Sendong aftermath: not quite Christmas

Rappler.com
Residents attempt Christmas after the onslaught of Sendong.

BAYUG ISLAND, Iligan – The residents of Bayug have lost many. According to Social Welfare Officer Peregrina Mantos, 77 bodies have been found and 92 more are missing. Residents say the bodies may have been washed out into the sea.

It is the first time Bayug has flooded in thirty years. Those who have lost their homes are confident they can go back. The island, they say, is not prone to disaster, the fault lies with illegal logging.

Three backhoes have been sent to Bayug, where the Kapai river deposited bodies and refuse from villages in its path. Residents from other villages have taken to digging through the rubble, hoping to find missing relatives.

Many of those left spent their Christmas along the highway or in evacuation centers. Over 524 families have been affected, with 488 homes totally damaged. The food is donated, the cakes made by residents themselves in an attempt at Christmas cheer. Many others who have lost entire families have chosen to forego Christmas completely. They say there is no point. Others offer journalists what they can—even those who have so little. –Rappler.com

(Video by John Javellana. Editing by Nico Puertollano. Text by Patricia Evangelista. Score by Kevin MacLeod.)