Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Telling the Truth: A Rotarian's Bitter-Sweet Dilemma

Marvin Macatol
17 January 2012

The New Year 2012 is here and I wish it finds you well. I also wished the Christmas Season that closed the previous year was spent well and joyously with family and loved ones.

As you may already know, in another part of the country, I couldn't say those lines. In my home city of Cagayan de Oro, a flood caught everyone sleeping and swept them away in the unholy dark and early hours of December 17, 2011. These were all in the papers.

My family and relatives were fortunate to have been spared. But an indescribable pain still burned my heart. It found expression in a series of slides entitled, "Remembering Sendong (Washi): Did You Really Understand What Happened?"

These slides illustrated how Sendong, the twisted decision of the Cagayan de Oro City government to allow people to live in hazardous areas of the city, and the denudation of the forests became a lethal mix that created the catastrophe that killed more than 1,000 people -- formal and informal settlers alike.