after a long week of mourning and grieving, we finally got the chance to visit our lost friend in puguis, la trinidad, benguet. friday last week, we took the risk to go up the north. it took us 4hours to reach baguio from the usual 2 1/2 hours since we needed to take the detours in pangasinan.
i can’t sleep during that time, as if my emotions were lingered with so much worries. as we passed through the narrow and winding road of marcos highway, with mud on its side that came from the mountains and some roadcuts, i still can’t help myself but to think of what happened to our dearest ate toni.
my heart beats faster and faster as we were getting nearer and nearer to our destination. as soon as we got to the church where the remains of our dearest ate toni and the rest of her family were placed, my heart started to break slowly. tears fell from my eyes. it even felt more painful than losing a bf. it’s not the usual pain, but the pain that comes from within, that not even encouraging words can comfort me.
my colleagues and i started to realized, that yes it is indeed true, ate toni is already gone. i, myself, cannot accept the fact that she is really gone but what can i do, nandyan na sa harapan ko ang katawan niya na nasa kabaong, need i contest more to what i wanted to believe in that she is still alive.
a tribute was given to ate toni that night together with her youngest sister, who also died in a landslide. we prepared an audio visual presentation. then we started to deliver our eulogies after the avp was played. it was the first time i delivered a Eulogy, it took me minutes to have the courage to speak about her on how she had touched our lives, in front of people i am not familiar with since i can’t stop crying. it was so hard, yet i still managed to tell everybody how thankful i am to have her in my life.
before we left the church that night, me and my friend ev were able to talk to ate toni’s father. he told us how hard and painful it is to lose half of his family members. we sympathized with him, since we know that what happened was very traumatic on his part. however, despite the experiences, he still managed to share to us how a big piece of mud took the lives of his wife, son, and two daughters in just few seconds. according to him, yung landslide ay lumihis sa bahay namin pero dahil sa sobrang lakas ng impact nito sa pagbagsak sa kalsada, nagbounce ito pabalik sa taas kaya tinamaan ang halos lahat ng bahay sa lugar namin. maybe, just maybe, they wanted to save their lives pero dahil panahon na para kunin sila ni Lord, nangyari ang dapat o kinatatakutang mangyari.
the next day a funeral service was held at the same church. her sisters shared their own stories, and again, it made us cried.
we also took the chance to glance for the last time ate toni’s body before it will be buried.
after the service, we headed to the cemetery. upon arrival the sun was still high. almost all the people who attended the funeral service also went to the burial.
a short prayer was delivered and songs of praises to the Lord were sang.
we witnessed how the left family members grieved as their loved ones were buried on the ground.
the rain poured after few minutes of staying in the cemetery, as if nakikiramay at nakikidalamhati ang langit.
then it stopped after it expressed its feelings. that time, after grieving, mourning, and crying we still managed to smile in front of the camera. i believed that this is what ate toni wants to see in us, to smile just like the smile she always had.
yes, it is quite painful at times but what comforts me is the thought that she and her mom, sister and brother is already with the Lord.
the lost of a friend taught me some few things. that
1. there is no safer place than to be at God’s hands
2. as long as we have the chance to live on this earth, we should express how much we love our family, friends, and people close to us
3. we should learn to forgive those who do wrong to us, hurt us, and sin against us and likewise, we should also learn to say sorry if we have done wrong to others
4. we should always trust the Lord in everything dahil lahat ng bagay galing sa Kanya at kontrolado Niya ang buhay. like what ate toni once said, LIVE FOR WHAT IS ETERNAL!
5. life is so short. so let’s make the best out of it.
leaving you with this picture. habang nakikita ko ang batang ito, nakakakita ako na habang may buhay may pag-asa at bukas pang haharapin, ngunit sa kabila nito natatakot din ako na sa posibilidad na ilang bata pa ang mawawalan ng kinabukasan dahil sa delubyong ating nararanasan.
Let us pray for everybody’s safety. GodBless!