy in Cagayan de Oro City. Typhoon and strong flash flood cussed terrible disaster in the city. Hundreds were swelled by the river or died in the flood in their own houses caught by surprised during the darkness of night. Many houses, chapels, cars and electrical posts were completely destroyed and taken by the flood to the sea. Thousands of people became homeless and were affected because of hunger lowliness and worries. Most of the families in the city lost at least one member in this tragedy. It was a terrible tragedy.
We know today that more than 1,200 people perished in the flood. Damage to property, infrastructure and agriculture was estimated at almost PHP 1 Billion. Almost 9,000 families were left homeless.
Yesterday night there were celebrations throughout the city to commemorate this tragedy and to remember those who died. Also in the Village of the Mother of Divine Mercy, home of 320 families, survivors of Sendong, there was a simple but meaningful gathering and prayer. After a mass, during which all members of the village were present, we sent 12 lanterns to the skies. It was very symbolic guest to remember more than 12 hundreds those who died. In silence we sent and watched the lights that flew straight up to the skies like our prayer to heaven.
I this meaningful celebration took part the newly elected president of the Village, president of the chapel and many guests from the city.
Mother of Divine Mercy Village in details:
At this moment there are 320 families living in the houses (30 m square each) in the village. There is a deep well and the families have easy access to the water, but the water is not provided to every house. They have to fetch the water outside situated in a few places in the village. There is installed electricity and drainage system in the entire area of the village. Yet there is no electricity in every house but it will be provided within a few weeks. In the center of the village there is a large cask, covered area, which is used for different activities and meetings. Every Sunday there is a mass celebrated there.
The future plan for the Village includes 280 additional houses. It would enlarge the Village to become a home for 600 families. It is the original plan. Beside the houses there is a plan to build a chapel, kindergarten, sport playground and a market. All of these will depend on the generosity of our sponsors and benefactors. We are very happy with the development of the project of the Mother of Divine Mercy Village and it’s fast growth. Thank you for all that in anyway helped and supported this important project. God bless you.
By: Fr. Andrew Sudol, scj