Ormoc, Leyte. I arrive and I find peace.
Yet peace belies a story that refuses to settle.
I listen as I walk in the dead of night.
Sounds that unravel a mystery but ignorance plagues my mind.
I hear silence that echoes thousands of cries.
Cries that were never heard, of souls that remain unfound.
Spirits reside in your quaint city with shadows that wander about.
How many have remained? How many have moved on?
I can offer none but prayers,
For those who’ve passed away and those whose lives are still torn.
But amidst the chaos and the loss,
Life goes on.
People have chosen to rise and continue.
To gather broken shards and glue the pieces back together.
A breath of new life begins like a walk in the park.
But forever will it be etched in memory, this tragedy that once was and will always be.
Ormoc, until we meet again.
Thank you for the peace, may peace you will also find.
November of this year, let us commemorate 20 years since a catastrophic flashflood wreaked havoc to the lives in Ormoc. In 1991, around 5000 people (more or less) perished in this calamity due to continuous rains that were brought about by Typhoon Thelma (Uring). This tragedy caused a landslide on a river system that led to the city, washing anything that crossed its path into the sea.
2008, I first stepped foot in Ormoc, Leyte while we were on our way to Dalutan Island in the province of Biliran.
For 2 nights, we spent the hours strolling around, observing the holy week festivity which added more eeriness to the town. Looking for a place to kill time during Lenten season, I simply joined a group of people who already planned their itinerary in this part of the country. There wasn’t much to do as it was, after all, the last days before Easter. But doing nothing was already a holiday itself. Despite the history, I wish to go back. Ormoc is a silent city and the people are friendly.
Photos posted were taken using a point and shoot camera. Most are accidental shots when I was still tinkering with the settings. At least I’ve been able to put them to use.
This is my entry to the Pinoy Travel Blogger’s Blog Carnival themed Dark Tourism which is hosted by Gael aka ThePinaySoloBackpacker. Click on the Blog Carnival Logo on the left to see more interesting posts and topics.
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soloflightEd.com is a travel blog by Edcel Suyo. He enjoys performing headstands and crazy stunts during his trips in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Now based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and working to earn a living, he takes time to enjoy the city and travel during weekends.
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well done Ed, very poetic! tas ang eerie ng photos, nag-match tlga. it feels so real, nangilabot ako. at d halatang pinagkakitaan ang post. 😉
Poetic ka pala Ed 🙂 , ang galing din ng transition ng photos, from the dark and tragic past to the hopeful and brighter present.
Great words, great photos. Perfect entry Ed 🙂
naks, poet ka pala ed haha…ayus!
Hanga na ako sa pagiging poetic. I agree with claire with the transition of words that matched with photos to brither mode.:-).
brighter mode…erratum. sorry..walang salamin. hehehe.:-).
nice post ed! keep on posting quality write-ups and photos"
ang galing! naisingit talaga yung "compare holiday prices"… hehehe! kidding aside, if i have more time, i have visited ormoc city too… maybe next time… 🙂
@thepinaysolobackpacker: haha thanks gael! chamba nga yung photos, hinalukay ko lang sa album, kala ko di ko magagamit. buti na lang may blog carnival at tugmang-tugma sa theme ng blog carnival. hehe. salamat uli! 😀
@lakwatsera de primera: thanks claire! it took me some time to write this (one day), hirap mag-laslas mode. naka ilang replay ako ng radiohead and snow patrol songs. lol.
@drew: thanks drew!
@supertikoy: haha. ayoko na, na depress ako sa blog carnival. hahaha. pero nachallenge nga naman na makagawa ng entry. salamat!
@bonzenti: thanks sir! haha. ok lang yan. nainspire tayo na magsulat kahit sumakit din ang ulo. hehehe.
@mervz: ey mervz, di ba? mapapacompare ka talaga. lol. bisita ka ng Ormoc. We also dropped by Sabin Hotel Resort. eto yung post ko noon: http://soloflighted.com/2008/03/25/leyte-day-1/ 😀
i almost didn't get the pinagkikitaan part hahahaha. this one is a great entry.
Nice post ED nangingilabot ako habang nagbabasa naalala ko yung tragedy na yan. Great post!
@lakbay: kumikitang kabuhayan. hehe. pero salamat dwin!
@may: thanks May! nangilabot nga ako cause I only knew about the tragedy fully after the trip. I didn't know how many thousands were lost and washed away into the sea! they had to use dump trucks to carry the bodies daw. 🙁
may ganitong side ka rin pala noh? hehe. actually, kinilabutan ako na nalungkot. love the photos and your poetic side, my friend 😀 dapat gumaganito ka paminsan-minsan hehe.
let's all pray for the souls of the victims.
@micamyx: haha, matagal na akong ganito, di ko lang pinapakita sa blog na ito. hehe. and kung nakapagpost man ako (mga ilang entries din), mukhang malabo na makikita mo pa sa daming posts na nasa archive. hehe. thanks Mica, let's indeed pray. 20 years na since that fateful date. 🙁
toinks. nakakatakot yung unang photo, prang nasusunog na building.. hndi pa pala ako buhay nung nagkaroon ng flashflood sa Ormoc 🙂
I only watch it in a documentary, grabe pala talaga nangyari nuon we just pray to their soul.
Ed, I love your poetry to bits. Gosh, is there anything you can't do? Even your "accidental" shots are moving and they complement the emotion of the poem so perfectly! In love na talaga ako…sa poetry mo. :p
And I haven't realized it's been 20 years since that tragedy. Parang kelan lang. I can still remember watching it in the news. Thunders na nga ako. Anyway, my heart goes out to the people of Ormoc who have lost loved ones in that big flood.
@batang lakwatsero: blurry shot lang yan ivan. hehe. yep, I was still 5 years old at the time. 😀
@may: didn't realize how tragic this was until a colleague told me about his volunteer work when he was still a teenager and how many bodies he saw at the time. at night they could hear wails of people crying when they were sleeping.
@AJ: wow, salamat AJ. actually depress-depressan ako nyan. to set myself in the mood. ayokong gawin uli kasi naapektuhan ako. lol. but thanks for the compliment! 😀 haha. minsan lang ako nagiging poet (pwet – corny na naman) but yes, 20 years since that tragedy that's why i never really heard about it. prayers for the eternal repose of the souls lost..
Natawa ako sa comment ni Gael. Wahahaha.
grabe parang balot na balot ng misteryo yung lugar. Akala ko pacontest ito, paramihan ng makikitang casper at ang iba pang friendly ghost. hahah!
ganda ng mga ginamit mong words. Elibs! Clap clap! perfect para sa karnabal na ito. And I agree with robbie, natawa ako sa comment ni gael. hahaha!
@robbie: toinks. 😀
@kura: nagnosebleed ako nito, naapektuhan talaga sa blog carnival! hala sige magsama kayo ni robbie, tumawa pa kayo. bwahahahaha. 😀 thanks!
di nga malilimutan yung nagyari dati. naalala ko nung pagpunta ko diyan pinakita yung canal na kung saan dumaloy yung baha. pero mga pinoy puno ng pagasa kaya masaya't makita na umusbong na rin ang kanilang pag asenso.
naks, ang creepy ng mga unang photos!
may talent ka pala Ed sa mga tula!
Nice!!! Love your style for this post kuya ed!!!
@dong ho: grabe talaga nangyari dito. kinilabutan nga ako nung narinig ko ang kwento pagkatapos naming dumaan dito.
@darwin: bwahahah. minsan lang yan darwin pag may topak ako. hehe
@renz: thanks renz!
very nice blo entry for blog carnival, I felt like joing too but I dont know how.
I just started blogging and not really focusing much on travelling yet I have a greate interest on it. Your blogs was one of the blogs that actually inspires me.
Im giving this a try just incase you can help me to know how can I joint the contest.
Maulaw ko kay dili pa man ko hawud pero I wanna try coz I found the theme "Dark ttourissm" so interisting.
PS: need not to post, just want to get intouch:)
i remember my friend. portraying a funny ormoc tragedy shot.. bad bad.. hehe
I heard of this tragic event happened in Ormoc when i was a kid. But I did not know it was Ormoc City. I googled it lately and found out that many people have perished .
I remember watching a traumatic flooding and landslide which killed thousands of people in Leyte (teachers and students) in QTV this month lang. I am not so sure if this is the same with your poetic entry. The pictures looked really sad but real & creepy.
@christeen: thanks for the kind words christeen! I PMed you 😀
@chyng: waaa. anong klaseng tragedy shot yun?
@chinchan: yeah, this happened to me when I was also a kid. it's nice if we become aware of these things cause you can understand the history of a place too.
@mitch: they had other floods after the 1991 tragedy but I'm not sure how many casualties were also reported. thanks for dropping by mitch.
yeah, Leyte reportedly the most landslide prone. how sad it has been.
Goosebumps… Nice write up and photos.
I pray for their souls, di ko alam na me tragedy din pla dito.
@mitch: let's all pray for them. 😀
@tina: thanks tina. meron, matagal na and may sumunod pa na di kasing lala pero grabe pa rin. 🙁
for some reason, the picture you have , the one with the crowd in blur with yellow lighting reminds me of a scene in my head when reading, the summer solstice [Tatarin] by Nick Joaquin. so weird. =D
@it’smesteph: made me realize i should start reading again. been awhile since i last picked up a book. 😀