December 16 is always a memorable date for Filipinos because it is the start of "Simbang Gabi" or Midnight Masses which for nine consecutive days, Filipinos eager to attend believing to gain indulgence. It is always a happy date to note but, December 16, 2011 marked a catastrophic event in the history of Cagayan de Oro City, my beloved hometown. Bagyong Sendong or Tropical Storm Washi hit Northern Mindanao and caused widespread flash floods. At 10PM, the raging flood of mud and water rises as far as 31 feet in seconds. Caught off-guard, the Cagayanons living along the river banks took refuge on their roof , the trees and higher buildings. Those who woke up too late drowned inside their bungalow-styled houses. The fatality is 1, 300, more than a thousand missing and displacing 20,000 people. For the first time, affected Baranggays only experienced one Simbang Gabi. Who would ever thought that December 16, 2011 is a tragic day to remember for the rest of our lives? Thanks to NADEREV SANO for the picture shared in FB pages. Check the inspiring experience of KEISHA: A SENDONG SURVIVOR STORY.
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