Emilio waits for his sons

The most painful thing for a parent is having to bury his children.

But for Emilio, father of two miners who were buried in the Itogon, Benguet, that’s all he prays for now- to be given the chance to at least see his children and bury them himself.

 

 

I can’t even compose myself. I feel like I’m being strangled. I can’t breathe. I can’t eat. If my two children are dead, then at least God, please let me bring home their bodies,” he says, still disoriented by the sudden turn of events.

He heard about the incident yesterday. He immediately grabbed whatever he could and headed from Benguet. Emilio lives in Ifugao, a province about eight hours away. Due to road closures, he, along with some families from Ifugao who have missing relatives, walked several hours to reach Itogon.

His children, Arnold and Junior who are both in their thirties, have been working as miners since 2004. Junior has two children, 9 and 4. Like any child, they are waiting for their father to come home. Emilio is not sure how to explain to his grandchildren that they may no longer see their father.

The last time we saw them was in August when they had a week vacation. I even promised them that I will visit so we can start a project together when we have the money. I don’t know why this happened,” he shares, on the verge of tears.

Emilio doesn’t have any information about his children yet but he said that he’s accepted that they may be dead by now. He just wants to see their bodies.

Since I heard the news, I haven’t been feeling well. Maybe when I see them, I will feel better,” he adds.

According to authorities, at least 34 miners have already been recovered and more are feared to be dead by now. Typhoon Mangkhut which lashed North Luzon on September 15 has affected more than 590,000 people, to date. More information are still coming in as rescuers try to reach the isolated areas, especially in the Cordillera region

We’ve listened to heart breaking stories from both children and adults and they really need our help. The destruction is massive and so are the needs.  Initial needs on the ground are food, water and hygiene kits.,” said Cesar Bautista, World Vision’s Typhoon Mangkhut Response Manager. Psychosocial intervention, especially for children who went through the harrowing journey of fleeing their home, going up to the mountain and being haunted by landslides is also needed.

World Vision has started distributing relief items in Cagayan where the typhoon made landfall. Emergency assistance is also underway for Benguet province.

 

Written by Joy Maluyo, World Vision/ September 18, 2018


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