Back home, we always thought that living in the mountains brought us closer to heaven. The spirits of the mountains will always protect us. The mountains will provide all that we need. When we prayed, our prayers will reach the gods faster. The jagged edges of the mountains will break up the storm into bits and pieces. We trusted the mountains so much, we thought we were invincible.
“Kakaasi da piman,” La Trinidad Mayor Artemio Galwan wailed, as 150 people were buried in a landslide last night. The wrath of Typhoon Pepeng has left the North devastated, decimated, destroyed. The crops have failed, roofs were torn off houses, and at this very moment, people are perhaps shivering in evacuation shelters for lack of dry clothing and medicine. You don’t say “kakaasi da piman” in vain; it is an expression made in great sorrow, helplessness, and grief. “Kakaasi da piman” is an expression reserved for only the most pathetic of tragedies, when human pride gives way to vulnerability.