Braving quite a distant travel from their respective municipalities to come right to the flooded, devastated community of Zones 5, 7 and 9 in Acacia St., Barangay Carmen, a strong contingent of more than 4,000 clean-up volunteers led by mayors and vice mayors from 23 municipalities of Misamis Oriental came to conduct the city’s first major post-Sendong clean-up drive and in the process brought hope to this community.
A day and a month after tropical storm Sendong hit Cagayan de Oro, municipal-wide volunteers of barangay tanods, municipal government employees, barangay health workers, BNS, women, fishermen, youth, church people, mayors and vice-mayors for the clean-up collectively identified themselves as Kagay-anon Kami Katambayayong Mo, Misamisnon- KKK came to the city determined to help lighten the burden of Kagay-anons who were greatly affected by the big flood that ravaged riverside communities of this city late night of December 16, 2011 .
Equipped with shovels, broomsticks, sacks, rakes, bolos, and backed up by heavy equipment such as payloaders, dump trucks, and backhoes, the volunteers proceeded to clean up this ravaged community’s streets, canals, front yards and houses. Walking single file from Gaston Park to Barangay Carmen, they solemnly carried their cleaning tools which, Monsgnor Elmer Abacahin called in his prayer for the volunteers as “armas sa pagtabang, armas nga atong ihalad sa Ginoo.”
“Ang clean-up drive panag-ignan sa katawhan nga Misamisnon nga magtinabangay pinaagi sa aksyon,” said Jay Pagaran, 45 years old and a barangay tanod from the western Misamis Oriental municipality of Initao. Well-prepared for the occasion in knee-high boots and long sleeved he and his fellow tanods cleaned up a house in Zone 5, Carmen with their shovels.
His first time to see the devastation wrought by Sendong, he realized the enormity of the task to clean up the place. “Tungod sa kadako sa kadaot nga nadala sa baha, dili gyud diay kaya sa usa lang ka pamilya ang pagpanglimpyo sa ilang lugar. Gikinahanglan nila ang tabang sa uban pang katawhan,” Jay added.
At the end of the day, local folks in Barangay Carmen were heard admitting to having felt moved and greatly thankful by the acts of compassion shown by Kagay-anon Kami Katambayayong Mo Misamisnon.
Agapito Ampo, 62 years old a worker in Ororama, and who has lived in Acacia for 27 years said, “Dako kaayo akong pasalamat sa mga volunteers kay gikapoy na jud ko sa pila na ka semanang pagpanglimpyo.”
Indeed, the generosity of spirit shown by the 4,000 strong volunteers brought comfort to the residents.
Pictures: See Clean Up Drive