PLAIN AND SIMPLE| Enormous loss

WHO is to blame for the misery we are in with the landslide along the diversion road?

Why did that portion of the shrine give in to the immense power of water?

They said we should stop blaming people particularly our leaders? Blaming them won’t erase this misery we are in.

So why indeed is that portion of the hill crumble to the mighty force of the water?

Since I came to Davao City in 1974 from our province in Compostela Valley, I never saw or heard that any portion of the shrine hills experienced a landslide that was fatal, to say the least.

The shrine was and is always a testament of the city’s respect for the ecological balance and to the sacredness of that hill where the Sto. Nino shrine is located. It has been called a shrine, but I doubt if the Catholic Church in Davao has really declared that as a shrine.

But this is beside the point. The shrine has always been the succor of many devotees, a home to nature lovers, birds and other species.

Not until the early 20′s or late 90′s that the shrine was shaken with ‘development efforts.” In the name of development, the shrine’s left side or right side portion was bulldozed to pave the way for housing subdivisions or whatever.

Years back, I had the chance to talk to a geologist and he said that once the shrine is disturbed, it is not a distant possibility that it will give up. Landslide is never a remote possibility, he said

Why not tell them (the leaders of our city and other concerned agencies), I asked him. But he said he was just one voice in the wilderness. For a geologist to feel that, how much for a layman like me and anyone else in this city.

And every time I pass by the diversion road and see the side of shrine bulldozed, I cringe at the thought of it giving up. And I pity the houses of people and other businesses beneath it. This portion is dangerous, I always tell the taxi drivers who would take me to the airport or downtown.

Rains descended on us, and the water seeped in those cracks. Slowly and steady, the rain does damage to the yellowish soil of the shrine. Not limestone, but soft yellow soil that does not stick to each other’s tissues.

One day last week, the heavy downpour took that portion by storm, and it gave up. Landslide descended fast with waters like torrents to destroy whatever was that thing that hold the soil to each other. We all woke up to the reality that those huge trucks could not pass that portion of the diversion road.

No choice, but to pass through the city. And in an instant everything was a huge mess. The city stood still and the losses started to pile up. From the place where my house is – was an eternity of distance.

I used to take some 20 minutes to reach downtown, but this time it took me more than two hours. It was good because the taxi driver gently accepted the mess were are in. I usually pay 150, but this time I paid 280. Whew! It was really a mess.

But the most pitiful and miserable situation was the sight of commuters and passengers, (mostly office workers and students) desperately waiting for a ride. And there was none.

Parents were desperately waiting for their children to go home. It was almost a nightmare they could not comprehend. And so many parents, one of them was my niece waited for her son to come home. He walked from UM to Bangkal. He arrived almost 12 midnight.

I am just curious about the implications of this nightmare. Unsa kahay huna huna sa kong mga kaila na councilors sa Davao like Councilors Pilar Braga, Dado Mahipus, Maris S. Abella, Bonnie Militar, and Danny Dayanghirang noh?

They are my kaila that is why I mention their names here. What is your take on what happened to shrine my kailang councilors? Just thought of you because no subdivisions in Davao will be developed without passing through your offices. Tama ba ko?

Nah, forget this if you really couldn’t care less about what happened there. But the nightmare the commuters, students and office workers experienced was unthinkable. To be honest, they could curse anyone around for the situation which could have been prevented.

Ah, anyway, we trust in the goodness, ability, and compassion of our leaders. They can solve this. Trust them.

Posted in Opinion