Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Hebrews 12:29: For our God is a consuming fire.

2 hours before Christmas.
I was in the kitchen preparing food. Mama, Ate and Arby (my nephew) were watching cartoons. Brother attended mass. Papa was asleep. 

My uncle knocked on our windows and said that there's fire. First thing came to my mind was maybe its in the pier where there are firecrackers stalls. So I woke up Papa and told him that there's fire. He quickly jumped off from bed.

When we went out of the house, a huge fire was in front of us. Oh God! The height of fire was taller than our 2-storey house. The houses in the back of our property are on fire! You can hear the shouts of the people. My face could feel the heat. My heartbeat went out of its normal phase. But I know that I should not be scared... I should not panic.

Papa shouted: "Grab what's important!"

Mama and Ate started packing. They secured my 3-year old nephew and they hurriedly went out of the house w/ a bag.

I ran to my room. My eyes rolled on every corner and I knew what I need to grab in case the situation gets worst. I'll just get back when I need to. At that time I knew what I had to do. I grabbed a pail and started filling it with water.

Water from the faucet takes time to fill a pail. So we used the water pump outside. My uncle Nene did the pumping while Uncle Bobot and I were the ones splashing water. We have a dirty kitchen outside the house and a CR that is basically made of wood. We noticed that the woods are starting to smoke due to heat. Good thing our property is surrounded with cement walls - it protected our house from damage. And yet this doesn't give us the assurance of safety because the big trees of our neighbor are on fire and the trees are sticked with our walls. 

We poured water to the kitchen and CR. We have to wet the woods to prevent from burning due to heat. Houses in the back of our house are already burned down. The houses were made of nipa and wood so expect a very huge fire. 

Papa wasn't able to help. He had trouble breathing. And that scared me the most. He stood there watching the fire... worrying that our more than 50-year old house would go to ashes on Christmas Day. I hugged Papa and we both prayed..."Dear Lord, help us. Please Lord." I was teary that moment but I need to continue pouring water. 

My other uncle panicked, Papa's eldest brother. He ran across the street due to fear to seeing the house. I managed to call some people. Then came our neighbor kuya Boyet who brought his own pail and help us. Not a little while more people came to our aid. Boyfie came with his cousins. I am thankful for those people.

It is sad that people already lost their homes. The Fire Truck was not able to suppress the huge fire. It took awhile for them to control the situation. At that time, I knew I was selfish, I didn't mind what was happening outside our walls. I must attend to our concerns -- to prevent the fire reaching our property. 

Around 11PM before Christmas.
The fire was declared to be controlled. There are still embers all over the area. We prepared buckets and basins of water outside in case of danger. People are now settled from devastation of witnessing a tragic event.

I thank God for giving us the best gift for Christmas and that is safety. He did not deprive us from having a home. I thank God for the grace of help and concern from our friends and neighbors. I thank God for giving us the strength and wisdom in facing such challenge. Most of all I thank God for the gift of life and family.

It is man's nature to know every cause of an event. We heard different stories. Most declared it as arson. The police detained the person that is said to be responsible but the next day he was released due to the change of statements from the witnesses. A crime is a crime... let God judge. 

Some say that it was political because the burnt houses were illegal settlers that the government has been urging to move out for a long time. Some say that it was bad karma. Those houses were said to be a place of drugs, prostitution and gambling.

Bottomline for me... it was an unfortunate event. People lost their homes. People celebrated Christmas homeless.

Blessing in disguise.
The week before, Papa decided to cut the trees in our back. Those trees could have caught the fire.  

When Mama and Ate started unpacking the bag, they were all laughing when they realized the things that were inside the bag. They even forgot where they placed some few stuffs - my nephews milk bottle.

My sister was able to capture some pictures while she was running back and forth.

our house with the huge fire in the background